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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Fri Apr 13, 2001  1:54 pm
Subject:  Reading or writing...which comes first?


On January 5, 2001, Robin Homesley wrote:
>I am starting with my profoundly deaf, mentally challenged student
>in the Goldilocks book level 1. She is having difficulty with
>writing the symbols herself. Should I continue her trying to
>reproduce the symbols, or do I focus on her receptively
>understanding the symbols ? I would like to feel comfortable with
>her before adding other students in this project.
>Thanks for your help !
>Robin


SignWriting List
April 13, 2001

Hello Robin -
Please forgive my delay in answering this question. It is my belief
that learning to read should come first. Learning to write comes
second...

In other words...do not get too picky with young deaf children, or
with a mentally challenged deaf student. Relax and enjoy it with
them. In this case, you have a one-on-one relationship...there are
not 30 other children in the class who need your attention too...so
you can relax more and let it flow. And perhaps your student does not
have the ability to use her hands as well as others because of her
mental challenge...all the more reason to read first...

I believe your confusion on this comes from the fact that I gave you
both the Goldilocks Level One workbook and the Goldilocks Level Two
reader. So you probably started writing in the workbook first...and
then found the writing a challenge. That has happened before with
other teachers, and I advised them to jump to the Level Two reader
immediately, and that was successful....This means I need to improve
our books, and re-work the "levels" so this problem won't happen
again. We need a Level One reader, and a Level Two workbook.

So in summary, read first and write second...

There is other reading literature on our web site now. Go to:

SignWriting Library
http://www.SignWriting.org/library/library.html
--

Val ;-)


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Valerie Sutton


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SignWriting is a way to read, write, and
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