Category: Kids Can Sign


turkeyWith Thanksgiving right around the corner…that is at the end of this week. You may be looking for fun and creative activities to enjoy with the kids. There are several resources listed below that can turn up the level of excitement for the little ones Thanksgiving. Hope you find the resources helpful and ENJOY!

These websites have resources for:

ASL Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

ASL Thanksgiving Song-Barb Wifi

Sign Translation (basic)

For hearing people:Barb states that each sign is signed four times and then at the end a word is sign once. You  will see that by the …..between the first four words and the last word.

Thanksgiving(signed 4times)

Plan(signed 4 times)

Cook (signed 4 times)

Smell (signed 4times)…..good (signed once)

Invite (signed 4 times)

Children (signed 4 times)

Adults(signed 4 times)

Hello(signed 4 times)

Welcome(signed 4 times)…come in (signed once)

Share (signed 4 times)

Pie(signed 4 times)

Eat(signed 4 times)…..full (signed once)

Talk(signed 4 times)

Enjoy (signed 4 times)

Happy(signed 4 times)

Clean(signed 4 times)

Rest…(signed once)

Thanksgiving Snipets-Rob Neilson

Great video but no caption for hearing people who have not learned ASL. However, still great to watch! Can also be a great resource for those who have taken sign language to practice receptive skills.

BLOG RSOURCES

Mrs. Schenk’s JK Adventures

Thanksgiving turkey hand print-free handout

One Perfect Day

Thanksgiving Activities

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Video provided through Ohlone College Deaf Studies Division

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During a trip to Sacramento, CA I visited the Capitol building and as I walked through the hallway I noticed artwork by students ranging from elementary to high school. One artwork category I noticed is “The Best Part of Me”. Students shared how they thought their hair, eyes or smile was the best part of them however; one student in particular said his ear was the best part of him because it allowed him to hear. Sometimes I think our world focuses so much on deaf vs.hearing, culturally deaf vs. medically deaf, signing vs. oral but the important thing is being proud of who you are. This artwork posting reminded me of what is important..just being yourself.

I am happy this little guy is proud of his hearing and his hearing aid. If he ever read this I would say kudos for sharing this with everyone and being proud of yourself and know that you are wonderfully made!

asl activitiesAmerican Sign Language is such a beautiful and fun language to learn but sometimes the routine of  teaching students about  grammar and phrases specific to the deaf community can be a bit dry. In classrooms we tend to follow routines so much we fall into a cycle and forget learning should be creative,interactive and fun (not always) but as much as possible. To do this, it is important to think outside of the box when teaching new information. So, I would like to share some of the games and ideas I use in the classroom. Also, the book in the picture is a great resource to use with a signing group or in a class. It has a little bit of everything that can be used to teach new topics, review topics, focus on fingerspelling, or numbers. When you have time check it out.

1. Sign Bingo: You can do this several ways: print out a bingo handout or make one or have students fold their papers into fours where it will give them four in a row or four down or four across. Then have students write in the current vocabulary you are learning without a free space or you can use one if you like but I like for students to review as many signs as you can. The teacher can sign the words to the students but I prefer to have students sign the words to get involved. Once a student has four in a row they must hit their desk and fingerspell BINGO to win! For winners I usually have a test pass as a reward that they can use to receive full points for a test and not have to take the test at all. Students are crazy-for that!

This is another game that students give great feedback on.

2. I create flashcards using current and previous vocabulary words. Afterwards, students forms teams of five to six. Next, they line up in rows in front of the teacher. I show each student a flash card and they have 30 seconds or less depending on how good they are signing the vocabulary word to win a point for their team. The student at the beginning of the line tries first when finished they move to the end of the line and the next person moves forward for their turn, the students moves in a cycle. If they answer incorrectly they do not receive a point for the team.  I do not allow them to ask for lifelines(help) but this game can be altered to play in any manner, if you do please share your new ideas with me:) The game makes a great review activity.

I play several games in my classroom and am always looking for new ones. One of my greatest sources are games for ESL learners. This selection of games, practice conversations and learning activities/handouts lend themselves well to ASL learning. Try it and let me know how it works out.

