Wednesday, March 27, 2013

sign: EGG as in Easter EGG

bunny picture
compliments of
The past two days we've been talking about Easter signs ..
We have BUNNY, HIDE and Now EGG!

sign language Egg
It always reminds me of cracking the EGG.
We're hoping to decorate our EGGS Friday ... I'll definitely let you know how that goes (very afraid of the large mess with our just-two-year old!)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

sign: HIDE as in HIDE the Easter eggs!

Today's Easter related sign is ...

Goes perfectly with yesterday's sign BUNNY! The Easter BUNNY HIDES the eggs! ... guess what tomorrow's sign might be!?

Questions I get about our Adult Signing Classes

I thought this topic was appropriate ... 
Questions I Get About Our Adult Signing Classes 

I find it appropriate because there's no cookie-cutter way that individuals teach an informal Intro to Conversational Sign Class... It's all very different! I say that because maybe one class just focuses on the ABCs and maybe another class assumes that the ABCs are known and doesn't even address it! While lastly, another class just continues to teach categorically (e.g. colors, people, food) and forgets to incorporate it's functionality!

So .. I don't want to give our class away completely but I want to say, yes you will learn your ABCs. Why? Because handshapes have changed over time (just like the English language has changes!) and also, I'm a perfectionist and why not make sure we're all signing them correctly!?

We also learn simple conversations as if you were to meet someone new, what would you say!? (psst - I'll give you a hint!)

  • Hi, How are you?
  • I'm good. What's your name?
  • My name is Kristy. What's your name?
  • My name is Tom. Where do you live? 
Etc.! and guess what? - that's just lesson one!  Seems like a little, but if you don't feel 100% confident to doing all of that fluently then this is the class for you!

And we just grow from there. Each week we add some more questions/sentences.  Of course, there's no pressure. But we do have fun. We do apply what with learn. And most importantly we do Sign! Sign Sign and SIGN!

Can't wait to sign with you soon! (Here's the class info - - click here -- and here's the registration form! -- click here-- )

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sign: BUNNY for Easter BUNNY

Signing Simon's been busy! Check him out signing BUNNY (or RABBIT

Who had the chance of seeing the Easter BUNNY? We didn't make it yet but we're still trying to get there!

ASL for bunny

We're working on a quick coloring page you'll be able to find on TPT
(here's a preview! Want it? comment your email below or email us!)
sign language rabbit

Thursday, March 21, 2013

sign: AGAIN

Sign of the Day...
ASL for again
sign complements of Sign2Me

I chose AGAIN because it's a new concept I'm teaching my daughter. The first concept she learned was MORE; she picked that up just fine. But to make sure over generalization does not happen (meaning she doesn't use the sign too much when she could learn other great concepts) - we're moving onto AGAIN when appropriate. 

So when she wants me to swing her in circles in the living room - she signs and says AGAIN. :) When she wants more food - then clearly she signs MORE!

When do you use AGAIN versus MORE?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


ASL for happy
sign compliments of Sign2Me

Let's get the flowers blooming; I'm ready! Very cold here but we're ready for some good weather!

While we're working on new neat activities for SPRING, but in the meantime check out some activities from last year!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Guest post: Meet Shea & see her family's approach to successful early communication... ASL!

Today we have another guest blog post from Beth, Shea's mommy, from the new blog Signing with Shea. Read about young Shea's journey of learning sign language and why her parents decided to use ASL as her mode of communication. Watch their daily videos of Shea's new sign language development!

My husband and I are hearing.  Our daughter, Shea, was born deaf.  We've taken many steps to ensure communication between the three of us as a family, including learning ASL and teaching our daughter.  We are by no means fluent....we are learning as we go.  Every day is a challenge; and every day is a blessing.

Shea at the farm signing TRAIN to daddy during the ride.
One day while Shea & I were doing our weekly grocery shopping, I realized how interested everyone was in "talking" to Shea.  As soon as people find out that she's Deaf (usually because they are watching us sign), they want to know how to tell her this or how to sign that.  Shea is very outgoing and just naturally draws people to her.  I thought that this would be a great way to teach not just ourselves, but everyone at least a little sign language!  So, Signing with Shea was born.

