January 20, 2011

All Signs Point To My Smart Hands

Since my first year of teaching, long before I had children of my own, I ran the Sign Language club at the school where I taught. I trotted out my choir of shiny faced six year olds onto the stage where they signed "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World" to music. There wasn't a dry parent eye in the house. I obviously considered signing to be more of a novelty act, than a life altering skill. I had NO idea how important the role ASL would ultimately play in my life.

When I taught my son sign language nearly eight years ago, I relied on library books and bland, one dimensional websites.  Once Avery came along, and it became apparent sign language would be an essential tool in her development, I searched for innovative new ways to teach her.

When Laura Berg posted a video on YouTube of her baby signing, it went viral. People were astounded by her 18 month old's level of skill. They wanted to know how she did it and how they could teach their children to do the same and...My Smart Hands was born. I love Laura's fresh approach to teaching ASL.

I downloaded the My Smart Hands flashcard Apps for my iphone. They've proven to be a fun educational activity to keep us occupied in the car, in line at the grocery store, in waiting rooms. etc.  Also, check out the Dictionary App.  Click on a word and Laura will show you how to sign it. I especially love that it's mobile. So many times when we're out and about I find myself saying, "What's the sign for insert random item whose sign eludes me?" here. This App allows you to look up any word, on the fly. Awesome.

Laura aka "The Dragon Slayer" recently pitched My Smart Hands on CBC's Dragon's Den. You can watch the episode of this amazing Dragon Slayer here.

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