I am thrilled to announce our upcoming Preschool Sign & Learn classes! I am passionate about early education, and I firmly believe that American Sign Language is a powerful tool for young learners. (Read more about the benefits of signing.)
Preschool Sign & Learn classes start with the same awesome base curriculum as Play & Sign classes, but are tailored specifically for children ages 3-5. We use the same books, same songs, and same signs, but add a much greater emphasis on ABCs, numbers, colors, and fine-motor skills to prepare your young child for Kinder/1st grade.
This Friday, I will be teaching a trial Preschool Sign & Learn class on transportation ("Here I Go!"). I taught this theme to my younger Play & Sign students earlier in the week, but here are a few of the preschool activities we'll be using with older children, based on the books We All Go Traveling By, Freight Train, and Bear Takes a Trip.
Learning centers are an integral part of our class time. They allow parents to practice ASL signs with their preschoolers and give me an opportunity to offer support/answer questions one on one. My goal is to give parents a variety of simple learning activities that they can use at home during the week.
1) Pom-Pom Counting (top picture):
One-to-one correspondence is an important skill for 4 and 5-year-olds. Using the pictures of vehicles and fuzzy pom poms, children have a chance to practice counting with meaningful manipulatives.
2) Count & Clip Cards (top picture):
I love when activities cover more than one skill. These cards are perfect for early mathematicians, and squeezing the clothespins gives children a chance to work their hand muscles, preparing them for holding a pencil down the road.
3) Simple Puzzles (above):
Transitioning from wooden peg puzzles to 24-piece interlocking puzzles builds visual discrimination and problem-solving skills for early readers.
4) Imaginative Play (above):
This article about the changes in Kindergarten has really encouraged me to give both my children and students ample time for imaginative play. Using small vehicles and wooden blocks to build a small town is the perfect activity for spatial reasoning and teamwork.
5) ABC Train Puzzle (above):
Letter recognition is important! Using a fun, themed puzzle gives parents a chance to evaluate which letters need more practice.
6) PlayDoh and Cookie Cutters (above):
PlayDoh is important for building muscles in the hands and is a great sensory experience for young children. I know I'm hesitant to pull it out and make a mess, but my girls always have a great time.
7) Math Games (below):
I always love to include at least one whole-class game in each class. Learning to take turns and encourage friends are important social skills! This particular game comes from my daughter's Kindergarten math curriculum--setting up a matrix of items (sorting by color and attributes) and then taking turns removing one of the items. (While taking this picture, I called my 5-year-old over and she could immediately tell me which one was missing.)
Registration for Preschool Sign & Learn classes is currently closed. Add your name to the waiting list!
* $70/parent-child pair includes tuition for 7 weeks of classes, materials, and a Signing Time DVD of family's choosing; a non-refundable payment of $40 is due upon registration, followed by one additional payment of $30
* TWO identical class times: Tuesday afternoons at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday mornings at 11:15 a.m. (45 minute class) | near 10 & Huebner on the North Central side of town
* Class minimum of three students. Class will be capped at six students.
Which of these activities would you choose to do with your child?