11 September 2012

Is that a B?? Or a D???

I swear I must get this question no less than 50 times a day.  I got it that much when I taught first grade and it was occasionally asked in 2nd grade, too.  I do realize that reversals are common, but ANYTHING I can do to help my kids discriminate between the two, I’ll try!!!   I usually always have this visual posted in all of my stations and various areas around the classroom just for a reminder.

click on the picture to download


All the girls I taught with the first few years of Kindergarten used this visual…I’m pretty sure it came from The Mailbox Magazine.  Well, I remember one of the girls on my team telling me that she used to tell the kids that the “Little B faces away from Big B because he’s been a bad, bad boy” and the “Big D faces the little D because he is so doggone good.”  I used that same verbiage with my kids for a few years and they thought that was fun, but there was no visual to accompany the words.  I’m a VERY visual learner and I know most of my kids are, too {my own children included!!}. So, I changed up some of the words and created a visual to use with my kids and ohmiword…they were mesmerized!!  And they were actually remembering to discriminate the letters correctly!  SO from then on out, I used these little hand drawn visuals along with the sayings and noticed my kids being more intent on discriminating between these two letters.  They’d even chant the little sayings if they were having trouble distinguishing between them.

As the years passed, I changed up the words to go with the drawings and the sayings really seem to stick!  PTL!!!  I lost a lot of my original files when I moved, so I recreated this one since I can’t find my hand drawn originals anywhere.  It was time for a fresh look anyway!

click on the pictures to download



We’ve been working on the letter Bb for the last couple of days and it’s amazing to see my kids distinguish between the lowercase b & d as they start chanting the little saying when they come to one of the letters & just can’t figure out which it is.  LOVE IT!!! 

There are a TON of great visual cues out there and they’re all GREAT!!!  Whatever works, right?!  Here are a few of my favorites…

source: Make, Take, & Teach

source:  Come Together Kids

source:  Child First Pulications

source:  Spinner’s End Primary School

source: Making Learning Fun

How do you like to teach the kids to distinguish between the lowercase b & d??


  1. This is so great! I LOVE your "bad, bad boy" and "doggone good" posters! I've never heard it put that way. We always use "put your b's and d's to bed, but I love having all of the different options. Nicely done!

    -Shae :)


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  2. I always teach "bed" and I LOVE when I see a student make the hand signal while they are writing to check first! I have also had the kids sing "abcd" and when they get to the b they raise their left hand (with thumb up, shaped as a b) and when they get to d they raise their right hand (shaped as d). Some of them will sing their little jingle to help them remember!

    Thanks for the cute visuals :)

    T.G.I.F. (Thank God it's First Grade!)

  3. I LOVE these. I had never heard of the "bed" idea but a student just shared it with me a few days ago, it was awesome. I always do "bat and ball, bat and ball, b, b, b" and "doorknob, doorknob, d, d, d" (since you have to open the door knob to open the door). Thanks for the cute signs.

    Tangled with Teaching

  4. I love this. It is PERFECT for my ELL kids who always struggle with this.

    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  5. I tell them "b has a belly" and "d has a derriere (dairy air)."

    Keep Calm and Apple On

  6. I teach them bat/bat and doughnut/stick. We just started working hard on this last week. Thanks for the great additional ideas!

  7. I love these! Thank you so much. This is so hard to do sometimes, and I have students in the upper grades who still make this same mistake. My son is the same way!

    Reading Toward the Stars!

  8. I was taught that the little b turns into a bunny as a capital b with ears and feet. I have shown that to a few of my kiddos and it has seemed to stick with them. I have even seen them drawing it as a reminder!

  9. Great job! I love this!!!


  10. So cute Cara! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you are in KG now!!!!

  11. Really cute, thanks for sharing so many little tricks for remembering the differences between a b and a d.

    I would remind my students that "bottom" starts with b and your "bottom" is in back of you.

    For some reason (: they never seemed to forget this!


    Granny Goes to School

  12. LOOOOOVE the BeD thing. It's a great visual for kids to see while they're writing. I'm using this with my daughter who is having a difficult time with them. Thank you!!

