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This colourful and highly engaging resource is written for children as young as 4-5 years old but also those in Key Stage 2 of primary school (up to 9 years old) who continue to feel confused by letter and digit shapes. The latter group might become so discouraged that they avoid writing, or write very little, despite having great imaginations. They start doubting their ability to simply 'know' the correct way when writing b/d, p/q, p/g, 9/g, 6/9, s/z, 5/S, S/3, etc. Most teachers and parents are very good at playing down the reversals and encouraging the child to have another go. They say, "It's fine, it's still good writing. I love what you've written here." Yet, after so many attempts and after so many teacher corrections on the page, the child begins to think, "This writing game might not be for me after all". Those with dyslexia will have additional phonological difficulties to manage alongside poor memory for graphic shapes.
This workbook is for children who can trace well at speed, thus appear to have developed adequate motor memory in their fingers, yet struggle to remember 'which way' to write the letter or digit. It is very likely that they will be ready to integrate this type of linear visual-spatial information at a later time. For now, they have no real-life representation, or model, of a handful of graphic shapes in their brains, and this, in turn, can affect their confidence in writing independently.
This resource offers practical and long-term 'tricks' that will trigger the child's memory at the right moment. It adopts a complementary approach to traditional letter formation teaching to bridge the gap between children who are proficient graphic writers and those whose brains make different sense of graphic information. Many children with dyslexia and dysgraphia will particularly benefit from completing the workbook.
How to use the resource
The child doesn't need to work through the entire book. Choose sections that are relevant to their needs.
Younger children (aged 4-6) will almost certainly need assistance when working with the resource, although older ones will no doubt choose to work independently, showing their practised strategies and completed activities to teachers and parents. It is recommended that section 7 (Use your whole body) is attempted with the help of an older helper or adult.
There are more than one method to help distinguish between b/d/p and s/z in this workbook. Introduce the child to only one method at a time, evaluate the child's progress, and decide whether there is a need to move on to the next one. Some children are more practical than visual - the 'Use your hands' strategy might be sufficient for them. Other children might enjoy more visual strategies in sections 4, 5 and 6. In my experience, section 7 (Use your whole body) works well with children who need to 'experience' concepts in a multi-sensory manner. Pay attention to the child's initial response to a particular method. It will guide you along.
You can mix and match strategies. Some children don't confuse b/d as much but struggle with p/9.
Some activities can be completed independently of the section the child is currently working through. For example, Activity 7 can be attempted after completing the 'Use your hands' section. Flick through the book to decide which activities appear to be suitable to the child's current progress.
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