We started out on Facebook posting a new sign daily, along with a description, for people to learn.  Basically we thought this would be helpful to our family and friends in learning to sign.  Little did we realize the wonderful response we would have from complete strangers, both hearing and Deaf.  What started out as a handful of "fans" has now grown to over 250!  Along the way, many people have shared their own stories with us, and many more have asked how we do it.  How do we keep our sanity through having a toddler who screams at the top of her lungs occasionally because she does not know what it means to be loud.  How do we make time to learn all the new signs that we need to learn?  How do we get information and how do we know if we're making the right decisions for Shea?  So, I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog, and a website.  

On our blog, we write openly and honestly about issues we've faced, emotions we've dealt with and decisions we've made.  My thinking was that even if this helps one family to know that they are not alone in raising a Deaf child to grow up and be a healthy, happy, well-adjusted member of society, then we've done a good thing.  We've learned that deafness is approached as something that "must" be fixed.....and we, personally don't feel that our daughter needs "fixing"....and we want other parents to know, too, that their child is not broken just because he/she is deaf.  So, in many ways it is also cathartic for me to be able to write about all the things we've faced and overcome in the past and all the trials and tribulations yet to come.

We created the website as a way to try to put resources together in one spot where people can go to find information, because I know that when we were first informed that Shea was Deaf, we had no idea what to do or where to go for help.  This is still in the very beginning phases - the website hasn't even been live for 2 weeks yet - but we plan on putting a video ASL dictionary on the site at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The site will serve as a "jumping off" point - as place to start - for people who wish to learn more about ASL, Deafness, Deaf Culture and more.  From the site, visitors will be able to contact us directly, link to informational websites, view ASL videos and more.  It's very important to know that, no matter what you are facing in life, someone else has walked before you, and yet more will walk sure to follow carefully and where you can tread safest for your family, and lead as best you can for those that come after you.

Many thanks to Kristy for asking me to do a guest blog.  Thanks for all your support, as well.

Thank you Beth. I look forward to reading more about Shea and your family's journey through her communication development and language growth! Go check out her blog at and her Facebook page!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"I Have Who Has" ASL FREE Game!

I created a quick cute freebie to be used in a classroom or small group.

I Have, Who Has ...

It's a great way to learn your sign language alphabet, get those fingers moving, and work on maintaining attention and eye contact!

You can play as a classroom activity or in a small group with modifications. Your choice! Either way, fun had by all!

Go get it on TeachersPayingTeachers! Don't have that? Email me or comment below! I would love to hear from you - also love to hear how you used this in the classroom, home, or therapy!

Friday, March 15, 2013

sign: GOLD (plus St. Patty's ASL packet giveaway!)

sign: GOLD
Leprechaun, pot of gold, gold, St Patty's day

Yesterday was RAINBOW (here), today's sign is the goodies at the end of the RAINBOW... pot of GOLD!

Best part - comment below to possibly win a copy of the St Patty's ASL Packet (need a preview? click here!)
ASL for gold

Thursday, March 14, 2013

sign: RAINBOW (plus St Patty's ASL Packet giveaway!)


I thought RAINBOW was appropriate for St. Patty's Day coming up :)
And what do you find at the end of the RAINBOW? (that sign tomorrow!)
Best part! ... comment below and win a chance to get your hands on a free St Patty's ASL packet (one winner today, one winner with tomorrow's sign!) (click here to see the preview)
ASL for rainbow

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Guest Post: Working with Hearing Impaired Students with AVT

Today we have a guest post from Karen Parden, MS, CCC-SLP from The Speech Umbrella about her experiences Working with Hearing Impaired students/ Training in Auditory-Verbal Therapy... (Thanks Karen!)

