Baby Sign News-Week of Oct 20

Start With Sign
Links of Interest:
Essays I’ve written on the benefits of signing for hearing children at:



Dear Signing Families,
Classes had a week’s break and the newsletter took a short break, too. Back now with your signing info for the week. I’d like to put out there that I’m looking for testimonials – something of any length – short or long – that I might use on my website or in other promotional materials. If you have something to say about how signing has affected your family or a comment about the classes you’ve taken, please drop me a line with your thoughts. Thanks so much. 
I also wanted to note that newsletters back through August of this year are now archived on the Start with Sign website, and this and all future newsletters will be there, too. Click on the “Mailing List” tab. 
Tip of the Week:
Signing is not just about your hands! One of so many reasons American Sign Language (ASL) is wonderful for small children and babies is that it requires expressive faces and bodies. Using expressions that match the connotation and degree of feeling behind what you are saying is a vital part of ASL grammar – yes, I said grammar! If you study ASL further, you will learn that there are in fact specific mouth positions and other types of expressive facial movement that are a standard part of communicating in sign. So get out there and be all drama! And just because I wouldn’t ask you to do something I wouldn’t do, check out the sidebar to see how I was captured in a recent class teaching feeling signs…
Local Happenings:
I will be teaching another Thursday class at the Holyoke location. Classes take place at Baystate Health Education Center, 361 Whitney Ave. in the BRL Conference Room (easy to find from Exit 15 off Rte. 90). The cost is $50/family. To register call Baystate Healthlink at 413-794-2229.
I will be signing & reading on the theme of FALL/COLORS at the Greenfield location of World Eye Bookshop at 10am on Monday, November 4. We will be exploring the books LEAF MAN and RED LEAF, GREEN LEAF by Lois Elhert as well as A COLOR OF HIS OWN by iconic children’s author Leo Lionni. If you are interested in attending, please come early to grab a spot up front, as rumor has it the YMCA Daycare will be attending – with some 25 kids(!).
This Week in Class:
  • Please don’t forget to bring your family photos or photo book for next Tuesday to look at with your little one as we learn the signs for mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandma, grandpa, brother, sister, son, daughter, etc etc etc.
  • Check your memory! Visit these links to review the signs for some of last week’s words…GAMEBEARBLOCKSTRAIN. Do you remember what other sign uses the same handshape as PLANE? Location and positioning are important! 
  • It’s important to remember that, like all languages, ASL changes over time and from region to region. In particular when translating poems and songs, there is much open to interpretation depending on what concepts you want to emphasize and how you experience the meaning of the song. Here are a couple versions of “Row, Row Row Your Boat,” that differ from what we did in class, but are perfectly valid versions.  Version 1(Preview) , Version 2. If you know me even a little bit, you might guess I have much more to say about this topic and the signs these people have chosen…if you watch the links, I’m happy to discuss them with you in class next week, or whenever.
See you soon and sign on,

Come see what your child has been waiting to tell you!

Expectant parents welcome.

Older siblings welcome.

Start With Sign:

  • Uses real American Sign Language
  • Teaches vocabulary important to little minds, like food words and family members
  • Includes music, movement & stories
  • Allows children to communicate before they can speak
  • Enhances cognitive development
  • Reduces tantrums and frustration
  • And so much more!