Teachable Moments to Introduce New Signs

Do you ever wonder how you can support a child’s oral language development?  There is a wonderful strategy that makes it incredibly easy! Life always provides us with opportunities to use teachable moments. These moments in time lend itself to teaching new signs (that’s American Sign Language) and supporting children’s oral language development.

This past month I had one of those exciting teachable moments at the beginning of the school year.  All my students were sitting on the carpet waiting for me to read a story when one of my little friends blurted out that another friend was bothering him.  I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to introduce the two new signs ‘please’ ‘stop.’  I explained to my class that it was not okay for anyone to interrupt their learning time and that each one of them had the right to tell any person bothering them to “please stop” using the signs for ‘please’ and ‘stop.’  This lesson was empowering to my students, now they are able to solve their own problems using two little signs that help them demonstrated good character.

These teachable moments are valuable because you are teaching in the present and making a lesson concrete for a child.  By using real situations to teach signs that support abstract concepts young children are able to build on to their knowledge and improve on their communication and language skills.Songs & Chants for Signing

Another way to support oral language development is to using songs and chants.  This supports children developing their phonemic awareness and introduces new vocabulary.  Children have fun playing with the language while building fine motor skills as they sign, sing, and chant.  We’ve put together a collection of our favorite songs and chants for you.  This can be found at one of our teacher resource stores.  Please visit Teachers Pay Teachers, Syllabuy or Teacher’s Notebook and have fun incorporating ASL into your reading program!

Are you looking to learn more ASL?  Check out the Sprouting New Beginnings YouTube site and feel free to join the fun and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.  We love sharing the gift of ASL with others.

Happy Signing II