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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Nov 2, 1998  10:19 pm
Subject:  SWLP Teacher Feedback

November 2, 1998
Dear SignWriting List Members:

We are beginning to receive feedback from the first group of teachers
participating in the Fall 98 SW Literacy Project. Homeschooling teacher
Michele Lewis sent me her second report yesterday. I will be posting it on
the web later. Here it is for you to read....

Date: Sun, 01 Nov 1998 10:09:03 -0500
From: Michele Lewis
Organization: Homeschooling Preschoolers

To: Valerie Sutton
Subject: Re: Web Report 2

> SignWriting Literacy Project
> Web Report 2
> SignWriting Publications
> We want to improve our publications. We need your feedback and suggestions.
> The following publications were donated to your classroom. Please give us
> your opinions, which we value. Write as much as you wish.
> ____________________________
> 1. Goldilocks & The Three Bears, SW Level 1, Workbook & Coloring Book
> a. Did your students like this book?

Yes, they liked the book.

> Were they eager to open it and use it?

Yes. (They are very enthusiastic about their school work in general!)

> Did they color in it? Did they write rows of symbols and signs?

Yes. They completed the book exactly as it was presented.

>b. Was the information clear? Were there specific questions that were hard
> for you to answer?

The only problem I am having is teaching them the individual parts of the
They were not making much progress learning Sign Writing until I figured
out that
they do much better learning the sign as a whole. (The flashcards are what
me come to this conclusion! They could remember the signs with no problem
working with the flashcards.) I think that they are too young to
understand the
mechanics of how Sign Writing is put together. I plan on focusing more on them
memorizing the individual signs first, and as they get older, I will start
breaking the signs down into their parts. Maybe I need to explain that a
better. When I show them a new sign, I do show them the individual parts
but I am
not drilling them on the individual parts. I think what I am trying to say is
that I am having more success teaching them to read Sign Writing than I am
teaching them how to compose Sign Writing. I hope this makes sense.

> c. What improvements would you suggest? Would you add or subtract anything?

The the one thing that I would suggest is written lesson plans. I think I
be doing a better job if I had a teaching outline to go by; what should be
covered, how much time per session, what sequence etc. Since I am learning
Writing as well, I would benefit from an experienced Sign Writing teacher's
guidelines and suggestions.

> d. Did you use the accompanying flashcards and what did you think of them?

Yes! The flashcards made all the difference in the world. They have an easier
time remembering the signs as a whole. They were having a hard time
the individual parts of each Sign Writing word. I would highly suggest MORE
FLASHCARDS! By the way, I am planning on making up my own flashcards of sorts
using the Sign Writing computer program. I have been sort of a holding pattern
because I have been hoping for the release of the Windows version! (DOS and I
just don't get along very well!) Do you know when the Windows version will be

> e. Do you want more copies of this book, and the flashcards, for your
> future classrooms?

No. My other two children are not old enough yet :)

> ____________________________
> 2. Goldilocks & The Three Bears, SW Level 2, Basic ASL Storybook
> a. Were your students ready for this book, when they finished SW Level 1?
> If not, what was lacking in their knowledge, that made it too advanced for
> them?

Actually, they are doing better with this book than the first! I think it is
because the signs are written in sentence form and they are no broken down into
their individual parts.

> b. How did the students react to reading complete sentences in ASL? Was it
> hard for them, or was it an easy experience for them?

It was not difficult. It made more sense to them than dissecting the

> c. Did your students use the dictionary in the back? Did they have problems
> finding a sign in the dictionary?

They do not understand how to look up the signs by the Sign-Symbol-Sequence
yet but the dictionary is short and they were able to skim through to find the
word. Most words they could phonically decode. There were only a couple they
could not figure out.

> d. At SW Level 2 we gave you a storybook with sentences, but we did not
> give you a workbook. Would you like a workbook at Level 2 as well? Would a
> workbook teaching the writing of sentences in ASL be useful?

