Sign to Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom

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Everyone is talking about signing with young children. As a form of early communication for infants and toddlers, or as a transitioning tool for children just beginning to speak, the benefits of signing with hearing children are endless.

Sign to Learn is the first complete introduction to sign language curriculum for hearing preschoolers. In this unique resource, you will learn how to integrate American Sign Language (ASL) into your classroom to enhance the academic, social, and emotional development of children, and how to respectfully introduce children to Deaf culture.

This comprehensive, fully illustrated curriculum contains captivating activities and lesson plans grouped by themes, including feelings, food, seasons, animals, songs, and families. Sign to Learn also contains strategies for using sign language with children with special needs and in multilingual classrooms, and it describes how ASL can assist you in developing a literacy program and in managing your classroom.

Information-rich appendices include a thorough ASL illustration index, sample letters to families, and resources for further reading.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929610693
  • Publisher: Redleaf Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 970,762
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kirsten Dennis has worked as preschool and kindergarten teacher for fifteen years-incorporating ASL into her work with young hearing children for the last ten years. Tressa Azpiri is the owner and lead teacher of Puddle Stompers preschool/kindergarten program on Vashon Island, WA.
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Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
Sign Language Terms 4
Chapter 1 History of American Sign Language 5
What Is Deafness? 5
How Did American Sign Language Develop? 6
Why Was American Sign Language Controversial? 6
How Was American Sign Language Finally Accepted? 7
How Did This Change Deaf Education? 7
Chapter 2 Research on Teaching Sign Language to Hearing Children 9
Deaf and Hearing Students Together 9
Children with Special Needs 10
Second-Language Learners 10
Babies and Toddlers 10
Early Literacy 11
Chapter 3 Guiding Principles of the American Sign Language Curriculum 13
Start Early 13
Start Simple 14
Make It Fun 14
Make It Meaningful 14
Include Information about People Who Are Deaf 15
Use American Sign Language 15
Use Existing Classroom Materials 15
Include All Teachers and Staff Members 16
Share with Families 16
Relax! 16
Signs for "It's Raining, It's Pouring" 17
Chapter 4 Teaching and Learning about American Sign Language and Deaf Culture 19
Why Teach about Deafness and Deaf Culture? 19
Learning about Deaf Culture 20
Teaching about Deaf Culture 22
Learning American Sign Language 23
Lesson Plan-"Sign Time" 27
Chapter 5 American Sign Language in an Early Childhood Literacy Program 29
Why It Works 29
How to Include ASL in an Early Childhood Literacy Program 30
Literacy Signs 33
Chapter 6 American Sign Language for Classroom Management 37
Engage Your Students 37
Effectively Redirect Behavior 38
Establish Routines 38
Ease Transitions 38
Address Different Learning Styles 39
Increase Communication with Children with Special Needs 39
Create a Common Language in a Multilingual Classroom 40
Help Children Understand and Express Feelings 40
Clam the Classroom 40
Build Community 41
Classroom Management Signs 41
Chapter 7 Thematic Lesson Plans 49
The ASL Illustrations 49
Unit Order 50
Introducing ASL Vocabulary 50
Using Children's Books 50
Songs 50
A Final Word 51
Feelings 53
Family 65
School 87
Food 103
Colors 119
Seasons 133
Community Helpers 159
Animals 175
Appendix I American Sign Language Illustration Index 188
Appendix II Sample Letter to Families 191
Appendix III References 192
Appendix IV Resources 193
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