Sign Language? Why?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by TeacherSandra, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Aug 25, 2007

    Hello,
    I never thought about using sign language while introducing alphabet letters; I LOVE the idea...but, please excuse my ignorance...besides learning "to sign" the alphabet; what would be the advantage? Again, Please excuse my ignorance...:eek:

    Later during the year, we talk about the 5 senses and read books about Helen Keller (sense of sight & hearing); so I know my students will already know about sign language; so please TELL my why I would want to teach them (and myself) sign language.
    Remember; I LOVE the idea. Our first letter (Ii) is this week.

    Thank you!
     
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  3. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Aug 25, 2007

    Personally, I think that just learning to sign the alphabet is a great advantage in itself! In addition to that, I think that if you are teaching the children sign language you should be explaining sign language to them- teaching them a little bit about deaf people and how they communicate is just one more way of teaching tolerance and exposing your children to people that may be different from themselves, just like any multicultural lesson would do.

    As far as the alphabet goes, I just think it is another fun way to have the students learn and remember their letters. At this age want them to have fun while they learn as much as possible, and any quick thing that I can add into my day to do that is good for me!
     
  4. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Aug 25, 2007

    Thank you, TeacherGrl!
    I just showed my husband how to sign "Ii"; I'll be teaching my students how to sign "Ii" on Monday!
    :)

    oh...I'm sure there are alphabet cards sign cards out there, right?
    That would look awesome and impressive; their parents will be so proud of their little ones.
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    For sign language letters, I use that more for spelling time though young kiddos can use it to help make it more concrete. You have to be patient with their young hands though. They won't always be able to sign all signs/letters perfect. That's called "baby sign".

    As for knowing some sign language and why it would be beneficial.....

    For young children, many times the ones that struggle communicating benefit quite a bit from learning some sign words. Being able to communicate their ideas to you lessens their frustration and often their behavior. You have to be totally on board with it though for it to work and use it consistently.

    It can also be your "hook" and something fun to draw them in. Kids love sign language. With additional words, you can even use it to reach down to their level, use a "quiet" tone and calm them down.

    Learning 2 languages also has other positive uses. It activates a different part of the brain that has to do with attention shifting. That research probably doesn't apply until the person has a decent command of both languages. I don't know enough to say much more.

    In the long run, it is only beneficial if you are on board with it and interested in it yourself.
     
  6. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    I don't know if there is an Island School and Art Supply by you, but if there is, there are a few great resources there for you. I just bought a book that has letter and word cards to print for the kids- I plan on sending a copy home with the parents in my open house folders so they see what we will be doing and can perhaps reinforce it at home. You can also definitely find alphabet sign cards and posters at teacher supply stores too.

    And, if you have Dollar Tree by you, that's where I just bought my sign posters! They even have the long ones that go above the chalkboard, although I passed on that.
     
  7. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Yes! I am very interested! :)
    In fact, I just found a great website and printed out their cards (4 per page; with Yy and Zz on another; I love that it shows both lower and upper case. If anyone is interested; here is the link:http://www.apples4theteacher.com/asl/flashcards/index.html
     
  8. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    :hijack: CutNGlue, could you explain to me how to sign what the kids would use to ask to go to the water fountain? I don't know if it is referred to as "drink" or "water" or something else. I saw that "drink" looks like pretending to actually take a drink from a glass, and I saw that "water" looks like signing the letter "w" while tapping the chin. Which is the most appropriate?
     
  9. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    I'm gonna have to run by there and check it out!
    Thank you fellow teachers!! :love:
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    A resourceful website for you, if you are adding additional words is www.lifeprint.com. It is American Sign Language (not signed English). It shows a picture of how to do it step by step instead of one picture with some arrows and stuff that you are supposed to figure out. For kids, at this age, "Signing Times" videos are great. You may not be able to show videos. Plus they do cost money. They used to be on cable. They just went off air in my area within the last 6 mo. I haven't looked at their website in a while. They may have some computer stuff for kids to do if you have a computer center. Blues Clues does it sometimes too. Dawn Press has sign language coloring pages (though you may not want to invest but they are cute and good..up to you). Teacher stores tend to have something. Hint: If a book has "and, the, by" in their index as words that have signs, that is a Signed English book and not used by the general Deaf community.

