Basic sign language can be used in the classroom in many ways. While it will take some time to practice and perfect the signs, there are ways to include them in daily activities and routines which do not require fluency.
Ask children to use the “bathroom” sign when they need to use the restroom. This is especially helpful during circle time, or when the teacher is instructing the class because it limits outbursts and interruptions.
Determine a set of signs for children to hold up as they raise their hand. The letter C, for instance can mean that the child has a comment they would like to add. The letter A may mean that they know the answer to the question. The letter I may mean they need more information, or are confused.
Put up an “ASL” sign when voices should be off and sign language can be used instead. Older children will be able to use more of this, but younger children can use basic signs such as please, understand, colors, etc.
Sign language can be a wonderful outlet for children to express their feelings and emotions in a safe way. At times, children may find it difficult to verbalize their emotions, and sign language gives them another avenue to communicate these emotions.
Sign language can be especially helpful for non-verbal or minimally verbal children.
You can allow children to use sign language during quiet work times. Using signs such as please, thank you, help, or the bathroom signal helps to create a calm atmosphere in the classroom.
Video: Classroom Management Tricks of the Trade: Sign Language Source: Edutopia Length: 1:08
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