Reading expert Linda Farrell works with Aiko ~ above a common letter reversal — confound the letter ‘b’ and ‘d’. Ms. Farrell coaches Aiko come look at the letters during b/d practice and to look at the words when she works through Aiko to read quick vowel indigenous accurately.

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Linda Farrell is a establishing partner at Readsters, an Alexandria, VA-based firm that helps colleges implement research-based analysis instruction. She is committed to effective at an early stage reading instruction to assist struggling readers become solid readers, and to certain that strong readers achieve their full potential.

Linda functions in institutions throughout the U.S. Training and coaching teachers and also modeling reliable reading instruction. She additionally has design curricula in Niger and also Senegal for youngsters to learn to read in their neighborhood languages.

Linda is a former English teacher and she was a nationwide LETRS trainer for seven years. She has co-authored assessments and curricula for teaching reading, and also several other published works. Linda deserve to be reached at:


Learning ‘b’ and also ‘d’ and Reading brief Vowel Words with Aiko, 2nd Grader


Linda Farrell: Okay. We’re gonna have a lesson. And also we space gonna have actually some funny …

Today reading professional Linda Farrell will be working v Aiko, a second grader here at publicly Hill elementary in Calvert County, Maryland.

Ms. Farrell will assist Aiko with informing the difference between the letters ‘b’ and ‘d,’ maintaining her eye on the text fairly than looking as much as think of words, and reading native with quick vowels.

Linda Farrell: do you ever before get your ‘b’s and ‘d’s mixed up?

Aiko: Mm-hmm.

Linda Farrell: Sometimes? Well, let’s check out if us can’t fix that.

Linda Farrell: Aiko confuses ‘b’s and ‘d’s. She’s in the 2nd grade. And it’s going to gain in the means of she reading. Therefore we have to fix the problem. Too many of kids confuse ‘b’s and also ‘d’s. They look alike. It’s a ball and also a stick. So we recognize we need to straighten the out, due to the fact that that’s going to hurt her reading because there are several words with ‘b’s and also ‘d’s.

Linda Farrell: We’re gonna occupational on fixing that. Therefore we’re gonna learn about our ‘b’ hand. Have you ever used your ‘b’ hand?

Linda Farrell: They have a ‘b’ hand. Your ‘b’ hand, it looks prefer a ‘b.’ Here"s the circle. Here"s the line. And we teach them to not guess and also to sluggish down and also compare her hand to the letter.

Linda Farrell: This is your ‘b’ hand, okay? So i’m gonna placed this tiny rubber band on you, for this reason you have the right to remember which one’s her ‘b’ hand. So which one’s her ‘b’ hand?

Aiko: This one.

Linda Farrell: Okay.

Linda Farrell: ns don"t phone call a kindergartener, a first grader, or a second grader, “It’s your left hand,” since they don’t understand which one is your left hand. Sometimes I don"t also know i m sorry one’s mine left hand. When we an initial teach it, we put something on your hand. We can put a sticker. I put a rubber band on Aiko’s hand therefore that as soon as I say, “Where’s her ‘b’ hand?” she’s obtained something that reminds her. 3 lessons she won’t need the rubber tape anymore. She’ll recognize what the is. Some kids get it right away.

Linda Farrell: would certainly you placed your ‘b’ hand up favor this … and also make a fist. And also then placed your finger out. Okay? the is your ‘b’ hand. And I’m gonna present you why it’s her ‘b’ hand. Go prefer this. We put this under here. And also this letter is a ‘b.’ and your hand looks choose this letter. Deserve to you view that? We have actually the circle appropriate here. Where’s the one on the letter? allude to the one on the letter. And also where’s the circle on your hand? Yeah. Right there. Where the pole on the letter? present me a rod on her finger. This is her ‘b’ hand due to the fact that the pole is ~ above the very same side that the circle together your finger. So your finger and your, and the stick are on the very same side the the circle.

Linda Farrell: too many of youngsters get ‘b’s and also ‘d’s blended up — kindergarten, first and 2nd grade. It does not average that they have dyslexia. College student who have dyslexia have phonological handling issues. They do not identify sounds easily. Their troubles are primarily related to phonological awareness. ‘B/d’ is around shapes. The is not about sounds.

