There are numerous ways to use fingerspelling in the classroom.
Some of these include:
Children can spell their names in sign language, often before they have adapted the fine motor skills to write their own names. Teaching the signed alphabet can easily be included in the daily routine of an early childhood classroom. At circle time, the teacher and students can sign the ABC song and sign along with it.
After children can sign their names, you may wish to have them create name signs for their peers. This gives them more fine motor skill practice, as well as phonetic practice with the acquired sign language alphabet.
At circle time, use name signs or fingerspell children’s names to get their attention one at a time for the next activity. This works equally well at the end of the day during pickup time.
The benefits of children learning the signed alphabet are vast. Learning the letter names, sounds, signs, and written form is helpful in developing writing and language skills as well as understanding phonetic concepts and rules.
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