Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Teaching Tip - Sign Language in the Classroom

I am linking up with the one and only Miss Kindergarten for her linky on Teaching Tips.

Here is my teaching tip for you all. It ranks right up there with my love of Whole Brain Teaching.

Do any of you use sign language in your classroom? If not I highly suggest you try it out!

Sign Language is the perfect tool to use with classroom management. It is the best way to make sure children are being quiet and paying attention when you are "not" talking. It doesn't matter what grade you teach. This tool can be implemented into any classroom.

Children will be so attentive if you sign directions on how to walk down the hall. You can tell them walk to the first door, open it, go down the stairs, stop at the end of the hall, etc. They will be focusing on your every move. They just want to know more and more. It fascinates young children yet they pick it up so quickly.

If you practice signing the alphabet, it helps your bodily-kinesthetic learners as well as improves fine motor skills. Even the youngest of children can fingerspell their names. You would be so surprised at what children can do.

If you use sign language during your story time for who has to go to the bathroom, it alleviates the shouting out. You can also have a sign for a question about the story, or a comment about the story so you don't get interrupted every two seconds.

You can conduct lessons that the children are familiar with without using your voice at all. For those long days when you have lost your voice or have taken one too many sneezes to the face and are now sick this is perfect. It is quite a gem to use. 

You can also practice signing songs you learn in class. This will help the children learn the words faster. Children will be absolutely fascinated and love to teach their friends and family what they have learned.

There are so many wonderful reasons why sign language should be used I could go on all day about it. If you are interested in learning more or implementing it into your classroom try out these great books!

If you already use sign language in your classroom I'd love to hear about it. If you start using sign language as a result let me know how it goes. If you are interested in learning more about ASL check out a book from your local library or sign up for a class in your area. They are offered all the time!

While you are at it, check out this great video of Party in the USA in ASL.
If you liked that, search youtube for your favorite songs. There's sure to be an ASL video for it. But be warned, once you start you will spend hours watching!

I am looking forward to learning all your teaching tips. Especially those on classroom management. You all know how hard classroom management was your first year of teaching. I need all the help I can get! I can't wait to see what you have to share!


  1. New follower here... and I love using signing in my classroom!!! I impressed my principal today by showing off my kinder kiddos skills at following signed directions without saying. a. word. Then I taught her! WOOT! :) Glad to have found your blog!

    Carried Away in Kindergarten

    1. Wow that's awesome! It's amazing what the children can understand without saying a word.

  2. I use sign language also. It is amazing how quiet the kids are when you sign to them. They are so excited to see what you are going to ask of them. Thank you for sharing so I could find your blog.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. I sure could have used this last Monday or Tuesday when I had NO voice!
    My Heart Belongs in First

    1. Haha I am sure you could have! I'm sure it will come in handy again soon!

  4. I have always wanted to use sign language in my classroom. I thought the same about my kinsethetic learners, especially practicing spelling words! Thanks so much for the tip (now I need to teach myself some sign language)!
    Second Grade is Out of This World

    1. I am taking a class once a week and it is amazing how quickly you can pick up the language. It is far easier to learn than a normal foreign language. I think learning in a class is the perfect option for me. I don't do well learning a language on my own. But you can easily just pick up a few words by using an online sign language dictionary. They show videos for all the signs. Just google a word and then ASL and you can find the sign for it! Hope that helps!

  5. What a great idea!! We're your newest followers!!=) Jackie and Danielle

  6. Love this! I definitely need to learn more, but I do love implementing what I already know!!! :)

  7. I am a new follower:) I use some sing language in my classroom as well. My kids learned the sign language alphabet from a great Youtube video I found.
    Connie Anderson:)


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