Linda Farrell: will certainly you put your ‘b’ hand through the ‘b’? Yep. And also is her finger top top the same side of the circle as the rod or ~ above a different side that the circle?

Aiko: same side.

Linda Farrell: The exact same side. Yeah. Stop go under here. Is this a ‘b’ or a ‘d’?

Aiko: ‘b.’

Linda Farrell: Okay. And also when you answer, I want you to look under here and compare it. Here’s what girlfriend did. Friend went . Well, you’re not gonna number it out uneven you look and you compare. Okay. So you have to look and also say, “Ooh, I deserve to tell.” therefore is the a ‘b’ or a ‘d’?

Ms. Farrell’s explicit lesson around recognizing the shape of the letter ‘b’ will take part time to sink in for Aiko. And there’s a common habit she’ll must deal with. When Aiko is working on identify a letter, she regularly looks up to think, looking far from the letter.

Linda Farrell: The answer come what is an untrue letter or one incorrect native is in the print. And also we need to teach Aiko to store her eyes on the print, ~ above the words, when she"s reading, or the letters. I"ve functioned with many children that have this exact same difficulty. And also I"ll say, “Keep her eyes top top the words,” and also they can"t do it, because their habit is so solid that lock can"t shot to do what I"m questioning them to do and also remember to save their eye down. For this reason we simply practice keeping your eyes down.

Linda Farrell: We’re gonna practice looking under here, okay? So ns gonna ask friend a question, and you can’t look up until I go choose this , okay? therefore you store looking down. Nothing look up. Watch down. Watch down. Look at down. Look at down. currently you deserve to look up. Okay. Let’s try it again. Watch down. Watch down. Watch down.

Eventually, Aiko will need to have images of words stored in her brain. This is critical to the immediate word recognition important for expert reading. Once students say a word without looking in ~ it, lock miss avenues to build those images.

Linda Farrell: So organize your hand up here. So i’m gonna walk ‘a,’ cause I don’t require my ‘b’ hand. But do I need my ‘b’ hand for that letter?

Aiko: Mm-mm.

Linda Farrell: Yes, ns do, reason that’s a ‘b’ or a ‘d.’ therefore I need to put mine ‘b’ hand and … let me see. Is the a ‘b’ or a ‘d’? i beg your pardon one do you think? Ohp. Where space you gonna look?

Aiko: Down.

Linda Farrell: Yes. Okay. Is that a ‘b’ or a ‘d’?

Aiko: ‘b.’

Linda Farrell: Let’s try that. Placed your ‘b’ hand beside that. Okay. Is her finger top top the exact same or a different side?

Aiko: Different.

Linda Farrell: Different. Therefore is that a ‘b’ or a ‘d’?

Aiko: ‘d.’

Linda Farrell: Yes. And also we’re gonna store looking down. Remember? friend don’t get to watch up till I stomp. Okay? for this reason now, I want you … we’re gonna go simply right come here. Okay? So clock me. ‘a, d, s, b.’ You perform it. Okay. Put your hand up right here for the ‘a.’ Okay. Execute it.

Aiko: ‘a, d, s, b’?

Linda Farrell: Okay. Now. See how far away your hand is? you gotta go prefer this. And also you know where you looked once you read? friend looked at me. However where space you claimed to it is in looking?

Aiko: Here.

Linda Farrell: Yep. In ~ the letter. So. Okay. So us did those four. You perform these four.

Linda Farrell: and also this is diverted practice. I see several teachers who usage a ‘b’ and ‘d’ hand or a ‘b’ hand. Yet they only do it as soon as the child misses a word. So, “Oh, you review ‘bog’ as ‘dog.’ usage your ‘b’ hand.” girlfriend don"t have to use her ‘b’ hand. If it"s not “bog,” it"s “dog.” We"ve gotta have actually isolated practice to rewire the brain … to avoid guessing and also start looking. And also that"s what us did with Aiko. Aiko has pretty significant ‘b/d’ issues. With this type of practice, she might solve she ‘b/d’ issues, ns believe, in 3 to 4 weeks if we did this every day.

Aiko: ‘b’

Linda Farrell: You got it. Carry out you think you deserve to do 10 in a row?

Aiko: Mm-mm.

