Feel free to look through this "old" blog as well as hop over to the "new" one!
In this blog you will find information and stories of our experience with signing. Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments! このブログでは、私たちのサインを使った経験からの情報や体験談を紹介します。お気軽に質問やコメントを残してくださればと思います。どうぞよろしくお願いします。
Since Christmas is just a week away we focused on a couple of well known Christmas Carols - Silent Night and Away in A Manger. We used the DVD We Sign Christmas to help with learning the songs and ASL signs.
We also had the chance to make a hand print Christmas Card!
Here is a youtube clip of Silent Night from We Sign:
Today we had another Baby Signing Time class graduate!
I love that the last lesson includes the song "In the Sky" so we get to play with balloons and bubbles. The smiles and laughs they create are a great reward for us all.
Each time we have a trial lesson and form a new class the first thought is "Wow, these babies are so small and so quiet!" but by the time they finish the entire Baby Signing TIme course the quiet babies have turned into crawling, walking, babbling and signing toddlers!
What better way to learn a lot of food signs at one time than with a fun song. Ok, make that 2 fun songs and you learn twice the signs!
Did you know there are actually 2 Silly Pizza Songs in Signing Time videos? The first one is in Signing Time Series 1 DVD 3 Everyday Signs and the 2nd is in Series 1 DVD 12 Time To Eat. We had a lot of fun learning both songs and trying to sing and sign along!
At home we use the book Meal Time by Anthony Lewis from the Sign About series which includes some additional food and meal time signs.
Here is a clip of Rachel, Hopkins and a special guest singing and signing the Silly Pizza Song live!
If you want to buy the CD or DVD with the Silly Pizza Song please let me know and I can add it to the next order! Or, if you want to watch it right away you can purchase it through the Signing Time On Demand Digital Player.
This coming Friday, Nov. 25th, we will have a Play Group session at Hana House from 1-2 PM. The theme is favorite foods so if there are any foods you would like me to include please e-mail me in the next day or two so they can be included in the lesson.
Sign-up for this session is through Hana House and the cost is 1,500 yen.
Sometimes kids choose their own favorite signs... And sometimes those signs are not what you expect... Or what you would choose to teach your child!
This week Miss Mega (15 months old) has added "motorcycle" to her vocabulary and moved it up to the top of her favorite list!
When your child shows interest in learning a sign that you don't know you can ask someone who is fluent in sign language, and when that isn't an option you can look online at a site like http://www.signingsavvy.com/ which includes an ASL video dictionary.
Think of it this way, you don't speak with your child using only the key words you want him to learn, you speak using your full vocabulary. It is the same with signing to communicate. You don't need to stick with just a couple of key signs you think your child should use. Instead, try to use all the signs you know and look for interest in ones that you don't know as that is a chance to expand both your child's vocabulary. You may be surprised to see what you child chooses to have as a favorite sign!
Signing Time Academy on Demand is a free software system that that gives you instant access to our award‐winning library of instructional sign language videos for children of all ages. サイニング・タイム・オン・デマンドは、すべての年齢の子どもたちのための米国手話と英語の指導ビデオのライブラリーに簡単にアクセスできる無料ソフトウェアです。
This week we had a Play Group at Hana House for the current and former Baby Signing Time students. The theme was built around common neighborhood signs - store, doctor, P.O., etc.
We watched a couple of clips from the Signing Time Neighborhood DVD to help get the idea of common variations of the signs.
For our activity we went around the "neighborhood" (to different signs in the room) while practicing signs like "where" "restaurant".
At each place there was a stamp with a letter of the alphabet related to the sign. For example, the office had the "O" stamp since you make the "O" hand shape to sign it. Each student had a paper with the corresponding finger spelled letter upon which to stamp.
Since essentially all of the kids in my classes are under 18 months old and the moms are learning both sign language and a foreign spoken language (English) we don't touch on finger spelling in class. I try to include a little bit in each play group so that by the time their kids reach 3 years old they have enough exposure to not fear using it. Finger spelling can be a huge help in teaching preschoolers about letters and kindergartners about reading!
Here are some of the materials we used for the Neighborhood theme play group.
Next play group will most likely be in November or December.
One of the greatest benefits of using sign language in our home has been the way it helps our children to make the connection between words with the same meaning in spoken languages. For example, we sign “fish” when we say “さかな” or “fish” depending on which spoken language we are using at the time.
Who knew that a 14 month old could have so much to say?
Today, this week, the past few weeks really, little Miss Mega has turned into blabber hands. She speaks a few words too like dozo, dada, mama, iyaiyaiya. Her real talent though is in using her hands and expressions to communicate. At times thou it gets tough because she wants to talk almost constantly!
