Teaching Tips Articles

Fostering communication between school and home at the middle school level

Fostering communication between school and home at the middle school level

By John Miller  |  Monday, September 19, 2011

This blog is part of a series of Teaching Tips for teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students. However, many of the ideas would work well in ANY teaching situation where you are working with children and parents (families). The last article in this series was aimed at elementary education, now it is time to move on to the Middle School age students and continue our work on literacy skills. (Remember our goal is to improve reading, writing and ...
Fostering communication between school and home at the elementary level

Fostering communication between school and home at the elementary level

By John Miller  |  Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This blog is part of a series of Teaching Tips for teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students. However, many of the ideas would work well in ANY teaching situation where you are working with children and parents (families). We will begin at the ground level with an elementary level suggestion for improving literacy and work our way up to other grade levels in later blogs. This suggestion works on the basis that children learn better when they are involved in ...
Fostering communication between school and home

Fostering communication between school and home

By John Miller  |  Saturday, August 27, 2011

Many people who have worked in the field of Deaf Education have had to deal with an alarming statistic that has plagued the field for a long time. The average reading level of the exiting or graduating deaf senior is that of a 4th grader. It has fluctuated over the years but for the most part it is still much lower than any of us would care to accept. I have heard many different explanations as to why this ...
Creating a Deck of Printed Flash Cards

Creating a Deck of Printed Flash Cards

By John Miller  |  Monday, August 1, 2011

In my sign language teaching, I create word lists containing the vocabulary of each of my lessons. I share these word lists so my students can view it. The students can then use the online flash card and quizzing features to learn the vocabulary and better prepare themselves for the next in-class test. NOTE: If they have an Apple or Android mobile device, they can also use the flash card feature on the Signing Savvy Member App. The online ...
Turn an Ordinary Children's Book into a Creative Sign Language Learning Tool

Turn an Ordinary Children's Book into a Creative Sign Language Learning Tool

By John Miller  |  Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Children's books are often great learning tools because they are visual, help build a child's vocabulary, and kids love them! I use them all the time in my teaching to young students. Now, with Signing Savvy and a bit of creativity, you can create a sign language version of your favorite children's books to further enhance their learning potential. Below is an example of a very well known children's classic that has been modified to show the signs. To create this book, ...
Still time to tap into that summer creativity!

Still time to tap into that summer creativity!

By John Miller  |  Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teachers, I know you are all enjoying your summers and don\'t really want to think about \"Back to School\" just yet, but I thought I would take the time, over the next few blog posts, to highlight some of the cool things you can do with the Signing Savvy features to add a little creativity to your ...
Take Them Shopping!

Take Them Shopping!

By John Miller  |  Thursday, April 15, 2010

Earlier, I discussed how I used cooking as a classroom activity to engage my students in sign language education. Well if you cook, you have to shop! Each week the students and I would pour over cookbooks picking out a recipe that might go along with a particular theme that we were studying at that time, such as traditional Thanksgiving foods in November, Valentine's cookies in February, etc... Sometimes it might just be something that sounded tasty. From that ...
Children love to cook!

Children love to cook!

By John Miller  |  Sunday, March 7, 2010

They just do! I often used cooking as a teaching tool the classroom. Once my students got the skills in place through our dramatic play (described earlier), we would do cooking activities in the classroom and invite others in to join us and taste our creations. While cooking, we would again use our digital camera to document the steps in the process. We would print off these photos later and have the students put them in order (sequencing) and add ...
What Happened in School Today?

What Happened in School Today?

By John Miller  |  Sunday, January 24, 2010

How frustrating it must be as a parent to have your deaf child come home and have no idea what has just happened to them for the last seven hours. The child may do their best to communicate their day but many of them have JUST learned the vocabulary themselves and reproducing them once they get home for mom and dad is difficult to say the least. One idea that I used that was very successful was a daily journal ...
Dramatic Play

Dramatic Play

By John Miller  |  Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dramatic play is such an underrated way for children to learn. I had so much fun interacting with my preschool deaf children and watching how they would communicate through dramatic play. It opened the doors for so many teaching/learning opportunities. One of my favorites was making restaurant menus including all the plastic play food we had in our dramatic play kitchens and creating our own cafe. The pages would include a digital photo of the food along ...