Article: Learning ABCs with Sign Language Reinforces Core Curriculum

Learning ABCs with Signing Time Reinforces Core Curriculum

submitted by Anya G., First Grade Teacher from Kearns, Utah

I have been using Signing Time in my classroom for the past three years. I have found it to be a great tool specifically for classroom management. In education we use many silent cues to guide student behavior. Sign language helps students to know specifically what I want them to do. There have been many times I have been able to address a problem that has occurred on the other side of the classroom just by using a sign. I even use the signs to direct students on what they need to do like “line up” or “pay attention”.

I’ve also been able to use Signing Time effectively to support our curriculum. In our first grade class, we use the Signing Time DVD called “ABC Signs” at the beginning of the year to learn the alphabet in sign language. We continue to use the signs all year to reinforce the alphabet and their sounds. We have also tied in to the curriculum many of the other volumes of Signing Time and use them to reinforce the things that we are already teaching. Sign language has been a wonderful tool for some of our students with special needs that struggle with language development. Using sign language brings another dimension to what they are being taught and boosts their comprehension. Besides these teaching benefits, students get the added advantage of learning the basics of a second language (American Sign Language). I know it is working because I frequently find my students signing with each other in small group settings. They love to go home and share the signs they know with their family, and they always look forward to the time when they can watch another volume of Signing Time.