Wednesday, February 27, 2013


So I had a big personal SURPRISE up my sleeve. I'm sending this to you all via the hospital and just delivered our second baby girl! 

sign language surprise

The blog must go on. ;)
 Please don't forget our awesome giveaway for the My Smart Baby Sign Dictionary app! I can't speak enough praises for the quiz feature I love so much (there's a quick pic of it below). I keep saying the 'cons' of these apps I'm reviewing are their titles, because people think the app is less than what it is. I'm telling you -  all my homeschooling, SLP, teacher, and parent friends - this app is good! Go join the giveaway! Laura, owner, of My Smart Hands, did a great job teaching adults how to sign simple concepts to children or just basic beginners. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

sign: COLOR. some toddler friendly fun this weekend

This weekend I decided Little Fingers is old enough for mini-lessons and fun activities to start learning her colors,  maintaining attention, patterns and other great skills.
We started with our COLORS. We've been talking about colors while we color or do puzzles or other things but tonight we started sorting with our COLORS. I got some great ideas from Pinterest, went to the Dollar Tree and got to work (a.k.a 'fun and play').

Now I always tell everyone, this is not the verb 'to color' - this is the noun like 'what COLOR do you want.' This is an ASL concept, which can be different in other sign languages. 

Not that I used a sign for pom poms, but now she asks to play with her 'pom poms'. Sure! Let's go play with the pom poms! 

The coolest coolest part -- when I would say/sign the colors, I could see her concentration on my hand signing. She then try to imitate. No, I'm not saying she got it right away, these signs are a little tricky but you know what. When she asks for colors snacks in the future or color crayons in the future and she pairs the sign with the spoken words, I'll understand her 100%!

I'm all ears (hehe) to hear other toddler-friendly activities you use to teach colors and sorting!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

sign: SHARE ... We're doing a lot of learning about SHARING!

So now that we're reaching that point where Little Fingers' language is exploding; one of our new phrases is, "that's mine." Yikes! So the sign SHARE is taught daily and I mean several times a day!

I'll let you know how we make out! Keep your fingers crossed!

looking for some clever ways to teach older children to sign?

Friday, February 22, 2013

App Review & Giveaway: My Smart Hands Baby Sign Dictionary

I recently reviewed another Sign Language app ...

My Smart Hands Baby Sign Dictionary

This app was well organized into categories as well as alphabetized (and of course there's a 'search' feature so you do not have to scroll through the entire list). 

Other Features:
My Favorites List: The 'Favorites' list allows you to keep a list you'd like to focus on or have easy access to for a later date. It's good for those signs you can never remember!

Signs: To learn a sign, you simply click on the word you would like to learn, and a new screen pops up with Laura signing it. First without talking, followed immediately with the verbal instruction of how to produce the sign. This is the nice feature to walk you through any necessary steps to help you produce the sign.

Categories: There are over 15 categories (e.g. actions, animals, feelings, numbers, & foods) that allow you to learn categorically if that's what you are aiming for (e.g. 5 food items).

QuizesThe feature I loved the most was the quiz feature. The quizzes could be used for young children and others learning sign language. It lets you customize how many questions you want in your quiz and how many choices per question you see. It also gives you the great feature of using your 'favorites' list we talked about above.


You can also watch Laura sign the question again if need be. It provides you the results of how many you got right as well. 

Laura Berg, the owner, understands and believes in the idea of using actual American Sign Language -- though it's confusing to know with the title perhaps of 'Baby Sign Dictionary'. But I think the thought process is simply saying the signs in this dictionary are more geared to young learners. 

Years ago she enjoyed teaching her own children sign language when their were very little and now gets to share that joy with others. She was excited to build the great curriculum found in her My Smart Hands programs utilizing ASL. But we'll share that for another day. For more information about Laura and her awesome program, check her out at My Smart Hands.

She has other great apps as well such as ...

Sound like something you may be interested in? Of course! So ... I've partnered up with Laura for a great giveaway for you guys (for the iPhone app version). I am giving away THREE copies of the Baby Sign Dictionary! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Need a resource?
American Sign Language Dictionary-Flexi (3rd Edition, Revised)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

St. Patty's Sign Language ABCs! Free download!

Check out our new sign language freebie! We are not only making it available to TeachersPayingTeachers members (here), but please feel free to download it on Google Documents here.

                           Shamrock Style!

We hope you enjoy it by creating your own memory game, Old Maid, Go Fish.. or something (and let us know how you incorporated these cards!)!
ASL Fingerselling
Just a little sneak peak!

We have a great March packet we're creating as we speak! What activities and/or signs might you be looking for? Again, here's the Shamrock ABCs through Google (here) and through Teacher'sPayingTeachers (here).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Why sign language with your baby will work for you - FUN, EASY, & AMAZING

 Within my own family and friends, I have the skeptics about using sign language with my daughter or thinking it will be successful for their children. I understand people's opinions are all different and I never press the issue. But man, if they only knew the benefits! 

