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Signing Savvy is an ideal resource to use while you learn sign language. It includes the ability to view large sign videos, build your own word lists and share them with others, create virtual flash cards and quizzes, print signs, build sign phrases, ...and more

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Signing Children’s Books: Piggies

Learning Tips   |  Friday, January 18, 2019

By John Miller

This article is part of our “Signing Children’s Books” series, which highlights children’s books and pairs them with pre-built Signing Savvy word lists to help you get started with learning and signing the vocabulary in the book. Reading and literacy is so important. By sharing these pre-built word lists, we hope to cut down on prep time for families that are just beginning to learn ASL and hope you can find more comfort in sharing literacy with our young deaf children.

In the book Piggies, Audrey and Don Wood created a beautiful take on classic finger play. The illustrations show cute little pigs dancing and playing on the tips of hands. Hands covered in mittens, bubbles, and even mud! The pictures are so creative, your little ones will want to look at the photos for hours!

The creators of the book have been nice enough to provide you access to illustrations for the kids to color and do activities of their own. Get free printables from the authors. Through Pinterest, you can also find many different fun and exciting Piggies learning activities to do with the children to extend their use of language and creativity.

I hope through the Piggies pre-built word list you will feel confident to share this story with your children.

Word List for Piggies

View word list of ASL signs for the book Piggies

Signing Savvy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking signingsavvy.com to Amazon properties. That means Signing Savvy may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link, your cost will be exactly the same regardless, but Signing Savvy will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us continue to improve Signing Savvy!

 

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Signing Children’s Books: Goodnight Moon

Learning Tips   |  Friday, January 11, 2019

By John Miller

This article is part of our “Signing Children’s Books” series, which highlights children’s books and pairs them with pre-built Signing Savvy word lists to help you get started with learning and signing the vocabulary in the book. Reading and literacy is so important. By sharing these pre-built word lists, we hope to cut down on prep time for families that are just beginning to learn ASL and hope you can find more comfort in sharing literacy with our young deaf children.

Goodnight Moon is one of the first books every new parent reads to their little ones. It's simple and a classic. It has a copyright of 1947, yet it still remains on the best seller list today! Children love it!

I've found multiple activities over the years to do with this book. The activities work on vocabulary, counting skills and just explore the literature deeper. Here are several ideas for activities to do related to Goodnight Moon on Pinterest to help you get started.

My hope is that through the Goodnight Moon pre-built word list you will feel confident to share this story with your children.

Word List for Goodnight Moon

View word list of ASL signs for the book Goodnight Moon

Signing Savvy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking signingsavvy.com to Amazon properties. That means Signing Savvy may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link, your cost will be exactly the same regardless, but Signing Savvy will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us continue to improve Signing Savvy!

 

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Cooking Up Language with Signs: Banana Monkey Bread

Learning Tips   |  Thursday, January 3, 2019

By John Miller

This article is part of our “Cooking Up Language With Signs” series, which features a recipe and accompanying sign language 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.

What’s cookin’?

Today I’m cooking up Banana Monkey Bread. I chose this recipe as I was working on the article and word list for Signing Children’s Books: Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed. This is a great recipe to pair with the book Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. I LOVE Monkey Bread, but you can also find plenty of different activities to do online that can easily be connected to the Five Little Monkeys book series.

Banana Monkey Bread

Start by spraying a bundt cake pan with cooking spray and then arrange the sliced bananas in the bottom of the pan. The bananas you just put in the bottom of the pan, will become the top of the monkey bread when you flip it after baking! This always confuses and amuses the kids!

Banana step for Banana Monkey Bread

The recipe I use calls for 2 cans of Pillsbury Grands biscuits, however, I ended up using one can of Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers biscuits and then one can of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. Using the can of cinnamon rolls gave me frosting to drizzle over the bread ring after it finished baking.

Open the biscuits and cinnamon rolls and pull them apart into separate biscuits / rolls. Cut them into quarters (or 4 pieces each). This can also be a little math lesson. You can work together to figure out how one biscuit / roll can be divided into 1/4, 2/4 (1/2), 3/4, and 4/4 (whole).

Now you'll coat your biscuits / rolls in cinnamon sugar. Make the cinnamon sugar in a large bowl by stirring together 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Roll each biscuit / roll piece in the sugar mixture. Then arrange the cinnamon sugar coated dough evenly over the bananas in your pan. Top with the remaining 1 1/2 bananas sliced.

Dough step for Banana Monkey Bread

In a medium, microwavable bowl, microwave 1 cup of butter on high until melted. Add 1/2 cup of the leftover cinnamon sugar mixture and 1/2 cup light brown sugar and beat with a whisk until combined. Pour mixture evenly over the biscuit pieces in the pan.

Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Let stand at least 5 minutes.

Bake step for Banana Monkey Bread

Place large plate on top of the pan and flip over and let the bread slide out of the pan. Put frosting from the can of cinnamon rolls on top of the monkey bread. ENJOY!!

Recipe

Enjoy making this tasty Banana Monkey Bread. Use the pre-built word list created to go along with the recipe to help you as you make this recipe.

Banana Monkey Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Tools:

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray bundt cake pan with cooking spray.
  3. Slice bananas and arrange half of them (1 1/2 bananas) in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Open the cans of biscuits and cinnamon rolls and pull them apart into separate biscuits / rolls. Cut them into quarters (or 4 pieces each).
  5. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Roll biscuit and cinnamon rolls pieces in the sugar mixture; arrange evenly over bananas in the pan.
  6. Top with the remaining sliced bananas (1 1/2 bananas).
  7. In a medium, microwavable bowl, microwave 1 cup butter on high until melted. Add 1/2 cup of the leftover cinnamon sugar mixture and 1/2 cup light brown sugar; beat with a whisk until combined. Pour mixture evenly over the dough pieces.
  8. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked.
  9. Let stand at least 5 minutes.
  10. Place large plate on top of the pan and flip over and let the bread slide out of the pan.
  11. Put frosting from the can of cinnamon rolls on top of the monkey bread.

Word List for Banana Monkey Bread

View word list of ASL signs for Banana Monkey Bread

Signing Savvy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking signingsavvy.com to Amazon properties. That means Signing Savvy may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link, your cost will be exactly the same regardless, but Signing Savvy will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us continue to improve Signing Savvy!

 

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Signing Children’s Books: Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed

Learning Tips   |  Wednesday, January 2, 2019

By John Miller

This article is part of our “Signing Children’s Books” series, which highlights children’s books and pairs them with pre-built Signing Savvy word lists to help you get started with learning and signing the vocabulary in the book. Reading and literacy is so important. By sharing these pre-built word lists, we hope to cut down on prep time for families that are just beginning to learn ASL and hope you can find more comfort in sharing literacy with our young deaf children.

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed is a classic counting nursery rhyme / song that has been turned into a series of books. It's a perfect beginner book for young children and new signers because of it's repetitive nature.

There are many activities you can do along with this book. This is a great story to use finger puppets or toy props with for imaginary play and practicing counting and sequencing. 

         

Reading the book is also a great time to talk about the bedtime routine. The monkeys take a bath, put on their pajamas, brush their teeth, and say goodnight, all before the jumping starts. If you are telling the story at bedtime and have done all of these things already to get ready for bed, you can ask your little one if they did the activity after signing what the monkeys did. For example, “Five little monkeys brushed their teeth… did you brush your teeth?” There is even a Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed board game you can play with your children (although maybe not at bedtime!) that also has you act out each bedtime routine while playing.

There is a short, 3-minute video on Amazon Prime that tells the story of the Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.

The author went on to develop a series featuring these same characters, so children can revisit their favorite monkey siblings as they read in bed, bake a birthday cake, sit in a tree, play hide-and-seek, go shopping, wash a car or with nothing to do.

For a great recipe that goes with the theme of this book, see my article Cooking Up Language with Signs: Banana Monkey Bread.

I hope through the Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed pre-built word list you will feel confident to share this story with your children.

Word List for Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed

View word list of ASL signs for the book Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Related Toys and Games: 

Related Video:

Related Books: 

Signing Savvy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking signingsavvy.com to Amazon properties. That means Signing Savvy may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link, your cost will be exactly the same regardless, but Signing Savvy will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us continue to improve Signing Savvy!

 

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Living Loud: LeRoy Colombo – First Deaf Lifeguard and Life Saving Record Holder

Living Loud: LeRoy Colombo – First Deaf Lifeguard and Life Saving Record Holder

Deaf Culture   |  Saturday, December 29, 2018

By Marta Belsky

This article is by Marta Belsky. Marta is a third generation ASL user. She has been teaching ASL for 30 years and enjoys sharing her native language with new users.

When he was seven years old, LeRoy Colombo contracted spinal meningitis, which left him deaf and paralyzed from the waist down. His brothers encouraged him to swim, a therapy which resulted in his ability to walk again. Even so, he felt more at home in the water, and found his life’s purpose as a swimmer.

