Category Archives: American Sign Language

Nita’s First Signs now available for preorder!

Coming April 3, 2018 from Familius Press!

Nita’s First Signs by Kathy MacMillan

illustrated by Sara Brezzi

Baby sign language makes it easy to communicate with your child, and Nita makes it fun! Nita’s First Signs teaches ten essential signs for every parent and child to know, including eat, more, hungry, milk, all done, ball, play, love, please, and thank you. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context, and repetition throughout each story makes them easy to practice. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference. Baby sign language collections aren’t complete without Nita!

Preorder now at amazon.com | barnesandnoble.com | indiebound.org

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Register Now for Basic ASL for Library Staff eCourse

Basic ASL for Library StaffInstructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, November 6, 2017 and continuing for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials)

$195.00

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 30 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

American Sign Language (ASL) is an invaluable skill for library professionals. A basic grasp of ASL enhances your ability to serve deaf library users and opens up a new world of possibilities for storytime programs. It’s also a marketable professional skill that can translate to public service jobs beyond the library world.

Ideal for those without previous experience, this eCourse taught by librarian and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. MacMillan will place ASL within a linguistic and cultural context, aiding participants in improving library services.

Comments from previous students of this course:

“Thank you for teaching me much more than I expected. It’s been a wonderful experience that I will certainly share with everyone who will listen!”

“This course has been invaluable to me…I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the course and truly appreciate someone’s genius in offering it. The instructor was a gem in the way that she provided comprehensive answers to questions, feedback, tips and resources.”

“I absolutely loved the class and would HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE — librarian or not!”

“This class was interesting, informative and entertaining. It opened my eyes to a variety of ideas and concepts that can only make me a better librarian as well as a better person. I thought things were well organized and presented in an ordered and logical fashion, each lesson building on the one before.”

Register now!

Candle: A Rhyme to Sign

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/lESwVjoDdZo

Candle, candle burning bright, (sign CANDLE)

lighting up the darkest night.

Thank you for your shining light,

but with one puff, you’re out of sight. (blow on the fingers representing the flames and curl them into a fist to show the candle going out)

MacMillan_cover_1p.inddFind lots more great storytime activities in More Storytime Magic, the latest volume in the Storytime Magic series!

Storytime Stuff featured on Mother Goose on the Loose!

Our ASL Rhyme “Woodpecker, Woodpecker” was chosen as the rhyme of the month over at Mother Goose on the Loose!  Mother Goose on the Loose is an award-winning early-literacy program for children from birth to age 3 created by Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen.  This innovative program is based on research which shows that children learn best through routine and repetition in a nurturing environment. Mother Goose on the Loose uses a variety of activities, such as rhymes, songs, puppets and instruments to foster speech development, motor coordination, self-confidence, and sensitivity to others.

Check out the Mother Goose on the Loose website for lots of early literacy resources, and make sure to sign up for the monthly newsletter to receive great tips, ideas, and research links in your inbox.

Playground Romp: A Rhyme to Sign

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ7Ft2p9Lww

At the playground,

always so much fun.

Watching all the kids

on the run.

 

Twisty slide, twisty slide,

climbing to the top.

Slide all the way down

with a great bit plop.

 

On the see-saw,

going back and forth.

We go so fast

we get dizzy of course.

 

Flying on the swing set,

we go so high!

We say hello

to all the birds in the sky!

MacMillan_cover_1p.inddFind lots more great storytime activities in More Storytime Magic, the latest volume in the Storytime Magic series!

Woodpecker, Woodpecker: A Signing Rhyme

MacMillan_cover_1p.inddAnother sneak preview of our newest book, More Storytime Magic (ALA Editions, January 2016):

Woodpecker, Woodpecker: A Signing Rhyme

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/YCT3FEC-ZY4

Begin by teaching the ASL signs TREE and BIRD. Explain that in this rhyme, you will be learning about a specific kind of bird called a woodpecker, and will be using the signs to show how the woodpecker uses the tree.