If you are interested in additional activities please leave a message.

Until then play, sign and be merry!

Peace Corps Director Ronald Tschetter observes...

Peace Corps Director Ronald Tschetter observes deaf students on his visit to Kenya. The students are using role playing exercises, educational videos, and other visual aids that Peace Corps Volunteers have developed, including Kenya’s first uniform sign language poster, the “Easy to Learn Sign Language Poster.” Peace Corps Press Release. “Peace Corps Director Visits Kenya and Unique Deaf Education Program .” June 26, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Academics in Deaf education have always been a highly discussed topic. The concern is rather residential schools (schools for the Deaf) truly prepare deaf students at the same rate as their hearing counterpart. The other side if that coin is rather or not public (hearing) schools put effort forth in educating the deaf that attend their schools through on campus deaf and hard of hearing cohort or mainstreamed programs. If you toss in an additional coin the other concern is should the focus of deaf education be on vocational and life skills training to ensure students are functioning in a hearing society. The last side of the coin is for everything else in between.
The benefits for Schools for the Deaf is the school is tailored to meet the needs of the students as a whole; socially, personally, academically and vocational. Students are taught in their primary language which enables a better foundation for learning and increase complex concepts that may be difficult to clarify in English. Teachers are knowledgeable and specialize in Deaf education and have the best strategies on how to teach the deaf. Students are able to see Deaf adults as role models like themselves which encourages them to not limit themselves. Students live with others like themselves who have the same method of communication and similar struggles, they can communicate to support each other through the challenges they face. Schools for the Deaf are great for helping a child identify with their “deafhood” and be proud to be Deaf with a Capitol “D”. The drawbacks of a school like this is it can be sheltering because students live in the deaf world on an ongoing basis. It can be biased in the methods and content taught. Some educators outside the deaf community think students are not being prepared for the real world or college academics because of the lack of information students receive.
The benefits of students attending a mainstreamed program in a hearing public school is they are learning the same content their hearing counterparts are learning. They have access to resources to support their learning such as an interpreter or a note taker. Most importantly to some is that they are learning to function in a hearing environment and are not sheltered in a small world that can help them to exist in a larger world. I have met parents who say they solely chose mainstream programs because they want their children to learn to function in a hearing world. The disability-the lack of hearing will inhibit them from getting jobs and pursuing higher academics if they don’t learn how to communicate with hearing individuals and they feel mainstreamed programs support that. The drawbacks of a mainstreamed program is if the program is not well established with knowledgable teachers, interpreters and administrators deaf students may fall through the cracks if they dn not have advocates putting place best practices and programs for them. Also, regular administrators, teachers and support staff have no idea of how best to help the student besides general concepts like an Assistive Listening device or sitting the student in front of the class room.
There are pros and cons to both environments but what it comes down to is, which is the best environment for the student with the family desires taking a back seat. Which environment will the student be inspired, educated and grow in? This is what a parent should be looking for. Education is a partnership between the parent and the school. In addition, parents should support the student inside school by learning information to advocate on behalf of their child and outside of school by learning sign language to communicate with their child. I believe it is best to have  a combination of both academic and vocational education in any setting students attend. Both of these components will help to build a healthy and succesful student who will become a healthy and successful adult.

Toddlers signing in-car is amazing and sooo heart warming. These two boys are signing their little hearts out! It’s funny because these toddlers can sign better than some of the high school students sitting in my class everyday (I do have some great high school signers)! Sign Language is a beautiful and expressive language and these toddlers clearly demonstrate it and remind us signers as to why we love ASL so much!

Exposure and information can be the key to feeling  more comfortable and accepting to what you as hearing parents and your deaf child may experience. This is a great video sharing perspectives of hearing parents that have deaf children. The video was created two years ago by University of Northridge. This university has a degree program dedicated to Deaf Studies/Education and has a large deaf population attending to obtain degrees. If you are a parent of a deaf child please view the video to gain more insight to American Sign Language and Deaf culture and more so to see the world through your child’s eyes.

