Wednesday, October 9, 2013

One Activity, Many Ways: Brown Bear, Brown Bear | San Antonio Baby Sign Language Classes

As many of y'all know, I teach three classes of basic American Sign Language every week. My classes are family-centered, so I have a wide age range of children who attend each session--from four months to nearly 12 years old! (Play & Sign classes are geared toward children ages birth-five and we love having older siblings attend! Sign language is great for ALL ages. :) )

After 20-25 minutes of whole class instruction, we break out into leveled centers. My goal is to have at least one center for each discipline: ABCs, colors, math, literacy, and fine motor. Many of my centers overlap disciplines (which is ideal!) and I try to buy/make things that can be used in multiple classes.

(After about 10 minutes of center time, where families get to work together and practice their new signs, we all come back together for review, ABC time, games/parachute time and bubbles.)

Two weeks ago, we used the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? in our pet/animals class.

This book is PERFECT for learning signs for colors and animals, since the text is repetitive and the illustrations are so unique. (We LOVE Eric Carle!)

I had downloaded a great Brown Bear math/literacy packet from Kinderkids over on Teachers Pay Teachers--over 100 pages of great ideas printables for preschool-2nd grade for just $1. Definitely worth it!

As we were playing with one of the activities this morning (after reading another book about a bear), I realized I wanted to share all my ideas, in case any of my students' parents were looking for busy bag activities for home.

This activity is awesome and SIMPLE. I printed off the bear/numeral pages and the number word pages (in black and white--I thought they were plenty cute without color), cut them out, and ran them through our laminator. I also printed off a recording page (tucked in a dry erase sleeve from the Target Dollar Spot to save ink and be reused many, many times) and a helper page for my early readers, who may need additional support with the number words.

Ages 4-7: Children can play a matching game for the numeral/word cards and then write down the word on the recording sheet. (I put the "helper" page on the backside in case the child wanted to check his work independently.) 

Younger children can sequence the numeral cards without having to worry about the word cards at all. (Of course, I think number words are some of the MOST IMPORTANT sight words to learn early--it's not like you can "sound out" the words eight or one.)
Older children looking for a challenge can arrange the word cards in ABC order. This was super hard for me to do, since my brain is wired to put these words in number order! :) 

And of course, don't forget to practice counting in ASL!

Disclosure: Affiliate link used for Brown Bear Amazon link. If you purchase the book through the link, I will make a teeny-tiny profit, which I will turn around and use to buy awesome products for my classes from Teachers Pay Teachers and Target. All items mentioned in this blog were purchased with my own money--Teachers Pay Teachers, Kinderkids, and Target have no idea who I am. :)
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  1. For your visual/kinesthetic learners, you could add in colorful bear counters to make this activity even more fun!


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