Oct 10

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

Posted by Soliloquy in By disability | For parents | For teachers | Hearing Impaired | Speech and Language Impaired


Everyone is talking about signing with infants. Sign to Learn is the first complete introduction to appropriate sign language curriculum for young hearing preschoolers. In this unique resource, teachers will learn how to integrate American Sign Language (ASL) into their classrooms to enhance academic, social, and emotional development, as well as to introduce children respectfully to deaf culture. Appendixes include a thorough ASL illustration index, sample letters to families, and a resource li…

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5 Responses

  • Veggiegrrl says:

    Review by Veggiegrrl for Sign to Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom
    I am not an early childhood educator, but I am the parent of a toddler who is rapidly maxing out my sign language abilities. This book is perfect for us.

    Unlike many sign language dictionaries which are intended for adults, this book includes just the vocabulary you use with small children: colors, numbers, shapes, family members, weather, feelings, behavior, and more.

    Though I mainly bought the book for the signs, the lesson plans also provide some fun ideas for games to play with your child.

    I am giving it four stars because some of the sign pictures are not very easy to interpret. They do have good descriptions accompanying them, but you have to already know what the “S hand” looks like, for instance. If you have some basic ASL familiarity, you can figure them out, but it might be hard for very inexperienced signers to read.

    Overall, though, I highly recommend this for parents who are signing with their children!

  • Kathleen MacMillan says:

    Review by Kathleen MacMillan for Sign to Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom
    This book is a must for any preschool teacher serious about incorporating ASL into classroom activities. Dennis and Azpiri write from their own experience of using ASL in the classroom, and, though neither is fluent in ASL, they share their detailed curriculum for using ASL in the classroom. Most impressive is their understanding that signs cannot be used in a vacuum, and that simply throwing signs into the classroom without an understanding of the rich and complex history of ASL would be irresponsible. Instead, they provide a context for using the language by giving a basic introduction for beginners, then providing a strong case for *why* the language should be used: to motitave and engage young learners, to match multiple learning styles, and to include children with various abilities, for a start. From the classroom teacher’s point of view, the best part about this book are the copious lesson plans, on topics common to the early childhood classroom (weather, seasons, school, family, colors, community helpers, animals, feelings). These authors demonstrate that using ASL to assist in teaching about all those other topics will easily engage and enhance children’s learning. –Kathy MacMillan, author of Try Your Hand at This: Easy Ways to Incorporate Sign Language into Your Programs

  • S. Peed says:

    Review by S. Peed for Sign to Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom
    This book is an easy to understand approach to incorporating ASL into hearing educational venues. Its step-by-step approach is backed up by the discussion of down to earth techniques that must be employed to reach the target audience – children and their families. I like that it borrows from another culture to establish a calm, controlled environment among those who most benefit from order, structure, and discipline – our children! And they include a healthy dollop of creativity! Thanks to Ms. Dennis and Ms. Azpiri for sharing their work with the general public! It is chock full of ideas to get you started.

  • Pre-K teacher says:

    Review by Pre-K teacher for Sign to Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom
    Highly recommend! I teach preschool and this book has been great for our class. So many great ideas and games of how to introduce new words and incorporate sign into our daily activities. Many, many pages full of pictures of how to sign certain words! That being said, I do find that my background in ASL does help make it easier to understand these pictures. Someone who has never seen any ASL will be able to do every sign according to the pictures, but they may not be completely accurate in how they interpret the pictures of each sign.

  • Kay Lawler says:

    Review by Kay Lawler for Sign to Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom
    As a public school speech pathologist, I found this resource to be very useful in helping young learners access the school curriculum in a fun and engaging way. Excellent!



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