    You can learn one of your songs. Maybe days of the week song. It will get them up and moving and memorizing.
     
  11. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 25, 2007

    This is silly... but I learned some in high school because one of the ladies at my church interprets one of our services. So some of my friends and I learned (from her) enough to sign a couple of songs in our choir show. It was helpful on choir tour when we all got laryngitis from talking too much because we could still "talk." Also one of my friends and I used to sign "i'm bored" across the aisle from each other in our Poli Sci class... because it was the most boring class EVER and it was last period and all we wanted to do was go home.(And plus we could sign "he's cute" to each other and not embarrass ourselves by talking about someone where they could actually hear us ;))

    So, for yourself, it's a nice alternative way to communicate.

    Our infant and toddler room use baby signs with the kids. Sign isn't part of our curriculum, but I think i'm going to add that in to our weekly letter anyway. I think they'll LOVe it ;)
     
  12. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    I would love to do add that as well.
     
  13. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Aug 26, 2007

    I do color words in sign, days of the week, basic commands. When I had 6th-8th grade SPE one time, we just discussed it one day and I showed them the sign for bathroom, wait, and such. During my observation, one boy signed to go to the bathroom, I signed back wait and the principal didn't even know the conversation took place... LOL
     
  14. KRaeLamb

    KRaeLamb Rookie

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    I know this doesn't happen often, but it did to me! I am at the high school, coming from the elementary school. I know have a deaf child in my room. Yes, he has an interpreter, but I like communicating with him myself (he likes it too). The kids all know SL...it's great. I love watching them "talk" to eachother. Actually, this kid is pretty popular. EVERYONE CAN TALK WITH HIM!!! So, even though our deaf and hard of hearing population is small, children can benefit from knowing another language!
     
  15. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    We do a lot of shows at my school. One year, we signed and sang, "You are my sunshine." I'm not sure if it was perfect; I've only had 1 semester of ASL. But the kids had fun!!! To get a drink of water, I would teach the kids the sign for water. A lot of ASL is facial expressions and body language, so signing "water please" with a tilted (questioning) head could mean, "Can I have some water please?"

    I teach sign to my kids every year. When my son was little, we would communicate in sign. He just seemed to follow the directions better. And when our class is on trips, I never have to yell. Just a look and the sign,"sit down" or "stop" does just fine.

    As a matter of fact, the first thing of the first day of school is sign language. You know, you always have to start of the year a little harsh so the kids don't try to roll over on you. I teach them the signs for sit down, stand up, and stop. Then we play a little sign language simon says, with no talking.
     
  16. funkychickenchi

    funkychickenchi Rookie

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  17. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Scarlet, what are the signs for sit down, stand up and stop??
     
  18. childcare teach

    childcare teach Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2007

    we teach sigh languge to our chidlren . the parents love it. when our five year old left to go to k the school was very happy that the child knew hove to sigh . they said that there are alot of chidlren in the school who are deaf or have trouble talking and by the child knowing hpw to sign they can talk to the other chidlren and help then. it also counts as a 2nd langauge in school. my class loves to learn new signs.
     
  19. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I had a friend in elementary school who taught me the letters in sign language. You wouldn't believe how handy it has come when dealing with people who sign/are deaf. Multiple times I have been able to communicate by using them.
     
  20. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    well; I am happy to report that my students are learning to sign the letter "Ii" - our first letter (phonetically, we learn the vowels first). They look so adorable trying to get their thumb in front of their chubby little fist and get that pinky sticking out. :love: :) I'm glad I decided to do this...we're all going to learn how to sign.

    THank you for all your great advice, everyone! :hugs:
     

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