Life Saver and Water Whiz

At the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, he broke several swimming records for speed and distance. When he was twelve, he saved a child from drowning, which became the first of many lives he saved. He was also one of the first people to surf in Galveston. In 1923, Colombo joined the Galveston Toboggan Surf Club, which required members to swim for three straight hours without outside support or floating.

Boys at the swimming hole in 1922
Boys at the swimming hole in 1922. (Photo Credit: Jean F. Andrews., Retreived from Deaf in Prison Blog)

“He saved more people than I ever heard of or knew. He was one of the greatest lifeguards that ever lived. I know where he saved three people at one time, and once, four. He could sense anything going on in the water and see it before anyone else could. He’s a legend in the city of Galveston”
     - D.K. Lack
Galveston Police Chief

He climbed into the lifeguard station perch in Galveston when he was 18, and worked there for over 40 years. He is included in the 1976 Guinness Book of World Records for saving 907 people, although the total number of saves is over 1,000. One of the most dramatic rescues involved diving under burning oil from a tugboat that had burst into flames to save the lives of two crewmen.

Galveston Police Chief D.K. Lack said, “He saved more people than I ever heard of or knew. He was one of the greatest lifeguards that ever lived. I know where he saved three people at one time, and once, four. He could sense anything going on in the water and see it before anyone else could. He’s a legend in the city of Galveston” (The Deaf American, 1974, p. 23).

In addition to life-saving, Colombo enjoyed endurance racing. In 1927, he swam in a race across the Gulf of Mexico – a fifteen-mile swim. Only he and his brother finished, as the others dropped out from jellyfish stings and exhaustion. Colombo’s time was 11.5 hours, over three hours ahead of his brother. He won all the distance races held in the Gulf of Mexico between 1929 and 1939.

LeRoy Colombo on the beach
LeRoy Columbo on the beach during the peak of his lifeguarding career. (Photo Credit: Jean F. Andrews., Retreived from Deaf in Prison Blog)

Proved Deaf People Can Be Great Lifeguards

After his hearing lost, Columbo struggled in local public school. He learned sign language and continued swimming in the indoor pool at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin. He lived during a time of great prejudice towards deaf people and faced both poverty and discrimination. None of his hearing family or any of the hearing lifeguards that he worked with learned sign language. Yet, he didn’t let other people’s opinions or lack of support dictate what he could do. He loved the water and he loved saving lives.

One of Colombo’s greatest contributions, however, was as a living example that deaf people could work as lifeguards. He is cited in literature used in disputes about Deaf people becoming lifeguards, even though there is still discrimination based on fears a deaf lifeguard could not hear cries for help. Today, The American Red Cross allows Deaf people to hold this position, but the YMCA does not.

Others argue it was Colombo’s deafness that helped him to be such an acute and successful lifeguard. Some researchers have found deaf people have enhanced visual attention, visual perception, and motion detection skills. One hypothesis is Colombo wasn’t as distracted by the sounds of noisy seagulls, the crashing surf, or people laughing and shouting on the beach. He used his prowess and knowledge of the water, currents and riptides, to quickly recognize people in distress.

LeRoy Colombo on the beach
HIstorical marker in honor of Leroy Colombo in Galveston, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jean F. Andrews., Retreived from Deaf in Prison Blog)

Legacy

He retired from being a lifeguard at 62 because of a heart condition, but continued swimming in the Gulf of Mexico a mile a day in both summer and winter for 6 more years, up until a few weeks before he died at the age of 68.

Flags in many parts of Texas were lowered to half-mast when he died, he was honored in the Texas legislature with a resolution and moment of silence, and a plaque was erected in his honor at the Galveston beach where he patrolled for over forty years. Colombo is remembered today in an annual 5K LeRoy Colombo race held each summer in Galveston. In 2002, Colombo was inducted into the Texas School for the Deaf Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2006, a Texas legislature act enabled the unveiling of The Leroy Colombo Swim Center during the Texas School for the Deaf’s 115th birthday celebration. Some still say he was the "World’s Greatest Lifeguard".

More on Colombo

See this 2-part, in-depth biography:

Books:

Resources

Signing Savvy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking signingsavvy.com to Amazon properties. That means Signing Savvy may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link, your cost will be exactly the same regardless, but Signing Savvy will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us continue to improve Signing Savvy!

 

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About the Author

Marta Belsky Marta Belsky is a third generation ASL user. She has been teaching ASL for 30 years and enjoys sharing her native language with new users. Marta is on the Lansing Community College Interpreter Training Program Advisory Board and has also been a board member for the Michigan Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and the Michigan Chapter of American Sign Language Teachers Association.

More about Marta  |  Articles by Marta

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