ASL University | Checklist | Lessons | Signs | Products | Resources | Lifeprint
ASL American Sign Language (42 bytes) ASL American Sign Language (42 bytes) ASL American Sign Language (42 bytes) ASL American Sign Language (42 bytes)

ASL American Sign Language (42 bytes)
curve.gif gradient.gif
Teaching ASL:  Ideas for when you have a substitute instructor in class.
ASL American Sign Language (42 bytes) ASL American Sign Language (42 bytes) ASL American Sign Language (42 bytes) ASL American Sign Language (42 bytes)

<<In a message dated 5/12/02 9:16:39 AM Central Daylight Time, 
a teacher writes:

after i sent my last letter i revisted your site and you have added
stuff! A lot of it! Well, i see that you have a new report available
and I will just have to purchase it!

I see that you will answer additional questions so I would really love
for you to think about the teacher at the HS level and what to do when
h/she is absent. What list of work would you leave behind? Just a
general running list nothing level specific.


Dear ________,

A few ideas off the top of my head regarding "work" that I would leave behind for a substitute teacher to use in my absence. (high school environment)

First of all, I'd make a video of me giving a 20 or 30 sentence test. The sentences would be "questions" like "YOUR FAVORITE COLOR HUH-whq?"
Then I'd type up a "teachers answer key" to the test.

I'd have the sub start class by giving the test. (Using a video player and screen of some kind).  Then correcting the test. Then the students would use their recently corrected test as a practice sheet to work in pairs asking the questions to each other in sign and answering in sign.

Finally the students would take turns coming to the front of the class and asking the question to the teacher then the teacher picks a student to answer it.

The last part is important. The student who is in front of the class asks the teacher.  Then the teacher engages in a process of clarifying the question. After the teacher is satisfied that the question is clear, he spells the name of a student in the class who then has to answer the question. If the student doesn't understand the question, he or she then has to engage in an elicitation process of clarifying the question, (using signs like, "AGAIN, SLOW, SPELL, and ALL).  Remember the student who is asking the question asks it to the teacher.  If a pattern is developed wherein the student asks another student and that student is the one that answers it allows all the other students in class to zone out and not worry about figuring out what the question is because they don't have to answer it.  If the instructor chooses the person to answer the question after it has been asked and clarified then ALL of the students are more likely to pay attention because they might personally have to answer the question.

It is good if the teacher has a bunch of names in a hat and draws them at random...that helps all the students to stay awake (plus it relieves them of having to play the "look away game" so as to lessen their chances of being picked.) . Especially if he puts the recently drawn name back into the hat--which means that a student can't sleep even after he has participated once. The teacher should be on the lookout for students who are getting bored or nodding off and call on them to respond (as appropriate.)

I would take all of the above materials (video, answer sheet, instructions, small box to use as a hat) into a box and have it ready for the substitute to use. 
All of the above assumes that the sub knows sign language.

If the sub doesn't know sign language (real world occurrence), you could have him give a written history, culture, grammar test (prepared ahead of time by the instructor) to the students, then have him correct it with the students. Depending on the maturity level of your students he could have the students take turns providing what they feel are the correct answers and explaining why they think their answers are correct (e.g., which handout, what page in the book, what example the teacher gave) to the other students. Then the sub would check the answer sheet to see if it agreed. Any differences or questions would be placed on the board for the regular teacher to respond to when she comes back.

Another idea would be for the teacher to prepare ahead of time a "fill in the blank" reading test that would ask questions regarding key concepts in the book.
This takes hours to prepare, but you can use it again and again with each class you teach. Then you can rework it and include it as part of the grammar/history/culture written portion of your midterm or final.

Another idea is to purchase a "Guesstures" game (by Milton Bradley) from a store like "Toys R Us." (Or better yet, a thrift store.) Such a game can provide a fun and easy hour of gesturing practice for the students.
( fingerspelling, no lipping, signing is okay, no writing on the blackboard, laughing is okay.) If there are no hard of hearing or deaf kids in class, and depending on your classroom "voicing/no-voicing rules--it works good to have the gesturer follow the above rules while acting out the cards while the rest of the class yells out what they think are the correct answers. If you have a no voice policy, I'd allow the people who are trying to guess to write their guesses on the board (or assign a scribe or two who will write what the guessers are fingerspelling to them). Then the actor or gesturer can sign "YES RIGHT" when the correct word is spelled and the rest of the students can be kept in the loop even if they missed the fingerspelling. This allows the game to progress quickly and but still keep the slowest few students in the loop.


Lifeprint Institute