It has to be a hit right? I mean we see so many television shows incorporating some sign language here and there (e.g. Little Bill in Nick Jr and The Good Night Show on Sprout and even the Signing Time songs during commercial breaks themselves). It's a success! It's a hit! It's educational! And most importantly for your child - it's fun!
Little Fingers & a friend signing EAT
while playing with their kitchen set

Nothing is more FUN than seeing your child sing, sign, and dance around the room like my Little Fingers as she's so interested in learning MORE MORE MORE! You can start as early as 6 months old and trust me not using sign language takes all the fun away of that guessing game we like to call fit-throwing when we don't know what it is they want and they have no means of communicating it to us at that time. It's FUN to sign!

Super EASY!
Some of my parents in classes take the approach initially that this is more work or homework for them because they don't have the background I have in sign language. Well, you certainly don't need the background I have in sign language to make it EASY! We're looking for one-word phrases and utterances not a long winded sentence! To start, you pick a few signs and go from there. Bombardment isn't necessarily key anyway. First few signs - - - probably something highly preferred (e.g. MILK, MORE, MOMMY). Keep it EASY and the FUN will last forever :) 

The Wow - AMAZING moments...
I have had so many 'Wow - AMAZING' moments during Little Fingers communication and language development - I truly attribute it to her knowledge in sign language. She's been signing since she was about 8 months. She's 23 months now and she speaks in 3 - 5 word sentences (don't get me wrong we still have 1 and 2-word sentences too!). She still watches her Signing Time videos, especially the newest series Rachel and the Treeschoolers and it AMAZES me.
                                               This is the newest video in case you haven't seen it yet

 She signs things I never taught her or focused on (e.g. CHEESE). She has such a diverse vocabulary, it's AMAZING!




What more can I say!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day from HearMyHands

We've done a variety of Valentine's signs recently ...

Here's another (it does not have a sign but fingerspelled...)

Other Valentine's signs we've done:
- VALENTINE (with our coloring page freebie)
- LOVE (with our freebie ending this weekend)

Enjoy this day with your Cupid and family!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

sign: VALENTINE's LOVE and freebie

As a Happy VALENTINE's Day 'hi,' I'm throwing a sale sending some LOVE! The Valentine's Sign Language Packet is 20% off. :) 
Not only that but the first five to comment below will receive the packet for free!

sign: YELLOW for letters X Y & Z

YELLOW was an obvious sign for me when thinking of our last letters -  X Y & Z. 

I'm teaching Little Fingers colors now .. we don't have this sign (or word) down yet but we're getting there :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lessons HearMyHands Learned in Just 7 Short Weeks Since the New Year

HearMyHands' blog started New Years Eve 2011. I was over zealous and uneducated in the world of blogging and websites. But I knew I enjoyed signing, enjoyed teaching Little Fingers (my infant) ASL, and wanted to share that love. 

One year later (New Years Eve 2012), the blog was really coming along but I was still over zealous and uneducated in the world of blogging and websites! But I knew I still enjoyed signing, still enjoyed teaching Little Fingers (now a toddler) ASL, and wanted to share that love with others. In one short year I have met other great bloggers, signers, families using sign, individuals learning sign for various reasons, SLPs, teachers, and more. 

I started the year with high hopes of a new website to support all my new ideas, product development, and other projects up my sleeve. 7 weeks into the New Year 2013 I am realizing I need to refocus so I can continue the 3 reasons I started this in the first place (my love for ASL, desire to teach Little Fingers, and eagerness to share this love). 

I realized doing the Letter of the Week stopped me from talking about Little Fingers' signing progress, my life signing, my ability to use sign in my work life, and other things related to helping others with their signing requests. So .. this week it ends early! X, Y , Z! 

We are still finalizing our new website. We are still working on Signing Simon, which you have seen recently with our Valentine's Day Sign Language Packet and Winter ASL Packet on TeachersPayTeachers. But I also realized many of my readers and followers don't use TPT ... so while I have to figure out a way to pay for this awesome Signing Simon character, I also want to help when I can to my families and educators learning ASL! (I'm still working on that!)

We are still working on our new online store, which some have already found thanks to the wonderful World Wide Web and we're still working on our other secrets as well. Our goal this year continues to be helping others with sign language in many regards - sign language as means of communication for Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals, individuals using it as a total communication (TC) approach, individuals who simply want to learn, and those who use it as an augmentative alternative communication (AAC) approach. Our feelings for ASL haven't changed, but our minds have opened that sign language can pertain to so many for so many reasons. 

During my doctoral journey, you've heard me talk a little about genetics and deafness and music therapy and deafness ... and now I'll be talking about pharmacology and deafness. If there's some way to tie deafness into my various courses I have to take to finish this degree, I will! BUT I realized I wasn't able to write about it as I wanted to and promised I would. So ... these are the things I will be working on - more informational blog posts. 

