Does your child confuse their b’s and d’s? Letter reversals, such as b and d are really common in young learners because both letters have lines that go down and a circle at the end of the line.  Figuring out the direction of the circle is the tricky part. On today’s post I am going to share with you my b/d letter reversal trick that works every time!

My b/d Reversal Trick

First, I place the Letter Cards –  a, b, c, d, e in a row in front of my student.  This is really important, because my student needs a visual memory.  

Then, I have my student make a fist with both hands, thumbs pointing in the air, fingers facing each other.  You can see how the shape of your hands creates a b and a d.  

Next,  my student will say, a, b, c, d, e out loud while placing the b fist on the letter b and then the d fist on the letter d

This takes a lot of practice.  I recommend practicing this over and over again.  Eventually my student remembers that the left hand is the b and the right hand is the d.

Want to see this trick in action? 

Check out this short  2 minute video for a tutorial >HERE<



Prevent Letter Reversal Before they Begin


I never teach the letters b and d at the same time or close together, this will just confuse my student. 

Using the PRIDE Reading Program, I teach the letter b first to my student and I do not teach the letter d for a really long time.  I overteach the letter b.  This gives my student a lot of time to practice the formation of the letter b correctly and store it in long term memory before introducing a new visual discrimination.  

When teaching the formation of the b and d, I use a lot of different multisensory materials.  This really helps my students feel, touch, hear and say the letters so that they can make a visual memory of the formation of the letters. 

Using different tracing and tactile materials really helps the correct letter formation “stick” before the letter reversal can even begin. For example, my students will trace the letter b in sand or skywrite it while saying the sound out loud.  

If you want some ideas for making your own tracing and tactile materials, read my post:

DIY Tactile Tools for the Orton-Gillingham Lesson

In Summary

I hope my b/d reversal trick works for you!  Give it a try, and remember to also use a lot of multisensory activities as well so that the concept of b/d really “sticks.”

And while you are here… check out my Orton-Gillingham curriculum.  It is perfect for parents, teachers and tutors.  It is easy to use, very affordable and highly effective. 

Check it out here: The PRIDE Reading Program


Thank  you so much for reading my post today!

Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at or visit the website at

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