Blackwater School will be introducing a sign of the week through Makaton. This is a great initiative as using signs while talking can slow down our pace of talking, and provides additional visual clues about the meaning of words. Children with language or learning difficulties benefit from the use of key signs to support their understanding, and the use of visuals can also be beneficial for other children. By teaching signs to the whole class, Sign of the Week promotes inclusion, teaches a new skill and can facilitate friendship between children.
Things you can do with the children...
- Have quizzes – see if the children can remember the sign for something
- Use signs in songs
- Be consistent – try to incorporate signs into the daily routine
- Demonstrate the children’s learning of signs in whole school assemblies: the class could sing and sign, or act out a book using speech and signs
- Taking photos of the children using the signs to display alongside the main visual
Tips for using sign
- Only sign the key words when you talk, not every single word (e.g. “Would you like to go on the swings or the slide?”)
- Remember to SAY the words at the same time!
- Keep your pace of talking slow and use lots of facial expression.
- The CBeebies TV show 'Something Special' with Mr Tumble is a great way to learn new signs (this is good for lower down the school)
- Have fun using signs! Don’t worry too much about whether you know the ‘right’ sign- just use gestures that make sense to you, and use them consistently.