Blog Articles by JOHN MILLER

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.
5 Tips for Creating a Language Rich Environment for Deaf Children Through Routines and Consistency

5 Tips for Creating a Language Rich Environment for Deaf Children Through Routines and Consistency

By John Miller  |  Monday, October 5, 2015

Deaf adults who grew up in hearing families often talk about their lives as young children being a blur because they never knew what was happening or why. Being herded around and gestured to without proper communication are commonly reported. You may have heard the old saying, "chaos breads discontent." It’s true. Children thrive on a routine and consistency in their lives.  For many young children, the beginning of their school career is the first time they are exposed to a ...
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 ...
2015 Read Across America Day

2015 Read Across America Day

By John Miller  |  Monday, March 2, 2015

Read Across America Day is every year on March 2nd - Dr. Seuss’s birthday. The whole month of March is also National Reading Month. The events are used to encourage reading and literacy.  Reading any book is great, but the National Education Association chooses a book every year and this year’s book is the Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You’ll Go. Resources for this year’s Read Across America Day Get the book: Printable activities to accompany the book:             Find ...
Tips for Reading with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

Tips for Reading with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

By John Miller  |  Friday, February 27, 2015

The Importance of Reading with Children According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 53 percent of children ages three to five are read to daily by a family member.1 Yet, children are significantly better at reading comprehension when parents read with them and encourage reading.2  Children who are read to at home do better in school.  Research shows they are better at knowing the alphabet, counting, writing their names, and reading.3 Additionally, the more types of reading materials there are in the home, the ...
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.
Tips for Rhyming in Sign Language

Tips for Rhyming in Sign Language

By John Miller  |  Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Every year around this time, I get a message or two from teachers and interpreters of deaf children asking how to best convey the concept of rhymes to their students.  Rhyming is a very common curriculum goal in many, if not all early childhood education programs throughout the United States and Canada. The problem often with rhyming is that many of the words are made-up and, therefore, they have no sign.  We all know that words that have no sign should ...
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 ...
5 Ways for Kids to Communicate Easier with Sign Language This Summer

5 Ways for Kids to Communicate Easier with Sign Language This Summer

By John Miller  |  Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer is HERE!  For most children this means a break from school and fun in the sun with long summer days playing with friends.  Unfortunately, for many deaf and hard of hearing children, these weeks away from school can mean days without good communication. They will still have great summer days of play with friends and picnics with family, but often times communicating at home can be more of a struggle than at school – signing skills may not be ...
Signing Thank You

Signing Thank You

By John Miller  |  Tuesday, December 10, 2013

  We have had many people ask about signing THANK YOU to family and friends, and also giving thanks to God during this holiday season. In the case of THANK YOU to family and friends (or kind strangers!), you will want to sign the normal thank you gesture by moving your open flat hand out and down from your face, but do so in the direction of the person you are thanking.  You can remember the sign for thank you because it ...