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When to worry about a child inverting their numbers.

(14 Posts)
Artichook Sat 16-Mar-13 07:48:56

My eldest is in Y2 but an August born so still 6. She regularly writes her numbers backwards and in addition she sometimes inverts number order (so one hundred and thirty could be written 103).

Other than this her maths is strong, she is top table in her class and has 100% scores on all her maths tests. The teacher is however worried that the SATs scores don't reflect her understanding as they will have to mark her wrong if she inverts number order (her teacher asks her to write in words next to each future so she knows what was meant). They may also penalise her for writing individual figures the wrong way round.

Is this a common problem at 6 or could it be a sign of some kind if dyslexia despite her strong performance at maths?

Any advice gratefully received.

cece Sat 16-Mar-13 07:57:26

Sounds exactly like my DS1 was in Y2. He's Y4 now and he seems to have stopped doing it. However, he also used to do it with his letters too.

Fridayschild Sat 16-Mar-13 07:59:11

Ds stopped doing this during year 3. The school weren't worried which helped me. His birthday is before Christmas so at the start of the school year.

Bonsoir Sat 16-Mar-13 07:59:34

It is unlikely to be anything to worry about (it is quite normal to reverse numbers and letters etc when learning to read) but you ought to give her some extra practice as it is practice that resolves the issue.

Artichook Sat 16-Mar-13 08:00:29

Cece - did he invert order as well as writing figures backwards? The teacher is most worried about her inverting order within larger numbers (the 103 for one hundred and thirty issue).

cece Sat 16-Mar-13 08:32:31

I'm not sure if he did that, although he would sometimes do mirror writing. Has she tried using different coloured screens - sometimes it can be a visual problem.

mrz Sat 16-Mar-13 09:37:36

I wouldn't "worry2 but I would correct it right from the start ...the longer it continues the harder it is to change

auntevil Sat 16-Mar-13 10:30:11

Just as an aside to this, as no real advice, DS2 used to invert numbers. We went to Kumon with him (his choice as DS1 went ) and every time he inverted the answer it was marked wrong.
DS2 was so frustrated as in essence he had got the answer right. It was amazing how in a short period of time he rarely made an error in inverting. With him though, I think it was a matter of rushing, with the answer being more important than its presentation.

Artichook Sat 16-Mar-13 20:10:14

Thanks everyone. I do ask her to practice her numbers a few times a week.

I would be reluctant to go down the route of marking her wrong each time her numbers are inverted, I am fearful of knocking her confidence, I never believed I was good at maths and I basically gave up on myself very young. I do think that is a big risk especially with girls and I want DD1 to understand she is good at solving problems and just needs to concentrate on how she writes the answers.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Sat 16-Mar-13 20:13:36

Some consolidation if her understanding of place value should help (ie the digit '3' in 130 represents 30 (3 tens) and in 103 represents 3 (3 ones). There's probably some nice activities online.

sleepingbunny Sun 17-Mar-13 20:08:19

My dd does this. However, in terms of number order what has really helped is the free KS1 bitesize maths games(bbc). There is one where you have to balance animals on a scale and this has taught her tens/units - and starting to teach her hundreds and fractions. Because she has to find the correct number of each to make it balance it has sort of clicked in her head. Worth a look?

INeverSaidThat Sun 17-Mar-13 20:15:12

My DS did this for ages and is a maths whizz and is off (hopefully) to study a mathsy subject at Uni next September. He grew out of it obviously.
We didnot do anything about it but the school were not that concerned. I suppose we would have done if they had been concerned. He does still make 'silly' mistakes though. I guess it depends on how often they do it. My DS would still do it at eight or nine. He would also write his numbers backwards.
Luckily he is a big reader and is good at English which may have helped.
I would follow the teachers advice.
Good luck.

mrsbaffled Mon 18-Mar-13 09:16:03

As said above I would teach some basic place value stuff. Even reception children can grasp 13 is one ten and 3 units. Hundreds is a simple extension.

Trufflette Mon 18-Mar-13 21:29:16

My DD still does it and she's 8 and in year 3. Although the school have said she really shouldn't still be doing it, they are not worried as she develops strategies to deal with it. All it needs is a bit more attention and picking up on every time she does it. It should right itself eventually. Other than that her maths is good.

I shouldn't worry about the SATs at this stage. From my experience they were pretty meaningless in terms of the individual children, and if she is not marked up in terms of progress because of number inversions, she will make it up as soon as she starts doing them correctly.

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