Friday, March 02, 2012

For The Love of Sign

On Fridays, instead of spending the day cleaning my house and napping, I've been packing my favorite books into a bag- or my new awesome large-sized books (thank you homeschooling mom somewhere in my area who is selling off your stuff for younger kids so I can buy it up and use it)- and heading over to the schools. In the morning, I read and teach sign language to two of the special needs kindergardens and the classroom that has the autism resource kids and the tier 3 self-contained kids in it (it covers all three grades). And we all have an awesome time. Then i grab some lunch, and head over to Joey's classroom* to teach sign language.

In Joey's room, when I am teaching, I have Joey as my awesome Sign Helper. He knows most of the signs, even if he doesn't do a lot of signing, and he loves being the "teacher." He also loves looking up signs on my phone when someone asks for a sign I don't know. And looking up signs he fancies. He's getting good at looking stuff up.

Today, we did "outside signs" because most of the afternoon group are boys between 9 and 11, and I could show them signs for sports. I've shown them before, but memory is not the forte of most of these kids, for various reasons. So we did football, soccer, baseball, basketball. Then we needed hockey. I don't know hockey, and it wasn't in my faithful app. So I showed Joey how to use the Safari app on my phone, and we googled it, came up with it, and went on.

Next thing I know, he's uploading videos of the classroom to You Tube! How does he DO that? (How did he get my password???)

Then he starts teaching his fellow students all sorts of new signs, looking them up and announcing "This is hamburger!" (shows sign) "This is cereal!" (shows sign) "This is bird! Angry... bird!" (shows signs). "Ticket! This is the sign for ticket!" (he shows the sign) Of course, tickets are what they get to save up for rewards. So everyone starts giggling and getting out of focus.

"Careful!" I say, "or I'll show you the sign for 'homework!'"

"Homework!" Joey calls out gleefully. "Home... work!" (he does the signs) "Homework!" And dutifully (and happily), his classmates learn the sign. Now that is love of signing.

*I asked Andy if he would like me to come his classroom, and I got a horrified "No!"

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