Tag Archive: Classroom


ASL is changing!!!

American Sign Language is a live language, it is ever-changing. Everyday there is a new sign, an alternate sign or a sign that is no longer used. The great thing is there are several resources that can be used as guidance to keeping up with the changes ASL is undergoing.

Some great resources (if you find the correct site)

Facebook

ASL THAT!

Discusses the ASL expressions of 4 things: 1) Current trends (popular topics, words, or phrases in the news), 2) Variations of signs (national, regional, local, cultural, style, international, etc.), 3) Interpretations of English words, phrases, quotes, idioms, and 4) New and innovative signs (both widely accepted and suggested). We will explain our expressions and perspectives. Bottom line, we share our ASL knowledge and respect each other’s signing preferences.

I Teach ASL

A support forum for instructors of ASL, Interpreting, and other Deaf- and ASL-related fields and courses.

ASL-Connect-IE

Welcome to ASL-Connect-I.E. We are a social group of Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, CODA, Interpreters and fluent signers who get together to sign American Sign Language in the Inland Empire Southern California . Join us at our next event!

Deaf Night Out

Our goal is to provide you with good times, good folks, and good cheer in good places. To do that we organize Deaf Night Out.

Youtube

Rob Neilson

Ewitty 

ASLized

 

ASL Apps (purchased in APP store)

ASL Word Search

ASL Lite

Spread Signs

 

Online Dictionaries

HandSpeak (one that was recently shared with me)

Commonly used by students:

ASL Pro

Signing Savvy

ASL University

 

If you are familiar with any other resources please leave a note.

 

 

imagesCA8QPK11During this week, a local reporter and photographer interviewed myself and some of my students for  a story for the Redlands Daily Facts newspaper. It was such a great opportunity and experience for me and the students. We were able to share about the wonderful events and learning experiences we are involved in and the difference we are seeking to make in ourselves, school campus and the hearing and deaf communities. We landed a space on the front cover of the newspaper and on the 3rd page of another newspaper titled The Sun.

So often it seems that the positive in the world goes unheard or is ignored to pay attention to the negative going on in the world. This articles highlights some of the positive that happens daily in my classroom and how students apply what they learn in outside of class.

On a personal note, I felt good to be able to share my passion for deaf culture and American Sign Language and how the topic I teach has made a difference to some students that are connected with the class. It also gave me a bit of inspiration to hang in there because sometimes as a teacher we are at the very bottom of the totem pole for recognition and at the very top of the totem pole for blame. This article along with a select group of students reminded me of the short-term and long-term rewards of teaching. To see a students smile because they were able to sign to a deaf person, to read a report about how learning  ASL has changed their life, to hear about the college or career the student selected just because it involves Sign Language and to simply feel the passion a student shows because of how connected they are to the topic. For these experiences I am grateful to simply be an educator.

A link to the article is below, enjoy:)

Silent World Gains A Voice

What are your thoughts?

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!

question

The joys of teaching in a classroom are great however sometimes I look at my skills and wonder where did they go? As a former interpreter I had opportunities to network with other interpreters daily. I could always ask what the new sign was or a variant of one or if there was altogther a better choice to use.
Now that I am in a classroom that is more like its own world, some days I do not even leave the confines of its wall. I find that I may have to think twice before selecting and producing a sign. In addition, if I don’t network with other professionals I become reliant on various curriculum and texts.
I know that real-life experience, direct communication is best that is how native signers maintain thier skills and improve receptive and expressive skills along with other resources such as videos, workshops and other options.
So what do I do when I feel this way and don’t want to go to textbooks, websites or my routine videos???
I get out there and network, attend events, use skype or google chat to connect with deaf individuals, attend deaf organized meetings or simply go back to my roots as a reminder of how the community signs. That way I have a broader selection to offer students to include: community signs (varies depending on a lot of factors), curriculum,updated signs learned from Deaf professionals and other signs I can round up.
It can be easy to fall into the routine of classroom teacher and satisfactory skills but if you love ASL like I do you always seek wayslearn new information to improve yourself.
If you are a teacher, interpreter or fluent signer in another profession what are your thoughts how do you maintain your skills?