Yes, I would like a workbook. My kids seem to do better if they process
information in a couple of different ways, (reading and writing). However, my
children are still having problems with breaking down the signs into it's
individual parts so I don't know if they would be ready for that type of

> e. What improvements would you suggest? Would you add or subtract anything?

The only thing that I would suggest at this point is teacher lesson plans. The
student materials themselves are excellent.

> f. Do you want more copies of the storybook for your future classrooms?

I only need one for our family.

> _____________________________
> 3. Sutton's American Sign Language Picture Dictionary
> a. Did your students like this dictionary?

They did much better with the dictionary because it presented words in it's
entirety. I think I made a mistake by trying to teach them the individual sign
parts instead of whole words.

> Were they eager to open it and use it?

Yes, they did like going through it and figuring out the signs!

> What did they think of the pictures? Did the pictures help?

I think the pictures helped a lot. My children are quite young. They are on a
1st grade reading level so the pictures were more meaningful to them than the

> b. Was the Sign-Symbol-Sequence clear? Did you have problems finding a sign
> in the dictionary?

It took a while to get the hang of it but I'm okay now :) The kid's don't
get it
yet though.

> c. Would you want us to expand this dictionary to include more signs? If
> so, what are some of the signs you would like us to add?

Yes of course! As far as what signs......... I would probably include
words that
occur during the course of every day conversations, words that are high
words and words that are of particular interest to children.

> d. Do you want more copies of this dictionary for your future classrooms?

Since we are one family, one dictionary is enough for us.

> _____________________________
> 4. Lessons In SignWriting Video Series & Booklets
> a. Did parents view these videos? What did they think? Was it useful for

I enjoyed the videos. They were very clear. It made it easier to go back
to the
book and understand what was presented.

> b. Did the teachers view these videos? What did they think? Was it useful
> for them?

Same as above.

> c. Do you have any suggestions for improvements of this video series?

It would be nice for the series to be expanded to cover all of the lesson
in the
Sign Writing Manual.

> _____________________________
> 5. Lessons In SignWriting Textbook
> a. Have you referred to this textbook to answer specific technical questions?

Yes. I am working my way through it to learn everything but I also refer
back to
answer specific questions.

> b. If so, what were some of the questions you needed to answer?

I am in the process of learning how to fine tune the signs, adding the
facial expressions.

> What part of the textbook have you referred to most?

Now that I have the basics down, I would say I refer to the facial expressions
part the most.

> c. Do you have any suggestions for improvements of this textbook? Do you
> feel it is a useful tool for the school to have for reference?

I really can't think of any improvements. The book is very thorough and it is
easy to understand. Yes, it is VERY useful.

> ____________________________
> 6. Do you want to receive new, different materials?

Yes, now that I have figured out how to teach Sign Writing to the kids,
they are
learning it faster!

> a. If your answer is yes, what would you like to receive first, second,
> third, fourth?
> ___1st___Cinderella, SW Level 1 (Beginners)
> ___2nd___Cinderella, SW Level 2 (Beginners)
> ___3rd___Goldilocks & The Three Bears, SW Level 3 (Intermediate)
> ___4th___Goldilocks & The Three Bears, SW Level 4 (Advanced)
> b. How many copies of the above publications do you need, and when will you
> be ready for them?

I only need 2 copies as my two younger children are too young yet. I am ready
whenever you are.

> 7. Overall, what is your general impression of our materials? Do you feel
> they have been a positive influence on your students and their parents?

I am very impressed with the quality of the materials! The student
materials are
colorful, interesting and well done. The Sign Writing Manual is very
thorough and
easy to understand. My kids absolutely love the Fairy Tale video tape.
They have
watched it many, many times!

Michele Lewis
Covenant Christian Academy
Homeschool, Plant City, Florida


Valerie :-)

Valerie Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee for SW


Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

  Replies Author Date
534 Re: SWLP Teacher Feedback Ruth E Kartchner Mon  11/2/1998
575 Advice on Flashcards Valerie Sutton Sat  11/7/1998

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