Q:

Is it normal for a 1st grader to write some numbers and letters backwards?

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> 60 days ago

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Expert

Sep 26, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

The short answer is YES!  Children often make developmental errors with writing at the beginning of first grade.  In fact, a very popular national "toy store" makes fun of this common phenomenon by reversing a letter in their store name logo!  If you are concerned, please ask the teacher if this is a serious problem or appears to be developmental in nature.

Good luck!

Louise Sattler
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families

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writes:
Hi Susieq1….

Whether or not it’s typical for a first grader to write backwards depends on two things

1. the age of the first grader (first grader can range in age from 4 1/2 to 6 1/2)

2. the letters and/or numbers that s/he writes backwards

Our letters and numbers are made of straight lines and curve lines.  It’s very typical for children to write letters and numbers with curve lines backwards such as the letter B, R, S and the numbers 3 and 5.  It’s less common for children to write letter like E, F, and numbers 4 backwards.

Writing backwards is common for a young first grader but less common for an older first grader.

Hope this helps!

Vicki
> 60 days ago

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writes:
My 5 year old almost six does that, and he always say mom is this the right way to right  a "d". I just keep correcting him till he gets it.
> 60 days ago

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I think it may be for some. My first grader has the same problem, and I was wondering the same thing. But we work on his nubers everyday. I have him write 1-10 ten times across each, using an example I have given to him. Then after he completes his task, I have him write the numbers ten times across on his own, woth no example.  If he writes any of them backwards I tell him he ha to try that specific number again. I have noticed that it is starting to work.
> 60 days ago

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writes:
YES! Reversal of letters such as "b" and "d"  is considered "developmentally appropriate" until grade three.  If you notice other problems in addition to this, however, you may want to look further to see what the cause is; visual problems are common.
> 60 days ago

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writes:
Some solutions to common reversals:
7 is actually a z with a foot missing
3 is actually part of a B with its back missing
6 is a C "all curled in" :We make monster 6's by drawing a C and adding the mouth (curled part of 6) and then adding scary features.
j  is actually g without a "head"
b is actually a capital B with its "head missing

Hope this helps!
> 60 days ago

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