This post was written by shopkeeper Sprouting New Beginnings.
As teachers we have discovered that using American Sign Language (ASL) in our classroom is not just for pre-verbal children and children who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is a wonderful strategy to support literacy in an elementary classroom. In our classes we utilize ASL to help children learn to spell, expand their developing vocabulary, and strengthen their reading skills.
ASL supports their development in literacy and in math by using a kinesthetic approach to learning. ASL is used as a memory aid to increase learning. My children Say it, See it, and Do it! This supports brain development and multiple intelligences.
Some ways that we use ASL in the classroom are:
- For positive guidance
- Learning our letters and numbers
- Emphasizing vocabulary
- Spelling sight words, color words, seasons, and days of the week
- Classroom management
We also use ASL in music, while reading books, writing, and play. Children love learning ASL! They find that it is fun and easy and we find that it increases their level of engagement, which decreases behavioral challenges.
If you haven’t embraced this gift and passed it on to the children in your life then make it one of your new year’s resolutions to bring in the vocabulary of ASL into your classroom.