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Fingerspelling & Numbers:  Syllabus 


Course title and number

Class Days and Time



Fingerspelling and ASL Numbers 
(EDS 156)

M W F  4:00PM - 4:50PM


1 Unit
(1 semester credit hour)

elcome to Class! 
I'm glad you are here!  You can do this!
Fingerspelling and numbers are really fun and cool. You study and practice them enough and "bing!" a switch flips in your head -- all of a sudden you start "catching" fingerspelled words and signed numbers.  They start rolling off your fingers with ease and speed. 
Hang in there, give it a good effort, and you'll get it.
- Dr. Bill

William Vicars, Ed.D.  (Bill) 
Office: Eureka 308 Office Hours:  MWF  Noon - 1pm

Course description:
Students will develop increased fluency in their expressive and receptive abilities in fingerspelling through in-class practice and viewing of additional materials. Students will also reinforce their abilities to utilize ASL numbering systems for time, money, measurements, and game scores, and other amounts. 

Required textbook:  None  :)   
(Feel free to donate to your favorite charity instead.)

Required websites:
Fingerspelling course:
Place to learn basic fingerspelling:
Place to improve your ability to read fingerspelling:
Place to improve your ability to recognize numbers:

Cost of Website:  Free!

Examinations and assignments: 
All quizzes and exams are cumulative. See schedule for due dates. For descriptions, see below.





Lesson Quizzes (10 x 50 pts)


Midterm 250

Final Exam




Lesson Quizzes
This is a series of online quizzes which help inspire you to actually do the lessons.  They will help you review and practice what we are learning in class.

This is a test that is taken in-class.  It is "receptive." That means you will be watching and writing. 
You will be shown various spelled words or signed numbers and you will need to write them down.

Final exam
This test is taken by appointment with me.  I'll pass around a sign up sheet a couple weeks prior to the end of the course. The final exam will have two parts. 
1.  Receptive exam: You will be shown various video clips of fingerspelling and numbers.
2.  Expressive exam: You will show the instructor your mastery of numbers and fingerspelling through a scripted demonstration as well as random sampling of the material covered in this course.  Details will be provided on a handout.

Total points possible:  1000.  Scale:  100-95%=A, 90 = A-, 87=B+, 83=B, 80=B-, 77=C+,73=C, 70=C-, 67=D+, 63=D, 60=D-, 59=F.

Voicing Policy: 
During certain times of the course this may become a "no-voice class."  I will clearly announce such times. During no-voice times you should keep your voice off and not whisper nor rely on "exaggerated mouthing."  If  another student voices to you during the "no-voice" sessions you should respond as if you couldn't hear them and ask them (by signing) to communicate with you by signing or fingerspelling (or even writing on paper or the board). If you ignore this rule,  I can reduce your grade, require you to wear ear plugs, or drop you from class for participating in voicing either as a participating listener or the one using voice.  (But, usually I'll just ask you to sit somewhere else.)

Attendance Policy:
Hey, I understand -- "stuff" happens.  If your life is full of a lot of "stuff" -- feel free to miss class
I will do my part to help out and only take off 3% for each absence.  Since I'm flexible and willing to work with dedicated students I'll let you make up the absence by working online and taking a makeup quiz to get that 3% back.  Note: it is really helpful if you can arrange to show up for any in-person tests.  If you miss a test you can make it up by taking a harder version of it plus doing extra online work. 
(Click here for instructions .)

Course environment, etiquette, ethics, disabilities, and other "fine print."  
You may be dropped from class for checking your email during class or accessing websites other than,,, or during class. You may be dropped from class for using your voice or whispering during class during "no-voice" sessions.  No reading newspapers during class or other distracting behavior. Turn cell phones off, or at least use silent settings. It is rude as heck to be messing around with your phone while I'm teaching.  If you've got an "important call" coming in then miss class and do the online makeup work and quiz.  If you think you know this stuff so well that you don't need to pay attention then let's not waste your time -- request the final exam early. I'll give you that score as your grade and get you on your way.  Do not wear baseball caps during quizzes.  No videotaping the lecture or bringing visitors or guests without permission. You are always expected to work independently on graded quizzes and/or assignments unless specifically directed otherwise by the me. Assignments turned in late for any reason may receive no credit. For information on the University's policy regarding cheating and plagiarism, refer to the Schedule of Courses (Legal Notices on Cheating and Plagiarism) and the University Catalog (Policies and Regulations). Penalties for cheating and plagiarism may include having a note placed in your permanent file, receiving an F for a particular assignment, an F for the course, or expulsion from the university. Students with disabilities will receive reasonable accommodation for learning and evaluation upon identifying themselves to the instructor and the university in a timely fashion. For more information, contact the office of Services to Students with Disabilities. This syllabus and the schedule are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances. If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to check on announcements made while you were absent.    [My lawyer made me say all that.  Sorry.]

Pep talk:
You can do this.  I have near infinite patience. I love teaching and explaining.  If you have questions, ask in class or email me with your first and last name, the hour of your class, and the phrase "RESPONSE REQUESTED" in the subject line and I'll strive to get back to you within 48 hours.  If you think I've overlooked your email, feel free to send your question again--I won't feel bothered--rather I'll be grateful for the communication (sometimes email doesn’t arrive).  If there is something I can do to make the class better for you please do suggest it.  This class may be one of your more challenging accomplishments but I know if you work hard and put in the time--you will succeed.

Note: I will be posting new lessons to this schedule throughout  the semester.
Don't worry if the new link isn't up yet, just use the prototype links for now:
Here are the prototype links:
 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Lexicalized  | 11 | 
This is the first time this course is being offered at CSUS so we are seeing what pace (how fast) to go through the lessons. 

Do or study before class:


Due Date:


Your Score






 Lesson 1

#1 taken in class.
Will cover 4 letter words spelled at slow speed. Practice at




 Lesson 2

Quiz 2: 5 letter words
Notes: We played tic tac toe, we spelled our favorites: fruit, place, book, flower, major, we sat in a circle and spelled a new word starting with the last letter of the person in front of us, we used phonetic fingerspelling cards for practice, we reviewed the "If it is to be it is up to me" and the "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" phrase.




 Lesson 3

Quiz 3




 Lesson 4

Quiz 4




 Lesson 5

Quiz 5




Lesson 6

Quiz 6









 Lesson 7





 Lesson 8

Quiz 7




Lesson 9 

Quiz 8




  Lesson 10






Quiz 10




Practice and Review

"Mock Finals"




Final Exam:  By appointment

















Dr. Bill's new iPhone "Fingerspelling Practice" app is now available!   GET IT HERE!  

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