Occasionally, our family goes on Magna Doodle kicks, when the Magna Doodles are out, hanging around, constantly carrying messages or funny drawings. We were on one such kick last week before our trip.
- Magna Doodle Messages: We have two large Magna Doodles and three tiny ones that are perfect for long car rides or for smaller messages, but Maddy and I played with the two big guys who were lurking around the living room last week.
We had been talking about dogs–a hot topic around here–and I wrote on the Magna Doodle closest to me, ‘I wish we had a dog.’ Then I said, Psssst. Maddy, I have a message for you.
She came over and read my message then grabbed the other Magna Doodle and took it to the other couch. She cleared the screen, then wrote a return message to me. That message is pictured above.
Maddy and I communicated via ‘Magna Doodle’ for a few minutes, before we got roped into something else by Owen, Cora, or my husband–I can’t remember.
Some messages required immediate action to show that she understood what I wrote, and some messages just required a short answer in return. But all of the writing was simple, meaningful, and fun. Plus, I got a few good hugs out of it, and that’s never a bad thing.
fyi: Maddy’s doing a lot of letter-reversing, and as hard as it is for me not to yell, WOW, Great try, Honey, but all of your letters here are backwards, I bite my tongue. Instead, I’ll read what I can and say, Okay, please read this line for me. Or, Oh, I love when you write stories. This one is about a (whatever main words I can read). Would you please read the rest?
At this point, we want our little ones to write, write, write. We don’t want them to be overly conscious of forming letters so much that it interferes with getting their ideas on the paper. We don’t want them to be afraid to take chances with their writing.
From the time little ones begin writing up until about grade two, reversals in their letters is an appropriate, although sometimes frustrating, developmental stage. This behavior shouldn’t to be confused with dyslexia, which is a specific learning disability, neurological in origin.
In fact, “Writing letters and words backwards are common in the early stages of learning to read and write among average and dyslexic children alike. It is a sign that orthographic representations (i.e., letter forms and spellings of words) have not been firmly established, not that a child necessarily has a reading disability” (Adams, 1990). For more really helpful information on dyslexia, please see an article from March 2007 The Reading Teacher: Dyslexia and the Brain: What does current research tell us?