|Siena Rafter's sweet face hidden amongst our kindergarteners|
American Sign Language!
I just love it. The hand movements that convey meaning through space, the facial expressions that hold important grammatical information, the sentence structure - different from English - that sits comfortably now within my body, the way it allows one to say so much with just one sign, and the mesmerizing sense of awe I feel when I see someone who's mastered it.
This love and respect for a language I continue to gain competence with is one reason I was so thrilled to welcome Siena Rafter into my classroom. Siena shares my passion for ASL. She is not a native signer, but has taken to ASL with a fierce dedication to live within it. She is a strong advocate for equal access in communication and supports the Deaf community. Given all of this, I was excited to welcome her into my classroom to serve as a role model for my students.
|Siena Rafter reads BABY MONKEY, PRIVATE EYE |
alongside ASL interpreter Rachel Grudberg
Baby Monkey, Private Eye is an engaging series of mysteries wrapped around irresistibly cute illustrations. It is a cleverly written pattern book consisting of only about 52 words. Pattern books foster confidence and joy associated with reading, which makes children want to read them again and again. During the read aloud, Siena encouraged students to participate and join in on the oft-repeated phrases...
Baby Monkey looks for clues.Baby Monkey writes notes.Baby Monkey eats a snack.
Baby Monkey puts on his pants.
Now Baby Monkey is ready!
Baby Monkey solves the case!
|Siena asks a student her name (in ASL)|