Hu bu hu bu Handwriting – Helps with b d reversals

Letter reversals can be a huge problem, and sometimes the letter b comes out looking like the number 6. 

This is a fun way to practice the correct letter formation and the letter sounds at the same time.

Letter reversals can be a huge problem, and sometimes the letter b comes out looking like the number 6.  Some students start both by drawing a straight down and then they can not remember which way the b or d should turn.

So we use the h b h b practice.  I tell them the letter h and b are almost the same, the only difference is the letter b is closed at the bottom. So, make the tall letter h then close the bottom. Now it is the letter b.  Be sure to make the letter sounds when you write.  “h, b, h, b.” This is very important to make the letter sounds. Be careful not to use the letter name too much. Referring to the letter by its sound can help to avoid letter name interference. Letter name interference is very common with w, y, and u.

How to correct b and d reversals in handwriting

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This is also a great time to remind them that the letter h is a tall letter, and the letter n is a small letter.

It is super important that students learn to start the letters at the top, not the bottom. We have found that when students start the letters on the bottom line there is a good chance that they will turn out backwards. We were seeing confusing letters and thought “Is it dyslexia?” In this case no, it was not. It was just bad handwriting habits that needed to be corrected by teaching the students to start the lowercase letters at the top, and not the bottom.

This is one of the reasons that I wrote this book R’s Pirate Handwriting Storybook. The shape of the letter r is a really good way to group all the letters that make the same starting shape. Practicing these letters together can also help remove the b d confusion. This book series is full of effective practices for teaching writing.

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Handwriting Cards 4 sets Pirate Letters

Easy letter formation instruction with four sets of illustrated card and posters.

Orton Gillingham Style Illustrated Handwriting worksheets, letter strips, and letter cards.

Lowercase letter support to stop letter reversal errors. Easy to follow letter groups. Make handwriting fast and simple to remember by grouping similar letter shapes, making a muscle memory link.

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These 4 different letter groups make a wonderful classroom display and reference for handwriting instruction.

Letter Group 1

1. r, n, m, h, b, p – The letter /r/ is seaweed on the sand, the pirates trace the /r/ shape and that helps to make the other letters in this group. These are the dive down, slide up, and hook letters.

Dark blue water on the bottom of the handwriting cards.

  • This first group helps teach students to start the letters at the top
  • Left to right direction of reading and writing

Letter Group 2

2. c, a, g, d, q, o, s, e – Letter c is half a coconut. The pirates trace around the coconut in the sand to make the curved letters in this group. The /c/ curved letters share the same starting point. Letter e was added to this group because it shares the same c shape. (Follow the interaction between a pirate and a monkey. It is a funny story in the book for letter /e/.)

Tallgrass on the bottom of the cards.

Letter Group 3

3. i, j, l, t, f, k – Letter i, are tracks made by turtle-hatchlings. The pirates copy the straight-line letters in the sand.

Light blue water on the bottom of the cards.

Letter Group 4

4. v, w, y, x, z, u – The letter /v/, traces around a shark’s tooth. These are the slanted line letters. Letter u was added to this group. (funny story in the book for letter /u/ and pirate underwear)

Tree trunks on the top of these cards.

Print your own set of letter strips. Great for daily practice, intervention, and more….

c pirate letters - pure joy teaching letter strips
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Using the Letter c worksheet and letter strips is a great way to teach letters c, a, g, & d. Make a tactile handwriting adventure with a sand tray.

Letter g is just the letter a with a monkey’s tail. In the story, the monkey jumps down from the tree to grab the coconut.

Pirate Book Series Starts with the Letter r.

Starting the r letter set is what the pirates do. This is the best letter to start with, it sets kids up for the correct starting and stopping pencil strokes. It helps create good writing habits. This letter needs to start at the top, not the bottom. It has the same shape and pattern as the often tricky letter b. (r, h, b, they all go the same way)

Letter strips with pirate theme TPT

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Get your set of cards and worksheets HERE

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Handwriting letter strips with Mnemonics embedded images TPT

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Air Writing ABC Book

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Download and print the flashcards for this book. Teachers Pay Teachers

For play-based learning; with Air Writing

Students can pretend to be an airplane, and mirror the letter movements of the teacher. This exercise can help them learn the correct starting and stopping points of the capital letters. The helpful green dot shows the starting point of the letter, with numbered steps for letters that have more than one step. Valuable teacher instruction pages and Flash Card pages that can be cut out of the book to use in class. The reversed alphabet chart on the back cover of this book, helps to remind the teacher in which direction to make the letters. Very helpful when the book or the card is facing the students.

Mirror image; Why does it look backwards?

Remember my right is your left, when we are facing each other. This book will help teachers so the students will NOT be seeing the reversed Image by mistake. It can aid and support future handwriting success, while learning feels like play.

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