The blog has moved to: http://kotobaandsign.blogspot.jp to be under the name Kotoba & Sign.
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。

Why Sign? どうして手話(サイン)なの?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Unexpected Signs

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!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sign Of the Week

The beautiful girl in the picture on the flashcard is Lucy, Leah's sister (Rachel's youngest daughter).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

サイニング・タイム・オン・デマンド・プレイヤー STA On Demand Player

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。
サイニング・タイム・オン・デマンド・プレイヤーの日本語の節目は言葉&サインのページにあります。”heidiemoto" のクーポン(Referral Code)を使うと毎回5%オーフ!

To download your own player and get the free introductory video go to my instructor page and click on the purple "Get A Free Signing Video" button.  
☆ Use the Referral Code heidi every time you make a purchase to receive a 5% discount! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Play Group - Neighborhood Signs

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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Using Signs to connect Spoken Languages サインで言葉をつなげる

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.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Play Group サインのプレーグループ

今度の月曜日のプレールグープにwe still have space for a few more students.来たい方はハナハウスに連絡してください。If you would like to come, please contact Hana House.よろしく!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blabber Hands ;-)

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!

Here is a short video from lunch today...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Coming Soon: Potty Time!

Coming soon: Potty Time!

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.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sign of the Week

This week's sign is a favorite of my 14 month old.  She uses it whenever I am drinking from my mug.  The sign is "hot".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Signs for Potty Training

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!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

In Class This Week...

In the Advanced Class this week we went outside to practice our weather signs. In the Beginner Classes we learned the signs for favorite pets and animals!
The babies are getting to know various stuffed animals while the moms practice signing.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sign of the Week

Here are 2 Signs of the Week... both of which I used on this very rainy day!
If you have any questions I can be reached at heidi@signingtimeacademy.com

Please e-mail me if you live in Japan but are not in a location where classes are offered. I can help you get started with Baby Signing Time and/or Signing Time.

日本に住んでいて、近くに手話のクラスがない場合などは、メールをくだされば、質問に答えたり、皆さんが Baby Signing Time や Signing Time を始めるのをお手伝いできると思います。



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