Working with children with hearing loss is a passion of mine. I am a speech language pathologist, but have always had an interest in audiology.  My grandmother and cousin have cholesteatoma (Cholesteatoma is a destructive and expanding growth in the middle ear and/or mastoid process.) so I do have a history of hearing loss in my family.  I have not always worked with children with hearing loss. In fact, it has only been in the last four years that I have begun this journey.  I attended a workshop provided by the Alabama Ear Institute in the spring of 2008 that sparked my interest in Auditory Verbal Therapy. After that I attended all the trainings I could get my hands on.  The philosophy behind AVT is that parents must participate in sessions with the child and provide appropriate carry-over at home, the child should have contact and communication with speaking peers, and the child will need abundant opportunities to learn and practice speech communication skills in all aspects of life (Ling 1989). During these trainings, I learned the basics of Auditory Verbal Therapy to use with my hearing impaired students. The following are the AVT techniques I use in therapy with them everyday:
  •    Create a listening environment (FM system, etc.)
  •   Use of auditory feedback mechanism for speech imitation (self correcting)
  •   Development speech, language, audition, cognition, and communication concurrently
  • Modify acoustic information to highlight a particular feature
  •  Hand cue
  • Acoustic highlighting (sounds, words, phrases)
  • Lowlighting (the vowel)
  • Move close and soften voice
  •  Use of parentheses, suprasegmentals (use at any age)
  • Work on “best hearing” side/positioning
  • Enhance listening by placing sound source near ear
  • Direct child’s attention to auditory information before showing toy/action
  • Pause time – time to process
  • Expectant look
  • Auditory-visual-auditory presentation (“Put back into hearing”)
  • Develop confidence in listening abilities
  • Assess auditory skills by integrating directions into natural routines and experiences rather than making them task oriented
  • Ensure that therapy is diagnostic
  • Work from the known to the unknown, audible to less audible
  •   Give the child a reason to listen/communicate 
Taken from Alabama Ear Institute handout “Cheat Sheet: Auditory-Verbal Techniques and Strategies

I absolutely love using AVT with my hearing impaired students. I love having the parents involved and knowing what to do at home. The progress has been phenomenal in my opinion and the statistics prove that fact. I have seen children with cochlear implants who have had consistent AVT and those who have not had consistent AVT. The differences between these groups are significant in their speech communication and auditory comprehension.  AVT must be consistent to be successful. Listening is a way of life, not a subject that is taught.  I have had one student who I could not use AVT with. He had Goldenhar Syndrome and was born with no auditory nerves. We used total communication with him. I do use AVT with all of my hearing impaired students who have cochlear implants or hearing aids. 
Picture compliments of BoysTown

Thank you Karen for this great blog post. Go show Karen some love! She's actually having a great St Patty's giveaway right now on her site ! Go check it out here! THANK YOU Karen! Anyone else work with individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing? Let us know!
ASL for thank you
picture compliments of Label&Learn

Don't forget to check out last week's Guest Blog Post from Katie at PlayingWithWords365 here! Check out her perspective on her family's success using sign language!

Monday, March 11, 2013

sign: SHOES & PANTS - success!

My daughter is loving the fact that she can put on her own SHOES now and is getting really close to putting her PANTS on herself too! Coat and Hat already a success ... soon potty training! Yah!
ASL for pants
compliments of Sign2Me

ASL for Shoe
compliments of Sign2Me

What gave you the clue your little was ready for Potty Training? Little Fingers will tell us she went potty, & she sometimes asks to sit on the potty ... I figured they are good indicators ;)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Guest post from Katie at PWW365. Hear her perspective on sign language benefits!

Today we have a great guest post from Katie from Playing With Words 365 on her thoughts on using sign language with her children. Our blogs met each other about a year ago and we realized we had the same interests in sign language! 

In graduate school (for communication sciences and disorders), I did a research paper on the benefits of signing to hearing babies. What I found during that time was pretty amazing (I outlined the many benefits of signing to hearing babies in 9 Reasons to Teach Sign Language to Your {Hearing} Infant or Toddler on my blog.) I knew that I would be signing to my own children whenever I was blessed with them. Fast forward a few years, and there I was, a mommy to my first child, my daughter E. I started signing to her around 8-9 months here and there. By 12 months we were signing a great deal more and she was starting to sign back! She pretty much stuck to signs that served her functions like more, milk, and eat. But signing really helped her communicate her needs to us before she had the ability to do so well verbally. As she started to talk more and more, she slowly stopped signing and there was a natural end to her use of signs.
(My daughter signing "more" at almost three)

