Friday, December 16, 2011

Sign To Learn: A Book Review

About The Book:

Everyone is talking about signing with young children. As a form of early communication for infants and toddlers, or as a transitioning tool for children just beginning to speak, the benefits of signing with hearing children are endless. 

Sign to Learn is the first complete introduction to sign language curriculum for hearing preschoolers. In this unique resource, you will learn how to integrate American Sign Language (ASL) into your classroom to enhance the academic, social, and emotional development of children, and how to respectfully introduce children to Deaf culture. 

This comprehensive, fully illustrated curriculum contains captivating activities and lesson plans grouped by themes, including feelings, food, seasons, animals, songs, and families. Sign to Learn also contains strategies for using sign language with children with special needs and in multilingual classrooms; it also describes how ASL can assist you in developing a literacy program and in managing your classroom. 

Information-rich appendices include a thorough ASL illustration index, sample letters to families, and resources for further reading. Age Focus: 0-6. Softbound, 208 pgs. 

About The Authors:

Kirsten Dennis has fifteen years of experience in working with young children and has successfully integrated American Sign Language (ASL) into her curriculum for hearing students for the last ten years. She received her masters of arts in education and child development from Pacific Oaks College in Seattle, Washington. Her master's thesis focused on the use of ASL in the early childhood classroom. Kirsten and Tressa Azpiri coauthored Sign to Learn—a fun, easy-to-use curriculum for early childhood teachers to begin signing in their classrooms. She currently teaches kindergarten in the small, rural community of White Salmon, Washington. Publications: Sign to Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom(Redleaf Press, 2005)

Tressa Azpiri is the founder and lead teacher of the Puddle Stompers preschool and kindergarten program on Vashon Island, in Washington, where she has provided a high-quality early childhood program for more than twenty years. Her goals as an educator have always been to teach children in a loving and safe environment, to provide days bursting with adventure and joy, and to meet each child‚s developmental needs. She has a degree in early childhood education from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and American Sign Language (ASL) training from Seattle Central Community College and the Washington School for the Deaf. Tressa and Kirsten Dennis co-authored an ASL curriculum for hearing students in the Redleaf Press book Sign to Learn. The integration of ASL into her curriculum has helped Tressa provide a calm and stable environment where hearing children are motivated, engaged, focused, and excited to learn. The use of ASL in her classroom has enriched her program and touched the hearts of her students. Publications: Sign to Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom (Redleaf Press, 2005)

My Review:

I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1998 and have worked with children of all ages and stages. Many of the children I have worked with have had special needs, and it is these children that I have learned the most from, in my opinion. One thing I have had the privilege of learning over the years is sign language in my work with children with Autism and Speech Delays. I find the entire concept of using hand signs to communicate fascinating and was very excited to review Sign To Learn.

In Sign To Learn, not only will you learn specific signs for everyday living, songs and fingerplays, and more, but also you will learn about the history of American Sign Language, Research on teaching signing to hearing children, the principles behind ASL curriculum, using ASL as part of classroom management and lesson plans using American Sign Language. 

Sign To Learn is very well organized with a lot of simply drawn pictures to show the reader how to correctly implement each sign. You will learn to teach signs for family, weather, feelings, colors, shapes and more. Perfect for at home learning, as well as daycare, family child care programs and early elementary classrooms. A definite must have tool for all educators of young children for sure!

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Sign To Learn: American Sign Language in the Early Childhood Classroom online through Redleaf Press

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Redleaf Press, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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