Lastly, I have been introduced to some great Speech Language Pathology blogs. While my passion is ASL and all topics related, I still am a SLP. I would like to start sharing these great sites and great ideas for other teachers, stay-at-home-moms and dads, and other SLPs. There are awesome ideas and materials that can pertain to so many of us. 

We welcome all comments and suggestions during this transition. And as always, Happy Signing!

As a 'thank you' for reading this long post, I'd like to offer the first 10 people who comment below a free copy of my Winter Sign Language packet. (I just ask for honest candid comments about what you thought of it).  Thanks everyone!

Monday, February 11, 2013

X,Y, Z ends our letters of the week in ASL

So I decided to end our letter of the week this week ...




Why are we ending it now versus a couple weeks from now? Read more tomorrow!

What signs can you think of that start with X, Y, and Z?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Looking for Your Help! I'm looking for personal experiences with ototoxicity (Hearing Loss due to medication)

My winter semester started in my doctoral program and you know there's always papers to write. I am one year from finishing my SLP.D (speech-language pathology doctorate) at Nova Southeastern University! So I do everything in my power to relate my papers to Deafness in some fashion. For example, last semester I was taking Genetics and Counseling. 

So I wrote my genetics paper on Deafness and genetics and my counseling paper on Deaf culture / counseling and music therapy as it related to Deaf children.  (I know I promised I'd share the info .. and I still do promise.. I'll get to it out soon!)

Now I'm in Pharmacology. So guess what my paper is about ? Pharmacology and Deafness .. more specifically ototoxicity and ototoxic drugs ...  

Can you help?

I figure if I have to take these courses I mine as well get as much out of it as I can and maybe I can share some information to you in the meantime. It also provides me that much more education when I am helping, diagnosing, and treating others.

Can you help?
This is a new topic to me. I would love to hear from you. Have you experienced drug-induced hearing loss, ototoxicity, or have you taken ototoxic drugs? If not you, perhaps someone in your family? I would love to hear your input... and your experiences.

Thank you in advance. I appreciate and value all my readers and supporters and your input is much appreciated. 

Sharing some Guest posts I did last month ...

I know I always say I'm crazy busy (which is true).. but I wanted to share this because I wasn't sure if you had the opportunity to see these two guests I did last month for Brea @ Let's Talk Speech-Language Pathology on the ABCs of How to Help Staff with Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (click here!) 

Photobucket well as Kristine from Simply Speech with Helping You Feel More Comfortable Working with Students With Hearing Loss (click here!). 

Thank you both for allowing me to do a 
guest blog post last month! 

I wrote a lot about how to help SLPs and educators in the school setting with students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  .. different tips and techniques. ....

Friday, February 8, 2013

Signs starting with W (WASH and WASHER) for letter of the week: W

Here are some signs I thought I posted and didn't...

Little Fingers loves helping with the wash so I definitely am trying to add that to her repertoire of signs.

This WASH (above)- is like WASH dishes or to WASH something, not the wash that I need to get clean. (See how words have so many meanings - and the signs will change for those meanings!)

This is the sign I will start with Little Fingers this weekend along with CLOTHES I think ... I think that will make sense for her to add those together.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

sign: WHERE and WIND - two new signs we're signing during our challenge

I started signing WHERE to Little Fingers.. she's not signing it back but she surely understands what I mean and will use the word herself.

I also started WINDY and she does sign WINDY (even with the littlest bit of WIND - so cute!). ... which is funny because my sister is Wendy and she couldn't separate the two at first, but now she can.

So two more words for our challenge!
WHAT new words have you taught or learned?
(C) 2012 HearMyHands, LLC
As you can see Signing Simon has gotten a major face lift from his original character.
Sign: WHAT - he's not mad, but he is showing his eye brows inward as that's part of the sign :) 

Monday, February 4, 2013

letter of the week: W and sign: WHICH

Letter of the week: W

This morning for the first time Little Fingers used to the word WHICH. I was so surprised!(Now, I have to sign it to her!) 

I'm a big language geek though - sometimes I really want to praise her for new word usage (like jump up and down - lol), but I just answered her question and moved on. I was so shocked! WHICH! Wow!That opens up a whole new can of (good) worms - here comes the WHICH questions! ;) 
For example: WHICH do you want, cookies or crackers? ... I was already doing this but now I can emphasis the WHICH sign! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

signs starting with V ... VANILLA and VALLEY

Sorry so belated. Who else is working on their taxes!? Oh my - exhausting!

Letter of the week 
(in case we forgot after this long week!) 

V signs .. hard to think of any ... the sign VERY is not used often in ASL so I didn't want to pick that. I opened the dictionary and this is what I found ... (I had nothing in my normal bag of goodies!)

VANILLA -- now I was taught to fingerspell it, but I guess it's regional ... or a sign was created. What are your thoughts? Do you sign VANILLA or fingerspell?

Sign: VALLEY (the sign literally represents the low of a VALLEY!)

Copyright © 2012 · Designed and Customized by: Virtual Boutik © All Rights Reserved.