Kids Can Sign!

kid signKids Can Sign…..Kids Can Sign…..Kids Can Sign!!!! It’s like a chant because it is true!

I love to see little ones signing! It is astonishing at an early age when they have not formed communication (speech skills) but they can gesture (sign) word to express how they feel.

I am a child of deaf adults and I learned to sign at an early age. I remember signing more than I talked. As a matter of fact, I learned speech from my close family members, t.v. and the radio. I always tease thank goodness the radio and t.v. shows were a lot better at that time, who only knows what I may have learned if I listened to what was on t.v. today. Anything I needed I had to sign to communicate with my parents and siblings. I did not appreciate it as much as I do now. When I gave birth to my first child her grandmother taught her the signs she knows and still remembers at eighteen years old. I am thankful to my mom for giving us a gift that has benefited us in so many ways and moreover a gift that no one can take away. When my mom passed, she stopped signing as it was difficult for her to do without thinking about her grandmother. However, when you put her in a signing environment the signs flow from her hands as if it were yesterday. This proved to me firsthand that once you teach children they retain it especially if your routinely use sign language in their daily lives.

In general it has been said that children who learn sign langauge early on have less issues when comes to frustration, temper tantrums and aggressive behaviors. It also helps increases interaction between parents, educators and children.  Children also build self-esteem by making them feel capable and proud they are able to communicate. If we can start our children off on the right foot why not?

One of the best gifts to give our children and help them start off on the right foot with academics and training for future employment is the gift of being bilingual. There are several commonly used languages in our great country English of course next is Spanish and after that is American Sign Language as other languages rise and become more common, our children need to be bilingual in one of these languages, any popular language. I cannot think of a time where being bilingual has not been a benefit to me or my oldest daughter.  Teach your children ASL from birth and start them on the path to bilingual success.

There are resources below to continue your reading about the benefits of sign language and children.

Benefits of children learning sign language

Baby Signs

The benefits of sign language for all children

Benefits of Signing with your Child

Cover of "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

Cover of Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

This excerpt is from the Dr. Seuss book “Oh the Places You’ll Go”. I love this book because it empowering and encourages world exploration. To remember that change may come, things may happen that you dislike, or you may not understand why something happens just be positive get back on your feet and try again. I think the ending to this book is great to close my blurb with.

So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.

Ok….what is this Dr.Seuss blog about you might ask?

Every year I give a children’s story assignment to my ASL students. Some of the books students choose are fabulous but the number one desired author for this assignment is Dr.Seuss. Dr. Suess is an entertaining and creative writer however; sometimes his books do not lend themselves well to conceptual ASL.  I have tried to figure out how to get students to understand the importance of visually performing a Dr.Suess book whose language can be twisty-turvy at times  and conveying  it clearly in the wonderful signed performance at their level of course.  Today, I saw Keith Wann’s Dr. Suess video in ASL it was fantastic. I am already a fan of his and the great comedy he produces so it was a joy to see this and I will show it as an example to students of how a Dr.Suess story can be performed. The book he signs is “Oh the Thinks You Can Think”. Enjoy!!!

Photograph of a female Monarch Butterfly en ( ...

Photograph of a female Monarch Butterfly en ( Danaus plexippus en ) on a hybrid Milkweed en ( Asclepias tuberosa en x Asclepias incarnata en ). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

butterfly project

Children love butterflies! During last summer I began teaching my daughter how to sign certain signs and she asked about the sign for butterfly. When I showed her it was like she was amazed at how beautiful her hands were as they formed the sign and moved outwards and upwards. At that moment I decided to make a mini-lesson about butterflies. I taught her the sign again (reinforcement), I printed a picture of butterfly and she colored it and cut it out to post in her bedroom. There after, as we went on our walk the perfect opportunity came, we saw a butterfly and she signed it and I signed it with her and it was a great opportunity to reinforce what we just learned. That is what teaching ASL to children is about. Teaching the vocabulary, supporting the vocabulary through activities and in natural environments.

Please use this activity with your children and let me know how it works:)