Then I had my son. I was more motivated than ever to sign to him, and started signing with him around 7-8 months old. At age two, my daughter became fascinated with signing, so I started teaching the signs to her as well. We signed during meal times, story time, bath time, and watched one Baby Signing Time video each day to help learn more signs and practice. Before we knew it, my son Ev was signing up a storm! Unlike my daughter who used the signs in a very get-what-I-want way, Ev loved to sign to interact with us and show us things of interest. He would sit and "read" Brown Bear, Brown Bear to himself, as he signed the names of all the animals. DSC_5141
(My son signing "fish")

Ev picked up signing quickly and efficiently and we ended up being extra thankful for sign. Why? Because, as ironic as it is, his speech was developing a little on the slow side. Ev has always been an excellent communicator, but his speech skills have taken a bit longer to develop than his older sister's. It is not a wives' tale that boy's can develop a bit slower than girls, but it has been interesting for me, as a speech pathologist, to witness this personally. Anyway, because we were signing to him, Ev always had a way to communicate to us. He was able to get his needs met and share his interests with us without frustration as his motor skills developed and his speech slowly improved. Had we not been signing, I am afraid things could have been very different. Now here we are, a year later, and my two year old son is now using speech as his primary mode of communication.

As with my daughter, he naturally started signing less as he began speaking more and now he rarely signs. Sometimes I will sign something and he will sign it back but mostly he "uses his words" so to speak. I am thankful that we used sign with him, and we are planning to sign to our next child, due this summer, as well. You can read HERE many of the posts I have written about signing to hearing children, including how to pick the signs to use with your children, tips on weaving it into daily activities, and more!

Katie is a a mom to two little ones, E (4) and Ev (2) and a licensed and credentialed pediatric speech-language pathologist (when she finds the time). She blogs over at Playing With Words 365, sharing information about speech and language development, intervention strategies, therapy ideas and tips, and shares a little about her family and their life too. You can follow along on Facebook or Pinterest for more speech and language ideas and tips.

Do you have a story about starting sign language with your little ones or maybe even your bigger ones (they don't have to be young!). I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

sign: TIRED. New Baby = New Kind of TIRED

New baby means new schedule means Mommy's TIRED!
ASL for tired

Little Fingers loves getting her fingers on new baby and signs CRY when she cries (*cute*).  A more update coming soon. Baby girl is a week old today!

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Fun way to learn sign language St Patty's Style! and Sign: LUCK! Feel LUCKY?

st patrick's day
With this new development of TeachersPayingTeacher (well, new to me), I decided to provide monthly thematic packets on sign language and as much as possible throw in freebies because one: who doesn't love freebies, but two (and most importantly): I have not forgotten my original mission of this site - which was to share my passion for ASL (I talked about this here). But ... Signing Simon does cost money so I do have to charge a little something for the larger packets. 
Shamrock and ASL letters
Sneak peak of the freebie discussed!

Recently I made a free Shamrock ABC flashcard/game packet which you can find more info (e.g. to get it on Google Docs and TPT) here And more recently I made a full St Patty's ASL packet with coloring pages, SINGO (BINGO), and other cool stuff! (Click here). 

Sign: LUCK! Say 'hi' Signing Simon! You're sure coming a long way :)

Feeling LUCKY? Enter our app giveaway ending tonight!! Low entry :) better odds :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

sign: READ across AMERICA. Dr Seuss time!

It's Dr. Seuss' READ across AMERICA time! 
(signs at the bottom)

Last year we signed READ and CAT for the wonderful CAT in hat... 
american sign language cat

We also threw in some great tips to Sign While Reading (click here).

  This year we searched for some great Dr. Seuss activities: (click the highlighted)

1. Here's a great linky party with awesome ideas.

2. The Foot Book - Learn measuring, counting, left and right with feet activities :) 

3. Ten Apples Up On Top activity - so cute. Little Fingers loves apples so I'm all about this one!

4. The Tooth Book - another know concept Little Fingers learned recently 'teeth' - - thought this was cute! (click here).

5. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish hand activity - another one of her fav's!

sign language read, ASL
ASL America

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Smart Hands App Giveaway extended!

Since I went MIA (read "SURPRISE" blog post) on everyone during the last few days of the giveaway, I saved one of the codes for the free app for an extension!

Here's the original review (click here)

To Enter: comment below (that's it!) by the end of Monday 4th.

Good luck!

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