ABC Phonics – Teaching Sign Language in Kindergarten

Summer is winding down and I’m gearing up for a fun-filled year in kindergarten.  This year, in Washington State, all state-funded kindergarten classes will be full day and funded by the state.  Parents will no longer need to pay tuition for full day kindergarten!  This new funding comes with some new requirements.  Some are exciting and others make you shake your head a bit.  One of the requirements is that all kindergarten teachers teach a second language to their students…

Yes, you read that right!  Umm, there’s one little problem with that.  I don’t know any other languages!  I took French in high school, but I really only remember about 3 words.  How am I supposed to teach the kids in my class a second language?  Fortunately, I work in a school that houses the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program for our district.  In addition, I’ve been trying to integrate some basic sign language into my kindergarten classroom for the past 10 years.  I don’t know much sign language, but I learn more each year.

This year, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program is going to be next door to my classroom.  I’m so excited!  I hope to learn so much from the students and teachers in the classroom!  To help me integrate sign into my classroom, I purchased some new materials and took an online class over the Summer.

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I’ve taken several classes from Nellie Edge over the years, but this year they are offering an online class.  Nellie loves integrating sign into her literacy instruction to help build a reading brain.  Here is the link to her site.  I took all three of the online classes this year.  LOVE THEM!!

I’ve had the Sing, Sign, and Read book for many years and love using it in the classroom.  I bought an additional copy this year because the kids love reading the book and I’m afraid to let them use it independently because it was my only copy.  Now I have a teacher copy and a kid copy!  The CD is also included and the video is available on You Tube.

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I wasn’t sure where to purchase the giant wall charts, so I emailed Nellie’s people and found out that they could be purchased through Sign to Me.  Here’s the horizontal wall chart that I will be using each morning as we practice letters, sounds, and signing.

 

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The vertical chart will go in my writing center so kids will have a consistent resource.

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I bought the wall posters so that I can replace my current ABC line.  (Those are the individual pages that have Aa on one page and Bb on the next, etc.) The 8 1/2 x 11 cards that have the entire alphabet can be downloaded from the Nellie Edge site, so I printed an laminated several of those.  I also printed mini cards from the site and have those ready to go in small plastic stands to use as a resource in the science, art, and block areas.  I am SO excited because all of my materials will be consistent AND include sign!!  I have to admit, I was freaked out by the idea of teaching a second language.  Now, I’m really excited because it fits so well into our school culture and really helps kids build a reading brain through kinesthetic learning.

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Here’s the GREAT news!  If you are interested in these products, they will be 50% off, beginning on August 15th!!  You can shop at Sign to Me and use the promo code ABC50.  Want to know something really cool?  I purchased my materials last Sunday and found out about the upcoming sale on Monday.  I called the company and they honored the 50% off and refunded half of my purchase price.  How awesome is that?  I’m sharing this because I am VERY excited about the products and I think it’s really cool of the company to honor that coupon for me.  I can’t wait to get them into my classroom and show you how they are being used!

Happy signing!

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