Thursday, May 30, 2013

DVD of the Week 今週のおすすめDVD - Time To Eat

This week I'd like to introduce you to the Signing Time Vol. 12 DVD Time to Eat.  It is a great option for building on the vocabulary learned in a Baby Signing Time ☆ Sign and Play ☆ Class.  This DVD also builds on vocabulary covered in the Baby Signing Time Vol. 1 materials and the Signing Time Vol. 3 Everyday Signs materials. 

Vocabulary covered in the Time To Eat DVD includes a number of food signs and words that are helpful to know in the preparing of food.  The songs touch on topics such as food growing in the garden and cooking in the kitchen.  A particular favorite of ours is the "Set the Table" song.

As part of learning about their world children enjoy exploring items from daily life.  Infants and toddlers enjoy practicing cutting and cooking toy food.  Preschoolers and Elementary aged kids can help with preparing various foods.  With the help of the song "Set the Table " kids can help by setting the table at mealtimes.

A special bonus for those who are familiar with the Silly Pizza Song (From the Everyday Signs DVD) is the Silly Pizza II song.  If you thought the first one was challenging this one doubles the challenge!  If you master either of the Silly Pizza songs please send me the video!!!!

Here is a clip of the Time to Eat DVD:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Zoo Wrap-Up

We had a wonderful trip to Ueno Zoo this week!  Thank you to everyone who came with us!

For those who didn't come along I'll post some resources you can use on your next visit to the zoo or when reading about a zoo.

We started the day with a group who met at the gate at 10 AM. Our early group enjoyed visiting the large birds, lions, gorillas and bears.
We learned that the lion with a little hair is the Mommy and the lion with the big hair is the Daddy! 

We were able to watch the Polar Bear eat fish, swim and play with a ball.

At 11:30 we had our 2nd meeting time for those who wished to join us from lunch.  We enjoyed taking a break in the shade while watching the monkeys near by. Although we didn't have a proper lesson, we did have a chance to review a few signs using the book Peek-A-Moo before heading to the petting zoo.

 Checking out the map to see where we've been and where we're going.

Our lovely group - 17 adults and 16 1/2 babies/toddlers

After eating we walked to the other side of the park to the children's petting zoo area which features farm animals.  Here is a link to an Hand-y Craft Animal Memory Game you can download and make at home.

 Guess who found the rabbits!

For most of the kids it was the first chance to pet a goat.  

Look!  The goats and pigs eat grass!

Throughout the day we were able to see what many of the animals eat.  It was wonderful to see how many of out little signers were making connections between the things we're learned in class (eat, yummy, apple, banana etc.) and the real animals eating real food.

Can you guess which animal we are looking at now?

 We had an up close look at the giraffes eating leaves for their lunch!

 When we have play group we often use the Classroom Edition curriculum which includes printable flashcards that you can color in and laminate at home.  This little girl has her set of cards hooked to the stroller to "read" on the train and look at as we explored the zoo.

After wandering together for a few hours about half of the kids were asleep in their strollers so we parted ways at 2PM.  A few of us went on to visit the reptiles before heading home.

Baby M had her first experience with live turtles.  It was so much fun to watch her face light up as she saw how they moved!  Even a child just turning 1 can enjoy the zoo :-)

For more zoo book ideas please visit the Kotoba & Sign store!

Again, thank you to everyone who joined us for this first サインで遊ぼう Sign & Play Group Field Trip!  We're hoping to have another one at the end of July (2013), possibly to a Tokyo area aquarium!  Please check this blog or follows us on Twitter or Facebook for details!  For those who can't join us I'll still post resources on here that you can use for your own future adventures :-)

Here are blog posts from some of the other participants:
Diary of a Mommy Photographer

DVD of the Week 今週のおすすめDVD

There are many wonderful Signing Time DVDs as well as others that are ASL based. This series of posts will introduce a different DVD each week and provide ideas for extension activities that you can do at home!
Recently my daughter (2 years 8 months) has been really interested in the letters "t", "n" and "m". Not only are the signs similar, the sounds of "n" and "m" are similar as well. After a couple of weeks of asking about those 3 letters she's moved on to wanting to know the first letter of people's names.
When my son ws that age I hadn't introduced the manual alphabet (fingerspelling) yet so I wonder if perhaps I missed out on his first interest in the alphabet?
In the signing time series the alphabet, finger spelling and letter sounds are introduced in Series 1 DVD 5. Basic phonetics are included throughout the series as many signs include a letter that connects to the spoken English word (example: water, restaurant, shoe). When a child connects the letter and the sound it makes it is a step towards being able to read the language.
Finger spelling and initialized signs can also help develop phonemic awareness which is key in gaining fluency in a language.
This week's suggested DVD is....
Practice Time ABCs

