Talk to any kindergarten teacher, and she’ll tell you about her students who transpose numbers. Two-digit numbers puzzle many younger students. It’s not unusual to hear students confusing the numbers “13” and “31” or writing the number “14” as “41.”
This common mistake is sometimes called a transposition. When students transpose numbers, they write down all of the correct numbers, but they don’t put the numbers into the right sequence (place-value order).
Transposition errors often occur in two-digit numbers. For my students, the most commonly transposed numbers are the numbers 12-19. These mistakes with the teen numbers actually reveal the child has a good understanding of the spelling patterns for numbers and words. Mistakes with numbers greater than twenty may indicate that the child needs more place-value practice.
Today, I want to empower you with effective tools for addressing transposition errors. First, let’s figure out why students are confused.
Imagine seeing your child eager to write. Wouldn’t it be great to see him enjoying the challenges of composition?
How thrilled would you be to see your child proudly turn in her book reports?
Well, it’s absolutely possible.
I recently taught a fourth grader whose writing didn’t reflect his thoughtful personality. His compositions were a jumble of misspelled words, run-on sentences, and off-topic musings.
But his latest paragraph? It was clear and accessible. Best of all, it sounded like him!
It’s inspiring. I want you to see what’s possible after a few hours of targeted instruction.
I want you to know that teaching writing to a child with dyslexia, dysgraphia, or ADHD doesn’t have to be such a struggle.
There’s no secret to it. Just like everything we share here, it’s a matter of taking small steps and giving kids the right supports.
Do you work with older elementary students who reverse their letters? Do you know middle school students who still invert the letters b and d? This free book of worksheets and activities is for you!
This eighteen-page download includes 5 free activities for teaching correct letter orientation for the letters b and d:
- Activity 1 – Handwriting Practice
- Activity 2 – Visual ID Game
- Activity 3 – Finding Letters
- Activity 4 – Word Reading and Dictation
- Activity 5 – Sentence Reading and Dictation
Each activity includes detailed instructions as well as content-rich activity pages.
In case you missed it, my previous post, What Tigers Can Teach Us About Letter Reversals, is an exploration of why letter reversals happen, and some of the best-researched interventions for teaching children correct letter orientation.