Teaching Tips Articles

Exploring Holiday Family Traditions at School and ADDING LANGUAGE

Exploring Holiday Family Traditions at School and ADDING LANGUAGE

By John Miller  |  Wednesday, November 30, 2016

We are constantly posting tips, facts, and learning resources related to sign language and Deaf culture on our Signing Savvy Facebook Page and Twitter @SigningSavvy. Occasionally we get questions about our posts and explain them further with a followup article. This article expands on one of our Parent/Teacher Quick Tip of the Day posts (Tip #60) from Facebook, which is also often tied to our Sign of the Day.  Typically, Deaf Education Classrooms consist of a low number of students per class.  This allows teachers ...
Avoiding Stereotypes with Gender when Teaching Sign Language

Avoiding Stereotypes with Gender when Teaching Sign Language

By John Miller  |  Wednesday, October 5, 2016

We are constantly posting tips, facts, and learning resources related to sign language and Deaf culture on our Signing Savvy Facebook Page and Twitter @SigningSavvy. Occasionally we get questions about our posts and explain them further with a followup article. This article expands on one of our Parent/Teacher Quick Tip of the Day posts from Facebook, which is also often tied to our Sign of the Day. Each day I look at Signing Savvy’s Sign of the Day and reflect on ...
ASL in the Classroom: One Thanksgiving Story with Many Titles

ASL in the Classroom: One Thanksgiving Story with Many Titles

By Kathleen Marcath  |  Monday, March 21, 2016

Signing Savvy membership is a great tool and has saved me lots of time! I have the wonderful privilege to share ASL with the students at St. Peter's Lutheran School. Together with the classroom teacher, Mrs. Susan Bennett, we wanted to create a project for the students to learn ASL. We picked the topic, Thanksgiving. The goal of the project was for the students to be able to share sign language with their families on Thanksgiving Day.
Cooking Up Language with Signs: Frozen Fruit Popsicles Recipe

Cooking Up Language with Signs: Frozen Fruit Popsicles Recipe

By John Miller  |  Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Today I’m cooking up Frozen Fruit Popsicles. These are so healthy AND tasty, kids will LOVE them! The recipe is simple to make and very easy to adjust to your personal preference and allergy/diet needs - just choose any fruit you like, add coconut water, and freeze. Viola! SO sweet, yet SO healthy! The article features a recipe and accompanying Signing Savvy word list to get you started on an interactive cooking activity that is great for spicing up language learning at home or in the classroom.
Cooking Up Language with Signs: Language Learning and Teachable Moments Through Cooking

Cooking Up Language with Signs: Language Learning and Teachable Moments Through Cooking

By John Miller  |  Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Children find creating things with their own two hands very motivating. They get excited to see how they can be directly involved in the whole process. There is so much that can be taught through cooking activities in your classroom or home - from the choosing of the recipe, the shopping for the products at the grocery store (or a pretend grocery store), the prepping of the food, the actual cooking/baking, the sharing of the creation with others, and the debriefing (talking about what and how they made something). We are starting a new "Cooking Up Language with Signs" series, which features a recipe and accompanying Signing Savvy word list to get you started on an interactive cooking activity that is great for spicing up language learning at home or in the classroom.
The Role of the Interpreter in the Classroom

The Role of the Interpreter in the Classroom

By John Miller  |  Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Recently I sat down with a deaf high school student to discuss how things were going with her classes and her interpreter. She told me that her interpreter was doing well in her 1st hour class, but she said she was bored in her 2nd hour class because her interpreter was not "doing a good job there." I know this interpreter well and had observed her many times before. I have always known the interpreter to be very professional, so I decided ...
Cooking Up Language with Signs: Practice Signing at Home While Making Your Favorite Holiday Treats

Cooking Up Language with Signs: Practice Signing at Home While Making Your Favorite Holiday Treats

By John Miller  |  Friday, December 19, 2014

One really fun idea for teachers to do for their students’ families for the holidays is to assemble a virtual cookbook filled with recipes to create at home.  We all know how important it is for children to be communicated with at home, as well as school, but many times parents are reluctant to do some activities at home because they don’t have the sign vocabulary to do so.
Using a Swiss Cheese Folder to Plug Holes in Education

Using a Swiss Cheese Folder to Plug Holes in Education

By John Miller  |  Monday, July 14, 2014

Being an educator of deaf children for over twenty years, I know the frustrations that occur when you are working with a student and continue to find gaps in their understanding of certain concepts. It’s shocking to find out that your second grader doesn’t know something like their middle name or their address. It’s easy to say to yourself, “Why didn’t the parents or the teachers before me teach this child this information?”   Instead of pointing fingers, there is a ...
Teaching Young Children to Sign

Teaching Young Children to Sign

By John Miller  |  Monday, February 25, 2013

I have had several questions about how to teach young children to sign recently, so I wanted to repost an article I wrote back in 2009 (with a few modifications), which answers many of the questions. Research has shown that a child's muscles in the hands and fingers develop at a faster rate than those in the mouth and jaw. This shows us that a child is better equipped at a young age to sign before they can speak. And children ...
Writing a great research paper

Writing a great research paper

By John Miller  |  Thursday, October 20, 2011

Challenge: Often times when a Deaf student is at the high school level, they have been using the language for so long that they are very fluent in it and great storytellers using their language, sign language, yet they still struggle with putting that great ability into a written form. This is where this next lesson idea can be a helpful tool. Activity: Research a topic, present findings in a video, then write a report Most students have times where they have ...