In my young preschool classroom, I got a new child who does not speak English as a first language. This child has been in my room for a week now and does not communicate with me through words. His way of communication is through a form of sign language and the use of his hands. When he is angry he will use his hands and when he says sorry he will hug the other children. When the child is hungry he will point to his month and when the child needs to go to the washroom he will point to the bathroom. Since I am currently learning a variety of words and phrases in sign language, I could communicate with this child through signing words. A few words I have been going over with this child and the other children in my room have been food, water, hungry, thirsty and outside. I have only been signing words with this child for a few days and I believe it has made a huge difference and the child feels more comfortable. Any suggestions?
As I am following my videos on sign language 101, my next concept was on colors. I learned how to sign the colors red, blue, yellow, white, black, orange, pink, grey, purple, green, brown and tan. I learned that when you are signing colors you need to use movement in your hand. Unlike letters when your hand is in one position, to say specific colors you need to move your hand. One question I had this week when I was practicing colors in sign language was does it matter what hand you sign with. I then began to research this because I have been going back and forth with my right and left hand. I then looked into it and found that it doesn’t matter what hand you sign with as long as you use the same hand every time. I also read that most people sign with their dominant hand.
As I continued my research and practice with signing colors, I came across this video, which I strongly recommend you watching.
This video represents deaf people that are apart of an LGBTQ alliance signing the song True Colors. This alliance is called Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf. I really enjoyed this video because it made me think that color means so much more than most people think. When I was looking for videos online to learn how to sign colors this was one of the first videos that showed up. I watched this video and admired each and every person. This video made me think about why I decided to learn sign language in the first place and that reason was to be able to communicate with people who are deaf or have hearing impairments. It shows me that we need to respect people for who they are and to realize that people do not choose everything in their lives. Therefore as a teacher if I have 1 deaf student out of every 10 students, I want to be able to communicate with them because they are still a person. On the website Statistics on Deaf Canadians it states that there are 357,000 deaf Canadians and 3.21 million Canadians that had hard hearing.
Overall this week I focused more on learning about what the purpose was on learning sign language and why I chose to do this. I am learning that I am not going to completely accomplish learning sign language at the end of this course but I believe as long as I have a strong purpose on why I want to learn it, will give me integrity to keep learning it when this course is over and eventually be able to teach it to my students. To continue my journey right now, I am going to start learning common signs in sign language.
This week in EDTC we had a very interesting conversation on technology. We discussed the importance of technology and how our world in being shaped by it. One video that I watched was An Anthropological Introduction to Youtube. The information that was presented in this video blew me away. One concept that was discussed was about how quickly a video can travel around the world. I always knew that people share videos and the popular videos have an extreme amount of views but I never thought of the fact that it can travel to various parts of the world. With other places around the world watching and reproducing these videos, they are integrating their own culture into what is being presented.
Reflecting back on our class lecture, this video also shows how significant technology is in our world today and also how important it was in the past. I believe that in the past technology was not as major as it is today and I think that is mainly because of the new inventions we have now. As we discussed in class, it wasn’t as easy to contact people over the phone and search for things on the internet and now it takes us a minute to find things. Since technology has now become a popular tool in our society, we as teachers are now faced with the question on how we should use it or not use it in our classrooms.
My Teaching Experience and Thoughts on Technology in the Classroom
In my future classroom I know for a fact I will use technology and incorporate it into my lesson plans no matter what grade I am teaching. During my field experiences I have had positive learning experiences with technology. Using technology in your classroom also allows you to use differentiated instructions such as using the smartboard for videos and powerpoint, iPads, and computers. Also there are so apps that can help students learn. Some of the apps that I have used with my students have been:
Through my experiences with using technology in the classroom I strongly believe it is a successful tool as long as the students are taught to use it right.
Here is an example of one of the mentis that my students did! They loved it!
This week I have found an awesome website to help me with my learning journey. This website is called Sign Language 101. On this website, they provide a variety of videos to help you learn sign language. This was also a good website because it starts with the basics and eventually builds on to more difficult concepts. The first lesson I watched was on gestures and body language. In this video it went over basic sight words in sign language expressing body language. A few of these words were hello, goodbye, hair, face, feelings and etc. I enjoyed watching this video because it not only taught me how to sign words but helped me with my current job. Since I am working in a First Years Learning Center with Young Pre-Schools, a lot of my children still haven’t grasped the meaning of basic gesture words and parts of the body. I starting using sight language in my classroom to help my children understand what we are doing.
- When it is time for lunch, I will have my children come sit at the table. To do this I will sign eat to my children to show them that it is time for snack or lunch.
- When my children are eating snack I will always ask them if it is good. In sign language I started to ask them by rubbing my stomach. Most of my children will do it back to me and say it is good.
- When we are reading books about people, I will follow through the book asking my children to find specific body parts (hair, nose, eye, mouth). As I learned this week, to sign these body parts you just point to them or touch them on your body.
Last week one of my goals was to memorize the alphabet in sign language. Although I do not think I can sign the entire alphabet through memorization yet, I learned how to sign my name. Here is a video of my name in sign language!
Next Week I am going to be learning about colors!
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller
This week I participated in my first online twitter chat. The chat that I chose to participate in was Sask Ed Chat. I chose this chat because I have had previous classes with Kelly Christopherson (leader of the chat) and he always suggested that we follow along. During my experience on this chat, I first noticed how crazy it was. I would not have been able to follow along and learn as much as I did without using tweetdeck. Tweetdeck allowed me to have 3 different twitter sites going at once. This is what my screen looked like during the twitter chat. I was able to view the main chat, other comments and my comments at the same time.
After I learned how to work the chat, I was able to contribute my knowledge towards the questions that were being asked. This was a pretty good experience because I was able to communicate with others online. I had other teachers commenting and adding suggestions on my posts and I was able to reply to other teachers comments as well. Since collaboration with other teachers is extremely important in this profession, using twitter chats allows you to communicate through technology.