The other day, I was listening to one of my students read. He is a third grader reading at about a mid 2nd grade level.
He is plodding through the text when, suddenly, he stops. “There’s a bad word in this book!”
“No there isn’t.” I said, looking over at the page.
“Yes there is! It’s the b word!”
I look closer at the word on the page (semi-horrified). It’s the word ditch. I have a teacher revelation moment at that point. First off, he was able to correctly read most of the word (yay!). Unfortunately, however, he is still confusing b and d. This is fairly common (it happened to me as a 2nd grader).
The next time I see my student, I want to be ready to tackle this issue in his reading. I love games, so I made a “Go Fish” game with words that start with b and d. (The words “children have the ability to extent themselves cognitively through play” have continually rang in my head since teacher school.) I’ve also created b and d letter cards to scaffold my student’s experience playing the game. As he gets better at identifying the two letters, I’ll take these away.
All the words that I’ve selected for the game are either taken from the Dolch sight word list (which contains words that I know my student can read) or they are phonetically consistent. All these words also start with the letters d and b. I will introduce d and b in the middle and end of words when I know my student is starting to decipher which is which. Finally, make sure to print the cards on card stock so that they aren’t see through!
You can find the game I created here. All graphics are from Microsoft Word.
Thanks for reading!!