My kids (2 and 5) volunteered to watch the DVD and give their honest opinion. Even though I teach Signing Time classes and own the complete series we do not watch the DVDs every day. It has been a while since we watched the Practice Time DVDs that they don't remember watching it.
I think this DVD appeals best to kids who area bit older than mine or interested in ABCs and reading more than my kids are right now.
The DVD starts out with a lesson on how to sign the ABCs. While we already know the manual alphabet thekidsstill enjoyed signing along. After learning the basics the DVD uses a series of progressive quizzes to review the manual alphabet and move into finger spelling. The DVD is created to mix up the quiz questions each time you watch so you aren't seeing the same questions every time.
In the first round of practicing Rachel signs a letter and we guessed what it was. My 2 yr old answered mostofthese correctly - which really surprised me! She even added reasons like "That's "g" like green". The second round of practice quizzes showed the the letter and it was our job to show the sign. Wile this was a bit tougher for my 2 yr old, my 5 yr old washable to do it easily.
The practice activities after the first two rounds introduced basic finger spelling. This is where the kids lost interest quickly. For the 2 yr.old it was when "mom" was spelled with an "m" first. In her mind it starts with "h" since my name starts with "h". Once she saw Rachel "make a mistake" went to play someplace else.
My son hung in there a bit longer but he isn't used to finger spelling words with 4 letters so he stopped participating but kept watching as the practice levels became more challenging. He went off to play at about the 5th level.
As someone who is a notoriously bad speller I could probably benefit from a more advanced Practice Time DVD. Like learning piano or how to write, it takes time for finger spelling to become smooth and to be able to read what someone else is spelling. This DVD is a great tool for kids and adults alike to take their first steps into finger spelling. It also can be used in conjunction with teaching a child to write and read as it reinforces letter sounds and order.
Here's a preview from the DVD ABCs
Here's the link to the Two Little Hands stores Practice Time ABCs page
Related Activities
- Use the ABC flashcards to quiz each other showing the sign side first, then the letter.
- Play a word game where one person says a word and the other person guess what letter it starts with and gives the appropriate letter sign.
- Fingerspell common words seen around the house - like "tea" on the tea box.
- play a silent game of "I Spy with my Little Eye" when traveling by train or waiting in line. Look around for a letter, sign it and the color of the letter, give the other person a chance to find it.
- Use finger spelling to practice for a spelling test.
- Help sound out words by signing the letters and saying the sounds.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Zoo Signs at Home

This week we had the 2nd サインで遊ぼう Sign and Play Group with the Zoo Signs theme.  
As we prepare for the the upcoming fiield trip to Ueno Zoo we're enjoying many zoo themed books and toys!  Here are a few books to get you started: Play Group Books サインで遊ぼうの本

Want to join us on the trip to Ueno Zoo?  Here is the information.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 2013 Schedule 5月の予定

Can you believe it is May already? The saying "April showers bring May flowers" applies to Tokyo this year as there are flowers blooming everywhere! It is a great time to take your little one for a walk and smell the various kinds of flowers!
Here is what we have coming up in May:
Adachi-ku, Takenotsuka
May 1st
Baby English 10:00 ~ Animals
May 8th
Baby English 10:00 ~ Animals
サインで遊ぼう Play Group - Zoo Signs 11:00 ~
May 15th
Baby English 10:00 ~ Animals
Baby Signing Time Basic Class 11:00 ~ Pets I Love
May 21st
May 22nd
Baby English 10:00 ~ Animals
Baby Signing Time Basic Class 11:00 ~ Family
May 29th
Baby English 10:00 ~ Animals
Baby Signing Time Basic Class 11:00 ~ Clothing
Suginami-ku, Hana House
May 7th
Baby Signing Time Basic Class Trial Lesson 11:40-12:30
May 14th
Baby Signing Time Advanced Class 10:30 ~ Day and Night
Baby Signing Time Basic Class Trial Lesson 11:40-12:30
May 21st
May 28th
Baby Signing Time Advanced Class 10:30 ~ Outside
Baby Signing Time Basic Class 11:40 ~ Eat & Drink