Tuesday, October 30, 2012

L is for LEARN, 5 Quick Ways to LEARN sign language

L is for LEARN

5 Quick Ways to LEARN Sign Language:

  • Reading and signing: Signing while you are reading helps with attention and understanding of vocabulary. 

  • Signing and singing: Signing with singing makes singing just that much more fun.
  • DVDs 
    • (though, to clarify: I never suggest placing your child in front of the television and not interacting with them directly. I also suggest watch the DVD with them - trust me, you'll LEARN tons too!)
    • Little Fingers has taught herself so many signs through her Baby Signing Time DVDs, I'm amazed everytime. She can sing with the songs on the DVDs and the best part is she uses them appropriately outside of DVD watching time!

  • Have fun
  • Let it be natural. When you change her diaper, make a silly diaper song or find one from Sign2Me(r) or Signing Time(r) and sing/sign it every time its diaper time. Every tub time, create a jingle that you can sign about getting a bath. If your children are too old for diaper changes and tub time, make it a car game or dinner table trivia. Be creative!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

preparing for Hurricane Sandy ... sign: WIND & RAIN

So here in southern New Jersey everyone's buckling down to get ready for Hurricane Sandy ... she's looking pretty fierce and ready for action so we've moved car, put all outdoor stuff indoors ... my family at the shore points is preparing to lose electric for days and potential flooding ...  Irene last year supposedly has nothing on Sandy! 

What's it like where you are?

Today's sign - very appropriately - WIND & RAIN
We're going to get tons of WIND ... and RAIN

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Scramble!

Halloween continues! 
I have elementary students on my caseload I plan to use this with - how about you? Halloween word scramble! I made it for you with the words and without the words (sort of like cheat sheet or no cheat sheet!)

You can also download it from here and here. If it still doesn't work, email us and we'll email it to you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

HALLOWEEN Signs: 5 Helpful HALLOWEEN signs

Check out our new video on YouTube! We signed 5 signs you can use this HALLOWEEN! (click here if you haven't already!)


If you cannot see this video, we hope the YouTube video works for you. Any and all comments or questions are welcomed and only help us better serve our family, friends, and fans. Thanks and Happy Signing!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Song: The More We Sign Together

So I learned some real lessons creating my first video with signing. It's fun but very embarrassing ... singing with little children is much different than to a video! So I'm investigating new ways to do these songs. I already have another one ready for you. 

What other songs are you looking for? I'm putting together some holiday ones now too! If you are a teacher and have a great holiday poem or finger play, let us know!

Click here for "The More We Sign Together"!

As I said before, I sign daily now at work with my students .. so I thought I would also add some common phrases soon :). YouTube's going to open some new great doors to helping everyone learn ASL!

As always, Happy Signing!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I is for IMPORTANT - IMPORTANT to remember the ASL Dictionary app giveaway!


IMPORTANT for it's IMPORTANT to not forget our great app review/giveaway finishing tonight!
Click here!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Letter of the Week: I

Letter of the Week: I

Guess what's coming this week? IMPORTANT! - IMPORTANT as in my app review and giveaway! Go check it out! HERE
Who wouldn't want a free ASL Dictionary app!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

ASL Dictionary App Review & Giveaway!

I work with so many students this year that I sign with daily. I am always seeking new resources for myself, the educational staff members working with the students, the students themselves, and even their parents. I always look for reliable dictionaries because my biggest pet peeve is entering a classroom seeing outdated or inaccurate resources that the students and/or teacher are relying on!

I found this app a while back and I love it! I now have it to share with you.
This app is for both the iPhone ($3.99) and iPad ($6.99)
The features on the iPhone app make it well worth it! This has become more than just an useful dictionary! Besides for the 5,200 + words, it's has ...
  • common phrases & 450 + idioms
  • the alphabet
  • numbers
  • dates, months, & years
  • money
Now the iPad app does have more features, such as creating favorite lists (this could be great for those words you use often, perhaps forget often, or the week's vocabulary list ... there's tons of things you could do with this feature!), but the biggest difference to me is the ability to use the app without Wifi or 3G internet around. I'm not always able to get on the Wifi at the several schools that I travel to so this is a burden for me when on my phone using the app. 

A feature that I love is the developers' understanding and acknowledgement of multiple meaning words (e.g. LIKE). When you see the options for 'like,' you will see "Like (pleasing)" and "Like (similar)". There's so many times I have to teach that ASL does not have a word-to-word correlation with English and therefore the meaning of the sign is more important than the orthographic symbol (a.k.a the written word).

When you click the word, it reminds you which 'like' you are watching the sign production for (pleasing vs. similar). The ASL videos have great features such as the 'loop' to play again and again, 'replay' and 'slow'.

Appsavers.com and Software Studios, LLC have some other great app options for you too such as ...

