Final Goal = Reached!

My initial goal during my learning project was to eventually be able to incorporate sign language into music as a music educator. Ideally I would have liked to complete an entire song, and still hope to do so, but in the mean time I chose to work towards completion of a chorus.

The song I chose was Masterpiece – Jessie J, a song that talks about not being perfect, still working towards our goals, and completing our true masterpiece. It took be a duration of about 3 weeks to learn the words individually, get the timing down pat, and combining the ASL with the soundtrack.

I am so proud of how far I came with learning ASL, along with the community I became apart of online. After my first tweet regarding ASL resources and suggestions, I had a lady who is a teacher in Preeceville reply who personally has a hearing impairment herself. This was absolutely incredible, I was so honored to have to reach out to me and offer to meet one-on-one to help me learn phrases and answer any questions I had about ASL.

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Not only has this learning project led me to be a novice signer, but I have connected with an entirely new #iechat and #spedchat aimed towards Inclusive Education which is also a strong passion of mine. Social networking is so incredibly valuable, I am sothankful for ECMP455 providing me with the opportunity to understand how to properly many different educational and technological tools.

Below are my two final videos displaying the words I learned to sign through ASL slowly without the music,then the final stage with the music. Signing lyrics to a song is so difficult as you have to make the timing match up and sometimes it is really quite quick! Thank you to everyone who helped, encouraged, and supported me through this. I received incredible feedback on my blog and replies via Twitter, I have such a phenomenal PLN out there. #thankyou!

Teachers, Students, Questions, Oh My!

These past few weeks were very overwhelming with school as it was right in the heart of midterm season! Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to post a new video, but nonetheless I was still learning!

Since the semester is coming to an end, and my future teaching career is getting closer by the minute I decided to work on classroom related words and phrases to expand my ASL communication with my students.

In the first video I will show you the words ‘teacher’, ‘student’, ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘what’, ‘understand’, and ‘name’. Basic single words to help with communication and understanding in a classroom setting.

Next I tried my best to learn from Bill Vicar’s YouTube Channel and be able to sign full phrases and questions I may need to use with students as well.

1- What’s Wrong?

2- Do you need to go to the bathroom?

3- Keep Working!

4- That’s very good!

5- Please come here.

6- Try again.


Please get in touch with me if you have suggestions! I’m always wanting to learn more and take any advice you think is essential with ASL.

Help Create Communities Without Barriers

Yesterday I tweeted out an incredible video highlighting an Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 2.29.09 PMinspirational moment where a community gathered together to learn American Sign Language to make one of their locals feel welcome, important, and accepted. I honestly was holding back tears throughout this entire clip, but it goes to show how powerful actions can speak to those who may struggle with barriers in an everyday community.

I came across this video through the hashtag #asl on Twitter and needed to retweet it out as well as share it on my blog to help advocate for Inclusive Education and more importantly Inclusive Communities. This led me to follow Community Inclusion, Community Living, and Nicole Eredics (talks about classroom inclusion) on Twitter.

I am also taking an Education Psychology 400 class that focuses on differences and diversities in the classroom, which is what initially inspired me to learn ASL. A huge part of my philosophy of education is inclusive education as I strongly believe every individual in school, and our communities in this case, deserve to be involved and supported to any extent needed.

Please watch this video and comment any thoughts you had on what this community did for a man with a hearing impairment. What can you do to help make your community inclusive?

Absolutely moving, take a look:

A-B-C… Easy As 1-2-3!

I completed my next goal – Numbers! These past few weeks I have been really trying to focus on learning sign language specifics that will help me in my future classroom. As a Math major, I decided to look into any differences that exist in communicating numbers through sign language opposed to how I was traditionally taught to represent numbers using my hands. To my surprise it is almost completely different; ASL represents all numbers by using one hand!

In my video below I will go through how to sign number 1-20 and demonstrate all the possible ways I have learned this.

