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Blogs We Are Reading – The fascinating reason that children write letters backwards

by Jenn Drake, Early Elementary Classroom Teacher

Mariano Sigman: The fascinating reason that children write letters backwards

Forget about the world being round… I feel like I’ve just been turned upside down! I currently work with children age three through six and have marveled over the way they write their letters backward. We teach handwriting. We give individualized instruction. We model. But they write them the wrong way! It’s a worry that often pops up in parent-teacher conferences, especially for the Kindergartners who have been in our program for a couple of years. I now feel armed with a scientific answer. And it makes so much sense! When you think about the way you see things in the world – it is amazing that you can recognize your coffee cup from all those different angles. And of course, I don’t know from which hand the torch extends on the Statue of Liberty, despite the fact I’ve seen pictures of it all my life – and it doesn’t really matter! It makes perfect sense that until children learn to read, therefore fully understanding that each letter has a direction, they might write their letters backward even their whole names. And I will be nothing less than amazed when I see it happen from now on. I can see myself trying to read it aloud to them in a funny way, helping them see that each letter has to go a certain way in order to read it correctly. And I can see myself having new information to share with them the wonders of human communication’s evolution! Thank you, Mariano Sigman! I can’t wait to read your book.