  13. Thanks, this is great! Do you mind my asking where you got the cute frames that you use?

  14. When I taught 2nd grade in GA, most all of my students were GA bulldog fans. I would have them make the "okay" symbol with both hands, except instead of spreading apart the three fingers that are standing up, they would push them together so that the left hand made a "b" and the right hand made a "d." Then, we would think about which direction we read words...left to right. Starting on the left hand we would say B-B-BULL (while shaking the b hand) and moving to the right hand we would say D-D-DOG (while shaking the d hand)! BULLDOG! Not sure if that makes sense to anyone, but it always worked for them and I never had to use a poster. Of course, it was second grade so the reversals weren't as prevalent as they are in lower grades.

  15. These are such great resources. Thank you for creating them & sharing!!!

  16. This post is awesome! My students are having a terrible time with b & d resources & this will be so helpful! Thanks a bunch!
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  17. Thank you Cara! I can't wait to put these up in my classroom. I have tried a lot of different ways to teach b and d but this is my favorite so far! I think the kids will love it. :)

  18. Thanks Cara!! This resources is amazing!! I just laminated it and it is ready for my classroom. One other way I have used is to touch your pointer finger and thumb on both hands and point the other fingers straight in the air as you hold them up to your eyes like glasses! It is called the BD checker!! It is fun to do!!

    My Whole Brain Teaching Blog

    A Grade One Nut and Her Squirrely Crew

  19. baby diapers is what I've heard. They seem to remember it because it is silly. I have a picture of a students fingers making a b and a d with their fingers and then a picture of a baby diaper. They giggle all the time about it!

  20. Hi Cara!

    I love all of your ideas. I found this AWESOME video a little while ago that covers the b d confusion. Maybe your little ones will like it too :)


    Adventures in Kindergarten

  21. I love the "b sees d" I showed my kiddos the bed with the fingers last year but WHEW....we had MAJOR issues with it! :) I will be using this for sure! Thanks for the freebie!

    Kindergarten Korner

  22. Sooo funny you would post this now! I have had everyone of my 1st graders ask that same question! Love your ideas!
    I have always had my kiddos 'put on' their b and d glasses. They make a circle with their thumb and first finger and keep the other 3 fingers straight. They then put both circles up to their eyes to 'look through'. When they take their 'glasses' off and put them on the table we remind them that the 'b' comes first (on the left) and the 'd' comes next (on the right). Thanks again!

  23. I LOVE "b looks at d" - we're using that now and I used that idea to say "p looks at q," which is hard too. Thanks for the great ideas!

  24. Thank-you! These visuals are awesome!

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  26. When I taught kindergarten I used DeeDee Wills' "baby diapers." She has a free printable on her blog. My kiddos thought it was hysterical but really seemed to remember. Thanks for all the great ideas :)

    Mrs. Goff's Pre-K Tales

  27. We use the belly and derriere like AlyseC pointed out. The kids think it's funny and they learn a cool new word. The "bad, bad boy" seems mean to me.

  28. Thanks for all the great ideas! I am going to try the b sees d idea this week and hopefully it will catch on! Jeanne First Grade is Wonderful

  29. What a great post. . .I just pinned you. Thanks for the freebie.

    ✰ Stacy

    Simpson Superstars

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  31. This is a totally random question, but this is the second year I've been using your apple KWL chart and I love it. What is that font you used with the little leaves? I must have it! :)

  32. I was just going crazy over this! Thanks for all the goodies.

  33. I've always used "baby diapers". My kiddos always giggle when I tell them to check their baby diapers... we wouldn't say diaper babies! LOL!

  34. Hi there! I have a similar idea but it is a bit different and haven't seen anyone say this yet. I have them draw the line down first ....
    for example : the straight line down, l, is a person

    then they must decide if it's a b, it needs to have a "belly" ... b haha see his big ol belly?
    but if it's a d, the person wears a diaper... d

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  36. Fantastic ideas! Just what I was looking for, as we are still getting a lot of b and d reversals. :) Thx xx

  37. i tell my preprimary kids that it is a 'big deal' to know the difference. they hold their hands as above with bed and say big deal. is it a b that sounds like big and looks like the left hand or is it a d that sounds like deal and looks like the right hand?

  38. Wonderful idea to solve the b and d problem!!😊

  39. Wonderful idea to solve the b and d problem!!😊