Please comment any feedback, I’d love to hear how some of you think I am doing! Especially if I need to make slight adjustments on any hand motions.


Dragon Dictation

During my journey through sign language this week, I decided to learn more about hearing impairments and look into such inclusion as an extension of my learning project. Being a future teacher, my first topic of investigation was to understand characteristics that students with hearing impairments may portray and how I can provide for them to be successful in my classroom.

After reading many websites and blogs, I have gained a much deeper understanding for the needs of students with hearing impairments, but most importantly the gained awareness of the importance and access of communication between teachers-students and their peers. Through suggestions and articles it was evident that as a teacher I am responsible for ensuring all of my instructions are either provided in written form, or that I must always be directly facing my students when speaking. If you are a pre-service or future teacher, you are probably aware that that can be difficult at times; either lecturing while writing a mathematics example on the board, or even reading from a text and unintentionally covering your face with the book.

The blog linked above suggested using an FM broadcasting technology, where students and teachers wear this device around their necks, allowing the voice of the teacher to be amplified. Not only does it transmit our voices from 50-80 feet, it bring our voices right to their hearing device to avoid miscommunication when we are not directly facing them. A huge pro to this technology is the opportunity for our students with hearing impairments to maintain engaged and build confidence in both their academic and social environments of everyday life.

However, I know not all schools or families are supplied with the FMScreen Shot 2015-02-10 at 9.30.44 PM technology, so I decided to start looking into apps for iPads/tablets or cellphones. The first one I came across was incredible, it is called Dragon DictationThis app allows any audio to be picked up and transferred into text form. To test it out, I was out for coffee with a friend and I hit record during one of our conversations. After a few minutes I looked down, hit “stop recording” and our conversation instantly appeared in written text. I couldn’t believe it! This app will allow teachers to continue with explanations and instructions, as they would naturally, but can have the peace of mind knowing our students with hearing impairments are able to capture any aural information provided during class.

The app also allows you to type with a keyboard if there any extra content the user may want to add into the dialogue, and allows you send emails, text messages, Facebook messages, and send tweets directly from the message it creates.

I plan on implementing the use of this app if I ever have a student with a hearing impairment in my class. Feel free to try it out!dragon

Hi! My Name Is…

After I started getting a handle on fingerspelling using American Sign Language (ASL as I will often refer to it as) I decided I wanted to try and fluently spell my name.

To take it one step further, I wanted to learn how to form an entire greeting, by signing “Hi, my name is Rebecca” and “my last name is Stein”. This is very challenging trying to speak and sign, then speak your name while you spell different letters. Talk about extreme multitasking! To help me learn this greeting I watched a youtube video that was very helpful and easy to understand. Here I am trying it out myself!

I would love some feedback on how you all think I am doing. I’d love to have a video chat with one of you and teach you how to sign your own name!


Learning the Hand-Made Alphabet

Hello everyone! Sorry about the delay in starting to post what I’ve been learning so far. I’d like to share a quick story on the connections and interactions I’ve been having other while trying to learn sign language. Via Twitter, I had the privilege of receiving a particular reply to my tweet, asking for any resources that involved students/people with hearing impairments, or help with sign language. Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 2.57.53 PM

Her name is Heidi Paterson, she is a science teacher in Preeceville, and is hearing impaired herself! I cannot thank her enough for replying back to me, there is no one better to learn from than a fluent signer themself. Heidi has answered any question I have sent her way, we have exchanged emails and have already planned a day to meet for coffee, sit down with a translator and learn even more through experience. She is incredible, and I have only met ‘her’ online so far. Please keep posted for potential videos and pictures of our conversations!

I chose to learn the basics on my own this past week and came across a great site ASL Fingerspelling. By practicing these letters, I video’d myself spelling out the entire alphabet in my new language! This is a lot trickier than it looks, as some letters are signed very similar, and I actually haven’t completely aced it perfect yet.

Any suggestions or common phrases you would like to see me learn next?!