This year the Kindergarten class is exploring the world of visual language through American Sign Language (ASL)! Every day in Kindergarten we communicate through our hand gestures, body language and facial expressions. Now that we have learned basic requests such as bathroom and water breaks, we have begun tying our vocabulary-building and other lessons to signs. Recently we learned many spooky Halloween signs. The kids especially loved trying to sign to express their costumes and exploring how deaf people trick-or-treat. ASL is a powerful way to express new ideas and concepts. It helps connect the English alphabet with letter signs to make spelling more tangible. The use of facial expressions in ASL helps children recognize others’ emotions. Our more visual learners have had many successes with signs in their daily routines. Signs make it easy to communicate in loud environments or when an area requires silence. You can even talk underwater, with your mouth full and across long distances without yelling! The most powerful benefit from learning ASL is bridging the communication gap with deaf or hard of hearing people, who number approximately 36 million individuals in the United States alone.
Some commonly used signs in class
Kindergarten assistant; after school program coordinator