This evening as we were all sitting on the couch watching the news, Miss Mega noticed that Daddy had fallen asleep. She pointed at him, signed cry and sad, and pointed again. I said that he was sleeping. She signed "daddy" "night-night" and then shook her head "no". She then crawled over to give him a kiss and a hug to wake him up.
Today she also came to me signing "more" "hat" and pointed at the clip in my hair. I asked if she wanted a hair clip and she took off to find one, came back and gave it to me. Between signs and pointing we had a fun 20 min. of doing and redoing what little hair she has.
Here is a not complete list of signs she uses on a daily basis right now:
more, where, point (there/that), eat, drink, cracker, grape, berry, banana, milk, water, all done, potty, play, please, thank you, bath, wash hands, brush teeth, dog, bird, hat, shoes, backpack, open, rain, bye-bye, cry, sad, train, plane, Baby Signing Time, Leah, book, pray, yummy
In case you don't feel like counting that is about 35 words. There are more words which she pulls out from time to time, giving us a little surprise each day as we are never quite sure what she will say next!
I am really looking forward to using Potty Time with my daughter. She is 14 months old and just starting to tell me when she needs to go potty.
One of the most popular topics of discussion at my Baby Signing Time classes is how and when to do potty training. Since most of the babies who come to my classes are the first born, the moms have yet to experience potty training. There are so many ways and ideas. I will share what has worked for us and encourage them to think about their own situation and what my work for them. On my other blog I've started a potty training topic. You can check here for the first post which shares our current method.
There is also an older post on this blog which is more specific to what we used with my son. You can find that post here.
Today we reached another milestone! My 14 month old daughter came tonight to tell us that she needed to go potty. She did the sign, pointed to the bathroom and then went down the hall. I followed her, helped her get undressed and she pointed to the big toilet. After helping her up she went pee in the toilet! This is the first time she has initiated using the potty and actually gone. All she needs is 3 simple signs - potty, more, and all done!
I hope that this will soon mean the end of dirty diapers for us!
One of the things we do at home is read books which have included ASL vocabulary into the stories. The series Words by the Handful by Mimi Brian Vance blends in well with the vocabulary taught in Baby Signing Time.
Each of the board books is just the right size for small hands. The stories center around a little boy who can't speak clearly yet and his teddy bear who encourages him so use signs to communicate. It is nice that these books each contain a story with the signs in an everyday context. Presenting the signs in this way not only teaches about how to make the signs but also gives an idea of when to use them.
Reading these books are another way that you can spend quality time with your child!
The Bricks classroom has a variety of items used for the various classes offered at Hana House. We use some of them for the Sign and Play classes when they compliment the lesson.
Here is another view of the Bricks classroom.
This is the original Hana House classroom. The Advanced level of classes (Lesson 9-16) are often held here so that we can step outside for the lessons with outdoor themes.
In this picture we are learning words such as "cloud" and "sun" before going outside to practice using the signs in an everyday situation.
During classes the songs we will sing are posted on the walls.
These are some of the books which we use in class.
Each lesson includes a story book which reinforces the signs of the day. We also use 1-2 of the Sing and Sign Along books during our reading time. The Signing Time board books are always sitting out ready for kids to look at or for parents to look up a new word or two.
My kids love to play together. However, being almost 3 years apart in age can make that a challenge at times. Thankfully they can communicate by signing with each other!
In this clip you can catch Miss Mega, 13 months old, signing "more", "share" and "airplane". I think she tried to sign "fly" in there too but it is hard to tell as many of her signs are just developing. She also says "dozo" when she signs "more" which is Japanese for "please do it" in this situation.
At the end of the video, when the plane flies a little too close for our comfort... no one was hurt but mom and dad had a little heart attack ;-)
This is a recent clip from a family outing in which you can see my daughter signing "train". While her technique is not perfect (and it doesn't need to be... she'll do it right eventually) she is able to communicate by letting us know what she is looking for. She also knows the signs for "car" and "bye-bye" but ignores me as she is still concentrating on finding that train!
Other signs which she currently likes to use include: thank you, please, more, all done, airplane, bye-bye, sleep, what, where, milk, water, banana, eat and brush teeth.
Have you read this yet? It was pointed out by another Signing Time Instructor. In the US PBS is like NHK-E in Japan. This is well written so out of fear that it will one day get lost I'll put up the link and a copy of the article. Please go to the site and read it so they get the clicks!
The use of sign language and fingerspelling offers a "hands on" beginning to literacy! Early childhood educators are embracing the challenge of providing the fundamental skills necessary for successful reading. Research has heightened awareness of the developmental continuum of skills necessary to produce good readers. Backed by this research, most reading readiness programs incorporate the basic components of oral language development, phonemic awareness and print knowledge. Many teachers are discovering that sign language and fingerspelling are fun and productive ways to actively engage young children in the process.
What Are Sign Language and Fingerspelling?
