Independent Project

The independent learning project I chose to do for this semester is sign language. As an elementary education major I thought that this would be a great choice. Whether it be a student of mine or a visitor, there may come a time when I have a child in my classroom who is deaf or hard of hearing, so I should be prepared for this. If there comes a time when I have a student in my class who uses sign language as his or her primary source of communication, I could teach my students some basic communication skills for this language, and this would mostly likely be just the alphabet. However, this would mean that I would have to be educated on the language as well. For those of you who do not know what sign language is, it is the use of hand gestures to communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

I had taken a sign language class for two years while in middle school, so I know some of the basic gestures, such as the alphabet. I feel as if it is a necessity to have this in my arsenal as a teacher because, like I said before, I may have to use it to communicate with a student in my class, so I must be prepared. Below is a picture of the sign language alphabet as well as the numbers one through nine, which is what I would teach to my students if I needed to.

This image can be found at

I have found videos on the internet that can help me with my learning process throughout this semester. I am very excited to begin learning this because it can be useful in so many ways. My experience with this language excites me as well and it will definitely make this learning process easier. I have a foundation to begin with and will not need to start from scratch.

If any of you, my readers, are getting into the field of education I would highly encourage and recommend you to learn basic sign language. It can be a useful tool for you and your students. If sign language does not amuse you, there are also many other tools that you can learn to include into your arsenal as an educator. Being a teacher is not a job that should be taken lightly and accommodating to all of your students’ needs should be first and foremost.




10 thoughts on “Independent Project

  1. It is absolutely wonderful that you are thinking ahead for your students! If you ever do get a student who is hard of hearing or deaf I can only imagine the look on their face when they can actually talk directly with their teacher! It is also a skill you could pass on to the other students to help everyone feel more welcome, and erase the stigma around “disabilities”! Thank you!!


    1. Those were exactly my thoughts when I was thinking of what to do. I wanted to do something useful, and this is very useful! It can never hurt anyone to learn different languages, and if that can be taught to your students, then that is even better. Thank you for your comment!


  2. Jacob, I am doing sign language as my project too. I think that as future teachers it will be great to have as an asset. You never know what kind of students you may have in your classroom someday.


    1. There are so many things we as teachers should add to our arsenal for not only teaching, but for communicating. If we cannot communicate with the students in a way that they understand then we definitely cannot teach them.


  3. Jacob,
    I think that it is very cool that you are going to learn sign language so that you can teach it to your class. I personally wish that I knew sign language so I would be able to learn with my class as well and speak to my students that are hard of hearing.
    Great Post!


  4. This is a great choice! I love the idea of learning ASL. It will come in handy more than you know! I hope that you find it helpful in the classroom, and also as a great way to teach yourself something new. Have fun!!


  5. Jacob,
    I am also doing my independent learning project on sign language, I am amazed by all of the resources. Maybe there is a way we would practice our sign language together!? Also, have you noticed an contractions on the way a sign should be done? I was told it depends on the region and how it taught in the schools. Looking forward to reading more on your project.


    1. That is so awesome we are doin the same ILP! I think collaborating with one another would be a great idea! There are many ways a sign can be done, but mostly because of what you said- how it is taught. Usually all ASL signs are similar, but there are some slang signs that can be used. However, that is mainly just to shorten up the sign. It is like using texting language- ‘laugh out loud’ is shortened to ‘LOL’. Thank you for your comment!


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