Linda Farrell: i think friend can. Let’s try it. Okay.

Aiko: ‘x, b, d, a’

Linda Farrell: Hand down. Is her finger top top the exact same side or a various side?

Aiko: Different, for this reason it’s a ‘d.’

Linda Farrell: Yes. Okay.

Aiko: ‘o, b, c, d, j’

Linda Farrell: Ten the end of 10! it is …

After a little an ext practice with ‘b’ and ‘d,’ Ms. Farrell will help Aiko occupational on one more skill … reading quick vowel words there is no sounding them the end aloud first. and Aiko will have to lean ~ above her new skills … distinguishing between ‘b’ and ‘d’ using her ‘b’ hand, and concentrating top top looking under at the words if she thinks.

Linda Farrell: deserve to you just read these words right here?

Aiko: Not, ran, tap, man, on.

Linda Farrell: might you review these words right right here please?

Aiko: Bib, ad

Linda Farrell: might you check and also see if it is a ‘b’ or a ‘d’? usage your ‘b’ hand. Is the a ‘b’ or a ‘d’?

Aiko: ‘d’

Linda Farrell: the is a ‘d.’ So those …

Aiko: ‘d’ … did

Linda Farrell: Okay.

Aiko: ad, /p - al/

Linda Farrell: what’s the word?

Aiko: Pal.

Linda Farrell: look down. Always keep your eyes on the words.

Aiko: Gum. /k/. Kit. Hump.

Linda Farrell: Okay. Girlfriend got five words right. Have the right to you touch and also say the word?

Aiko: Hug.

Linda Farrell: it is hug. Check out them all again.

Aiko: Did, ad, /p/, pal, gum, /k - it/, hug.

Linda Farrell: Okay. You obtained six out of six right. Once you check out this word, you went /k - i - t/. Did you hear yourself do that? Okay. It’s okay. I desire you to do that in her head. For this reason what we’re gonna carry out is we’re gonna close ours mouth till we’re prepared to check out the word. That goes favor this. Did. Ad. I need to think those sounds in my head. So deserve to you carry out that? Let’s check out these.

Aiko: Cut, dig, pup

Linda Farrell: Mouth closed.

Aiko: … lip, kit, lot.

Linda Farrell: Okay. Now. Two things: girlfriend got 5 right. Have the right to you? What’s the word?

Aiko: Kip.

Linda Farrell: it is kip. And also the various other thing is, friend looked up. Therefore we’re gonna practice looking down. Okay. You’re gonna look down, watch down here until ns stomp, okay? You have the right to look up. Okay? do it again. currently you’re gonna read, and you can’t look up until I stomp, okay? therefore remember, you’re no gonna watch up until I stomp, so I’ll host this, okay? So begin reading.

Aiko: Cut, big, pup, lip, kip, lot.

Linda Farrell: the was perfect. You preserved your eyes under the whole time. Have the right to you check and see if that’s a ‘b’ or a ‘d’? use your hand. Use your ‘b’ hand.

Aiko: /d/

Linda Farrell: Yeah. So what’s the word?

Aiko: Dig.

Linda Farrell: the is. We’re gonna go over below … and also again, don’t look up until I stomp. So review those.

Aiko: Hot.

Linda Farrell: You have the right to use her ‘b’ hand, ideal there.

In one brief lesson, Aiko has made a many progress. She’s discovering to store her head down as she reads, concentrating on the letters. She’s using her ‘b’ hand to help her identify her ‘b’s and also ‘d’s an ext accurately. And also she’s analysis words as a totality rather than sound through sound. Together she practices and also works towards mastery of these skills, her analysis will get much better and better.

Linda Farrell: Mud. You kept your eyes down and also you acquired ‘em every right! six out that six! Yes!

We’d like to say thanks to the exorbitant students and also families at Windy Hill Elementary college in Calvert County, Maryland. Us hope that sharing this experiences will assist other children who are learning to read.

Special thanks likewise to Kelly Cleland, Julie Donovan, joanne Harbaugh, and also their impressive colleagues in ~ Windy Hill elementary … and to Leanne Meisinger at Calvert county Public Schools.

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We room deeply thankful to Linda Farrell, Michael Hunter, and also Nicole Lubar the Readsters for your invaluable contributions to this project.