Sign language and fingerspelling are terms that are typically associated with the Deaf. Sign language is the use of a hand shape, movement and placement to represent a word or concept. Fingerspelling is the use of hand positions to represent letters of the alphabet.
Why Are They Effective Tools in Teaching Reading?
They benefit children.
There is growing interest in the use of sign language with normal hearing children. Howard Gardner's research on multiple intelligences has helped teachers identify the myriad of learning styles present in any classroom. The teacher will find that the use of signs and fingerspelling will accommodate a wide range of learning styles. A "verbal linguistic" child loves the process of learning another language. The "kinesthetic" child is motivated naturally by movement. The "interpersonal" child loves being involved in a group activity. The benefit of using this system is the representation of information through seeing, hearing, and movement. The more pathways created in the brain, the stronger the memory. Not only that, teachers are observing that children are interested in sign language and tend to acquire it easily.
They integrate easily into most reading programs.
Sign language and fingerspelling deliver additional clues for learning to read. Reading is an acquired skill that requires a planned sequence of skill development. A variety of reading programs, based on excellent research models, lays the foundation in the early childhood years. The use of sign language and fingerspelling is a strategy that can be integrated into almost any existing reading program.
What Key Elements Are Addressed?
Sign language supports oral language development.
A child's level of oral language competency reveals information about his ability to comprehend the meaning of the spoken or printed word. Children with weak oral language skills struggle with the reading process. The young child who has fewer opportunities for oral language development, for example an English Language Learner, benefits from the visual images sign language provides. Sign language is often iconic. The sign draws a picture in the air illustrating the meaning of a word. For example, signs for prepositional concepts such as "above," "through," and "between" and adjectives such as "fat," "heavy," and "tired" provide strong visual clues to their contextual meanings. Concepts are often acquired quickly when paired with iconic signs.
Furthermore, sign language supports oral language development through repetitions of words or concepts using multiple modalities. When a teacher says and signs a words, the child hears and sees the word. The child is actually receiving two repetitions of the word through two modalities. When a child says and signs a word, he is imprinting the word or concept through auditory and kinesthetic means. Multi-modality repetitions strengthen a child's recall and enhance the development of oral language for reading comprehension.
Fingerspelling supports development of phonemic awareness and print knowledge.
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words. Print knowledge involves the ability to recognize and name letters and relate letters to sounds. When combining these two skills, children start the process of sounding out words to build the foundation for spelling. Print knowledge and phonemic awareness are most effective when introduced early. They help children "crack the code" necessary to read well.
Successful readers have strong phonemic awareness skills. They identify, blend, and segment sounds in words in the early years. Visual Phonics, while not fingerspelling, is similar in that it borrows hand shapes from fingerspelling to represent long vowel sounds and some consonants. Other consonant sounds and diphthongs mimic the articulatory movements of speech sounds. These 46 hand shapes are based on sounds, regardless of the spelling of a word. Preschool and kindergarten teachers have reported improved results when using Visual Phonics with non-readers and English Language Learners. First grade teachers have reported the positive results of seeing children apply these skills in their daily reading and writing activities.
Print knowledge begins with the learning of the alphabet. The way they generally learn this is through singing the alphabet song. When fingerspelling is paired with the letter name, many confusing issues are avoided. Who knew that "duh-bul-you" is only one letter? For children who have not acquired all their speech sounds, the motor skill to imitate fingerspelled letter names can be easier than the articulatory movements of speech. Fingerspelling also provides discrete hand shapes for easily confused letter names such as c and z and clarifies the confusion for the common letter reversal, b andd. Children naturally enjoy fingerspelling in the air as they encounter printed words in their environment.
The use of sign language and fingerspelling is one of the many strategies that can be used to engage the young reader in developing early literacy skills. It is successful with learners of all types and levels. Patrice Wolf, author of Brain Matters, states, "The most powerful strategies increase retention, understanding and students' abilities to apply the concepts they are learning." The use of sign language and fingerspelling puts reading "in the hands" of children.
Felzer, L. (2000). Research On How Signing Helps Hearing Children Learn To Read. MBR Beginning Reading Program, CA State University, Pomona.
Luetke-Stahlman, B., Nielsen, D. (2002). Phonological Awareness: One Key To The Reading Proficiency of Deaf Children. American Annals of the Deaf, 147,11-17.
National Institute for Literacy. (2001). Put Reading First. Jessup, MD: ED Pubs.
Moats, L. (1999). Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science. Washington, DC: American Federation of Teachers.
Roskos, K., Christie, J., Richgels, D., (2003). The Essentials of Early Literacy Instruction. Young Children, March, 52-60.
