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From:  Nancy Cole
Date:  Fri Sep 29, 2000  10:00 pm
Subject:  Re: SW helps to express students thoughts

Hi Stefan!

MJ is a really popular Deaf Woman. She is Deaf from Deaf (family) and has
written many books on ASL and video tapes. I'm not sure what to say about
her, because I don't think my words would give her the credit she deserves.
I think she is like a Deaf rebel. She teaches the hearing about Deaf
Culture. I don't think there is any Deaf person here in the US that hasn't
heard of MJ. I also think she was responsible or making ASL a foreign
language is some of our schools, but I'm not sure.

My kids have a SW journal. I write down the new handshape groups and they
come up with the signs that go along with it and they try to draw whatever
sign they think of. Then I tell them to write down whatever they want in
their journals in SW. They like that and it takes them a whole hour to
finish their thoughts on paper. We play games to match the SW with the
English print too. Today, we thought of nouns in SW and color coded them.
We also did verbs and noun markers. For example the nouns would be color
orange SW then verbs in red. Noun markers are not used in ASL, but I told
them in English it is always in front of a noun. We got up to 4 colors and
they wrote sentences in color coded SW. They draw it in ASL first and then I
show them what the English sentence looks like in color code. They liked
that alot. I have shapes too that help them with making up sentences and
switching them to English. If you see their journals it looks like a mess,
but I never critized, and they seem to be learning alot. Alot of it kinda
looks like baby talk, then they learn how to draw the sign a different way
and it looks better. I think they only had problems with the curved hand

Anyways, I'm still learning, and need alot more to learn like how to use the
computer. We have a new boss, so now I have to start all over and convince
her to get the materials I need. Oh, also I do the kids spelling words the
same way. First, if they don't know the word I draw it in SW, and they have
to use one of their new words in their SW journal. You know at first it was
hard to get them to write on their own, now they don't want to stop, so
that's encouraging to me. I must be doing something right!


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