Woodpecker, woodpecker, time to eat! (sign BIRD)

Woodpecker, woodpecker, fly to the tree. (sign TREE with your other hand and move the BIRD to your forearm)

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap! (make the bird’s beak tap quickly on your forearm, which represents the tree trunk)

Now eat up the bugs you found, just like that. (move fingers to show beak eating bugs)

 

Woodpecker, woodpecker, time to sleep! (sign BIRD)

Woodpecker, woodpecker, fly to the tree. (sign TREE with your other hand and move the BIRD to your forearm)

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap! (make the bird’s beak tap quickly on your forearm, which represents the tree trunk)

Now nestle in the hole you made, cozy as can be! (nestle bird in palm of hand)

 

Find lots more great storytime activities in More Storytime Magic, the latest volume in the Storytime Magic series!

The Logistics of Signing in Storytime

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12_43_19 PMDawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the Story Time with Signs and Rhymes series, answers the question: “How do you physically hold a book and sign along with it?” with a series of links, videos, and more to help you put more signs in your stories! Check out the post at Dawn’s blog.

10 Great Picture Books About ASL and Deaf Culture

December 3-10 is Clerc-Gallaudet Week, honoring the birthdays of two visionary leaders in the field of American Deaf Education who were born in December: Laurent Clerc on December 26, 1785 and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet on December 10, 1787. Check out this previous post for more information about Clerc and Gallaudet, including program and lesson ideas.

Today we are honoring Clerc-Gallaudet week by sharing our 10 favorite picture books/series about American Sign Language and Deaf Culture:

Continue reading →

Start to Finish Story Time Lesson Plans from Dawn Babb Prochovnic

Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the "Story Time with Signs and Rhymes" series.

Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the “Story Time with Signs and Rhymes” series.

Last week, Kathy’s “Stories By Hand” blog featured an interview with Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the “Story Time with Signs and Rhymes” series.  Click here for the interview.

We were so excited to learn that Dawn has a great series of “Start to Finish Story Time” posts on her blog.  Each of these lesson plans centers around one of her books, and includes suggested songs, rhymes, signing games, and reading activities to use with kids, all in a modular format that allows educators and librarians to select the materials that work best for their groups.

As Dawn says, “Each lesson plan incorporates ideas that are suitable for infant/toddler, preschool and/or school age audiences, and each program incorporates activities that promote literacy/early literacy and one or more of the six keys skills recommended by the National Research Council for preparing children to become readers when they enter school. Programs can last from 20 – 45 minutes, depending on what you include and who your audience is.”

There are 4 available so far, with the promise of more to come:
A to Z, Sign with Me

Opposites

See the Colors

Wear a Silly Hat (clothing)

You may also want to bookmark this Summary Post, where Dawn will link to future installments.

op hat colors a to

Signing Fun at the Baltimore Book Fair

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Bring the whole family this weekend for the Baltimore Book Festival, an exciting 3-day celebrating books and readers!  The festival will take place at the Inner Harbor this year.  There will be lots of great activities for readers of all ages, and you’ll get to meet lots of authors in person – including Kathy MacMillan, co-author of the Storytime Magic series and author of Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together.

Here’s where the signing fun will be going down:

Friday, September 26 at 11 AM: Little Hands and Big Hands storytime for children ages birth-6 and their grownups at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Children’s Stage (located near the Maryland Science Center).  ASL Interpretation will be provided.

Friday, September 26, 4:30 PM: Little Hands and Big Hands author talk at the Bicentennial Plaza Authors’ Stage.  Learn about the myths and realities of signing with young children in this interactive presentation!  ASL Interpretation will be provided.

Friday, September 26, 12 PM-8PM: Visit me in the  Bicentennial Plaza Authors’ Tent between to purchase a signed copy of Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and enjoy some hands-on sign language crafts!