American Sign Language (ASL)

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## Teaching ASL: Getting their attention

Use fingerspelling and numbers to get your students' attention

In my beginning-level ASL classes one of the ways I get the students to pay attention at the start of class is to go around the circle and do the abc's.  The first student signs an "A" the next student signs a "B," the next student signs a "C" and so forth until you complete the alphabet.

The next day I'll do the numbers up to 30.

When I sense the students are to the point where most of them are reasonably competent at doing the ABC's or 1-30's straight through, I tweak the instructions to provide variety.  See below for examples of the variations you can do with this approach.

Note:  If you have a "long class" you might not want to do this at the beginning of class and instead do it 20 or 30 minutes before the end of class.

Go around the circle showing letters from A to Z, but this time you will do two letters at a time.

Go around the circle showing letters from A to Z, this time you will do three letters at a time.

Go around the circle showing letters from A to Z, this time we will do every other letter. For example:  A C E G H I...etc.

Go around the circle showing letters from A to Z, this time each person will choose how many letters he or she wants to do.  You can show up to three letters per person.
Remember it is okay to show just one letter.
It is okay to show two letters.
It is okay to show three letters (but not four letters).
You decide.  The next person needs to pay attention so he or she can continue on with the next letter in the ABC's.

Go around the circle showing letters from A to Z, but this time

Go around the circle showing numbers from 1 to 31, but this time we will only do "odd" numbers:  1, 3, 5, 7, ...etc.  When you get to 31, start over until I say stop.

Go around the circle counting numbers up to 30, this time we will only do "even" numbers:  2, 4, 6, 8 ...etc.  When you get to 30, start over until I say stop.

Go around the circle counting numbers up to 30, this time you may "pass" on purpose if you would like. For example, 1, 2, 3, pass, 4, 5, pass, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, pass, pass, 12, 13, pass.
Note no more than three passes in a row.

When you get to 30, start over unless I say stop.

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