Blog Articles by JOHN MILLER

Celebrated Deaf Artist Chuck Baird Dies

Celebrated Deaf Artist Chuck Baird Dies

By John Miller  |  Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chuck Baird, an amazing Deaf artist died February 10, 2012 after a four-year battle with cancer. Chuck Baird was often referred to as a playful mind and a generous heart. I was able to meet Chuck as he visited with a group of young Deaf and Hard of Hearing children. I have to admit his playful mind and generous heart is what stuck out to me the most while I watched him totally pull the children into his wonderful world of ...
FINGERSPELLING……that dirty BIG four-teen letter word!

FINGERSPELLING……that dirty BIG four-teen letter word!

By John Miller  |  Friday, February 3, 2012

In all my years of signing, I have never had anyone say to me, "I can’t believe how easy fingerspelling is!" or "Man, I really LOVE fingerspelling all these odd words that don’t have signs for them." It just isn’t a favorite part of the job! It is the thing that makes even seasoned interpreters break into a sweat when they have to start signing for a calculus class or in a court of law with a bunch ...
Showing TENSE while signing ASL

Showing TENSE while signing ASL

By John Miller  |  Thursday, January 12, 2012

One thing that many new signers struggle with is how to show tense (past, present and future) while signing. In ASL, you don't sign words like went or going or suffixes like "ing", "ed" or "s". By including the sign NOW at the beginning of a sentence, you can clarify the sentence is in the present tense. English Version: I am going to the store. ASL Version: NOW + STORE + I + GO. By including the sign PAST or BEFORE ...
Tips for Learning Sign Language in Your Natural Environment

Tips for Learning Sign Language in Your Natural Environment

By John Miller  |  Saturday, December 10, 2011

One of the most common questions I get from people who are first learning sign language is, "How do you remember so many new words? It's overwhelming!" It is; and unless you plan on incorporating it into your everyday life, it won't stick with you. Often sign language instructors will divide sign vocabulary up into categories like household items, food, family, colors, shapes etc... Doing this helps you to categorize the words and file them into your memory bank that way. ...
Learning Sign Language as a Foreign Language

Learning Sign Language as a Foreign Language

By John Miller  |  Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Learning signing language as a foreign language is a very good option for hearing students. It greatly enhances their understanding of languages. It increases their ability to communicate in a variety of situations when a spoken language is not an option. And American Sign Language is the fourth most used language in the United States. We love the idea of a world where more and more people are able to more effectively communicate with our vibrant Deaf and Hard ...
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 ...
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 ...