I have been conducting workshops to teach about the benefits of American Sign Language (ASL) within classrooms, daycares, hospitals, business, etc.- for some time now. I fill classrooms, auditoriums and even open air venues with people who are barely taking their first steps to those who are retired from 40+ years in the workforce.
I have taught parents of new babies, people who live and work with children who have exceptional needs and even ex-astronauts. My company, SIGNING FAMILIES™ truly is dedicated to teaching ANYONE who has a need or desire to learn ASL or a modified form of this language.
So, what do I BRING to these workshops. Well, for one – a lot of ENERGY! Sign language is not something you can learn passively. Don’t come if you don’t want to be wide-awake during my workshop/seminar. And for goodness sake- don’t wear a tie! If you are wearing a tie I am liable to point that out to the dozens of new friends who share your classroom!
I also bring the following “THINGS”-
- A BALL. Sometimes I bring a few different size balls to teach how ASL is different than spoken language because a lot of adjectives are made by showing size on your hands. Adverbs are often demonstrated by showing the intensity of motion with your hands. Nothing says “ASL grammar lesson” better than a few playground balls!.
- BUBBLES. BUBBLES neutralizes the room. EVERYONE loves bubbles. EVERYONE loves watching kids trying to pop the bubbles. EVERYONE laughs at me trying to blow the bubbles without making a huge mess!
- A DECK OF CARDS. I learned to count when I was little from my Grandmother Hannah. She was a very good card player. So, when I entered kindergarten and was asked to show my teacher that I could count I did so as Grandma Hannah had taught me -which ended up not being the way others learned. How was I to know that the order of numbers was not the following: ” …18, 19, 20, BLACKJACK!”? In reality, a deck of cards is an awesome way to teach numbers in ASL.
- PRIZES. I am always amazed at how well 40 year old men and women will learn ASL if they can get prizes from a local dollar store! Also, these prizes allow me to “sneak” in some learning of new vocabulary.
- Anything else fun and interactive. Recently, I have added these items to my arsenal- UNO, KUBit2ME, KIMOCHI DOLL and SCRABBLE! I also have found that the games, Monopoly , Apples to Apples, Battleship and LIFE can be of great fun and value with smaller crowds!
Now this is what I DO NOT BRING!
- High Heels- I want my audience to be comfortable and so I dress comfortably, too, to set the tone. Not to say that I am not wearing a little heel on my feet (GEEZ I am a “snack size” at 5’2″)
- A STORE. I will bring my products and place them on a back table. At the end of my session I will give them a little “recognition”. But, my workshops are about LEARNING and not a huge “informercial”. I don’t appreciate it when people are more invested in the bottom line than they are in education.
- A bad attitude. Do you remember that teacher who made you want to scream … “TIME TO RETIRE!?!” If after a workshop with me I remind me you of that person then I will refund your money. Period.
Now that you heard about my “arsenal” … feel free to contact me to discuss how I can get your family, school, business, hospital or organization using sign language.
What ya waiting for…. I have tons of BUBBLES to bring…. hey- have you heard that SCRABBLE is a good way to learn spelling in ASL?????
Oh… you need the contact scoop! Here it is….
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org