  • ASL Baby Signs

  • ASL Emergency Signs

Ok folks, here's the best part, I  get to give FIVE iPhone ASL Dictionary apps away free to you! (They work on iPad too)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 5, 2012

sign HOW - My great ideas of HOW to use sign language in speech-language therapy! Check it out!

I'm pulling up an old post I wrote in May that I wrote for Talk It Up Therapy about HOW (H - the letter of the week ;)!. ) I use ASL in school. Make sure you read the whole thing for some great games I created to use to learn sign language

Before I didn't have elementary or middle school kids on my case load in speech-language therapy. I know how students of a-l-l ages that I can play different games and believe it or not my high schoolers remembered my signing games the beginning of this year and asked if we were going to play them again! Wha!?  

Last spring, I started an agreement with a few high school speech groups that if they got done what we needed to accomplish, then I would give them a quick mini-sign language lesson at the end of their session. This idea went over great! The girls in different groups thought it was ‘hot’ (their words – not mine) and so it began! But first – we started with a figurative language lesson because how could I pass up the opportunities to talk about ‘hot’ as in anything but the actual temperature ‘hot’! As that moment passed and I got my lesson accomplished, we moved onto a quick lesson in sign language! Ta-da – success! I signed SEE YOU LATER and away they went. And let me tell you – they remembered the next week!

So .. HOW do I use sign language with elementary and middle school students in therapy? There’s a few games that could work on your goals and incorporate sign language. 

1.     SignBurst!
a.     Players required: 2 +
b.     Items needed: a timer, a pile of cards that are your target words for the session (and perhaps a couple previous sessions), and available hands! On each card with the target word should be additional related words (either synonyms, antonyms, associations, etc.)
c.      Rules: One student will sign the word and the other students are required to come up with the synonym (or antonym if that is what you are working on) for the word. So for example, the word on the card is ‘happy’. Other words on the card are ‘glad,’ ‘excited,’ ‘cheerful,’ ‘blissful,’ ‘joyful,’ etc.  The one student would sign HAPPY and the other students would have to beat the timer with as many words as they can think of for ‘happy’. **If the students don’t remember the sign given (e.g. HAPPY) then fingerspelling is permitted – not speech! H-A-P-P-Y.
2.     Deaf-ine it!
a.     Players required: 4 + (two groups of two minimum)
b.     Items needed: target words written out on index cards or from a worksheet
c.      Rules: With the timer started, one person reads the definition of the word to his/her partner(s). The partner(s) is required to sign the correct response. The team member reading the definitions continue to read more definitions until the timer goes off. For example: definition: “it’s round and tells times.” Other partner must sign CLOCK; and continue to the next definition. Points will be given for each correct response. The other team follows the same directions. At the end of each round, the team with the most points wins that match.
3.     Sign What? (the play on words – “Say What?”)
a.     Players required: however many other students during that therapy session
b.     Items needed: a story or article
c.      Rules: You (the clinician) read the story and emphasize the important parts in sign. The students need to know what the signs are prior to the story being read.  After the story is complete, you ask the appropriate comprehension questions. The person who remembers the correct answers gets a point. If he/she remembers the sign too, they get an additional point.

These are just a few ideas. In my therapies, I find it’s critical to rehearse word-finding skills. I find that almost everything I do has some word retrieval practice in there somewhere. Using sign language (limb gross and fine motor skills) can help jug the memory of the word(s) the student is trying to think of. Using sign language paired with the spoken word works different areas of the brain with the whole – here it comes big words – visuospatial memory! A student’s sure to remember a definition to a new word or concepts heard in a story when signs are attached to it.  The use of sign language allows for a fun new interactive way to teach the same ol’ goals.  I am able to get across my semantic language, following directions, auditory processing/comprehension, and pragmatic goals using the three goals discussed above.  Sign language comes across as a ‘hot’ way to learn the concepts they prefer not to rehearse.  Success in my book! Sign on!

Don't forget to check out our store - we have a great game See It and Sign It (click here). We're going to have a awesome product review on it soon! 

sign: SCHOOL

sign: HOW (the dominant hand is the one with the wrist twists)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

HALLOWEEN (a great H word this week!)

Thought it was very appropriate for this week's letter of the week! H is for HALLOWEEN!

  sign: HALLOWEEN: it's likes H's covering the eyes, then not covering the eyes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Double H! HAUNTED HOUSE! I'm not a HAUNTED HOUSE fan but I just had a student telling me about the HAUNTED HOUSE at Katzenbach (New Jersey School for the Deaf) so I thought it was very appropriate :)
 HAUNTED (a more scared face is needed)

 HOUSE (this is the first part of house)

 HOUSE (part two - you literally draw a house in the air)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Letter of the Week H - and it's for HAPPY!

This week's letter is H. 

I'm so HAPPY to have such loyal fans as you guys. I've been so busy and I'm so sorry about that.

But this week we'll have the sign HALLOWEEN! and I think each week we'll throw in a few related HALLOWEEN signs - they might not match the ABC letter of the week but I think you will definitely enjoy them :)

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