Wolfe, P. (2001). Brain Matters: Translating Research into Classroom Practice. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
About the Authors
Marilyn Edmunds and Debra Krupinski work together at Taft Regionalized Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program in Southern California. Marilyn has worked in the field of Deaf Education and Speech Pathology for thirty years. She has worked with multiple grade levels, both hearing and deaf students, and is currently an early childhood teacher, parent educator and inclusion specialist. She has been a state trainer for the SKI*HI Family Centered Home Based Program for Deaf Children. Debra is a Speech and Language Pathologist. She has worked for twenty-three years with deaf and hearing children. Marilyn and Debra are involved with a non-profit agency, the S.E.E. Center for the Advancement of Deaf Children, which provides information and support services for families and teachers. Debra is a sign language instructor for the S.E.E. Center. Along with a team of teachers, she teaches Signing Exact English skillshops across the United States.
Today I had the chance to catch some of Miss Mega's signing. She has started to consistently sign to communicate. So far she uses:
☆wash hands手荒い☆brush teeth歯磨き☆all done終わり☆moreもっと☆dogいぬ☆ballボール☆point指差し☆bye-bye☆water水☆eat食べる☆crackerせんべい☆bananaバナナ☆night-nightねね☆babyベビー☆
The following are 3 short video clips which show how she is signing.
My 10 month old started making a fuss in the middle of dinner tonight. She turned her head away from the spoon, scowled at her water and began to whine.
Is something wrong? What is she trying to communicate?
Then, she signed "night night".
Within minutes of being put on the couch she fell asleep. I'm once again very thankful for being to sign with my baby! It really does cut down on crying and tantrums, as well as headaches.
Her signs so far that we have recognized are cracker, clean/wash (she seems to combine them), baby, night-night, bye-bye, pointing and more/clap (looks like more followed by applause).
New classes starting in June! ハナハウスのサイン育児講座「英語でベイビーサイニング！」の次期開講日程が決まりました。
◆2011 June Session（全7回 ）向け 体験レッスン◆The next session is 7 lessons plus trial lesson for the basic level.◆A new 8 lesson advanced level class is also planned from June 17th.◆
There are 2 trial lesson dates planned for the basic class. You can come to either one or both. 6/10（金）10:30～12:00、 6/17（金）10:30～12:00 （両日とも内容は同じ）詳細はこちら Check out the Hana House homepage for details and information on how to register!
Finally caught it on video... My daughter has added "baby" to "bye-bye" and "hello" as signs she uses regularly. Yesterday she got creative and signed "baby" while holding the DVD remote to let me know she wanted to watch Baby Signing Time.
This is my happy little signer. She's 9 months old and just starting to sign. So far she has been seen signing "byebye" "baby" and "more" as she copies other signing people. She also "babbles" with her hands a lot!
The shirt she is wearing is the Signing Time Romper. It comes in the size 12 mo. (about 80cm) and can be bought in the store.
赤ちゃんから3歳までのお子さまのためにプローグラムです。ベビーサインニングタイムとしてコミュニケーションをうまくできることかんしゃくを下げることができます。Baby Signing Timeのホムページが新しくなったからこの下の節目のビデオをのせることになりました。
There are so many benefits to learning to sign with your baby. It can be hard to "see" the benefits though if you don't know a signing babe! On the Baby Signing Time homepage they've taken a new approach to getting the word out.
Check out the new informational video!
Playing catch-up again, sorry, so there are 2 signs this week. Wait, "sorry" is one of the Sign of the Week signs that we missed!
The other is "candy". Sorry I don't have any candy for you today!
It is the same with babies who are learning to sign. Before they make clear signs they will move their hands around in an attempt to sign. Even before then they will react to other people signing. A smile, a squeak, reaching for the signing hand... these are all reactions that my 5 month old has when she likes what we are signing. Take a look...
I sign "milk" to ask if she wants some and in response she gets excited, reaches for my hand and puts my finger in her mouth to suck. When she isn't hungry she'll either push the hand away or turn away.
The other day the 5 month old was on the floor making noises and movements which my husband didn't understand but 3 yr. old big brother knew what she wanted and was able to help by telling daddy that the baby wanted to be picked up.
Signing is a great way to help siblings communicate too!
Did you catch this on Christmas Eve?
It aired in the US on NBC... http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/40906933#40805882
While the classes seen here are not Baby Signing Time classes it is still the same idea... teaching ASL, a real language, to babies so that communication is smoother.
We are living proof that signing with babies works. :-)
by Kotoba & Sign 言葉＆サイン
Baby Signing Time ☆Sign and Play☆ Classes offered in Tokyo, Japan☆ベビー・サイニング・タイム☆東京にクラスあります。
Kotoba & Sign Homepage
CLASSES CURRENTLY OFFERED! クラスもあります！
Interested in taking a Baby Signing Time class? I am teaching at Hana House (Suginami-ku) and in Takenotsuka (Adachi-ku) with new classes opening every couple of months. 赤ちゃんといっしょに学んでみたい方は杉並区にあるハナハウスや足立区の言葉＆サインのページを見てください！