“Make your bed!”
You probably heard this often growing up, and may have yelled it in exasperation a few times as well. At Little House, it is quite common to hear a tutor say this to a student, but it has little to do with actually making a bed.
Many students have trouble connecting the sounds to the letters of “b” and “d”, and often get them mixed up. The phrase “make your bed” is a useful tool that tutors at Little House use to help them.
We start with a picture of the word “bed”, in which the word actually looks like a bed.
The first way we help our students remember the sounds of “b” and “d” is with this picture. The word wouldn’t look like a bed if the “d” and the “b” swapped places.
Of course, students don’t always have this picture to look at when reading and writing, so we have to teach them another trick.
Putting our hands on the picture, palms down, we turn our wrists and pull in our fingers so that both hands are making a “thumbs up” over the “b” and “d” in the picture. The movement we make is like pulling the covers of a bed up, and we call this “making our bed”. Then we help our students mimic the action.
Once students have learned this trick, “b”s and “d”s are a breeze. Whenever they get confused over “b”s and “d”s, their tutor just has to say “make your bed”, and they figure it out right away. After a while, students begin to “make their bed” without having to be asked.