This skill is extremely important for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing children. We as a teacher need to know what they already know and build on that to the unknown experience.
I will explain what my teacher did with me growing up and it was very benefiting for me and why its important to document it.
Parents and teacher communication are important because it helps the teacher know what is happening in their lives and how the teacher can incorporate it in teaching.
So in my case, my family and I took a trip to Hawaii. My parents will let my teacher know that we are going on a vacation to Hawaii. My teacher will take that and incorporate it in her lesson and it became our summer school theme. My teacher will do a pre assessment to know what we know about Hawaii. Once she knows what we know, then she moves on to her teaching lesson.
This is where we document our KWL charts and vocabulary list…
My teacher will then start teaching about pineapple and coconut. The first picture shows my teacher teaching us how to cut a pineapple and explain to us what it is and how it tastes, where it comes from and all the important lesson about that. Then after we are done with the lesson, we had a special Hawaii theme party where we will dress up like what Hawaii would do. We students will learn how to set up table and serve our peers food from Hawaii. My teacher then will teach us the Luau dance.
It is very extremely important to document and take pictures and students loves to see pictures of themselves. Once the lesson was done.
Thats where the fun begins and this is where the parents role comes in play. They will start taking pictures of things and what I would do in Hawaii.
As you can see this is some of the examples that my parents took and as you can see, I already learned about the Luau dance in summer school and guess what?!?! I saw it with my very own eyes when I was actually in Hawaii and I was able to make the connection of the dancing to this. My dad, my brother and I would walk in the nature and guess what we found? COCONUT! Thats when I remember making the connection with pineapple and coconut that my teacher taught me.
Making connections are so important because thats how we can remember. My trip was very fun and enjoyable.
Now thats where students can really interact by sharing their experience with teacher and peers when they get back or when school starts. Students really enjoyed doing this.
As you can see in this picture that we included the pre-teaching experience in this book because it helps me remember that this is what we did first and learned about that experience and how it connected to the actual trip.
This is where students start signing their story and teacher can help the student write what they just signed (ASL to Written English comes in play in this area).
Once the student was done documenting and writing about their experience, they can read it to the entire class, or read individual. The students also can bring the book home and share with their parents.
Hope this helps you get an idea of how language experience book helps benefit the student in so many ways. You can create a library where students can read their story and other student’s stories as well too. Be creative of creating a Language Experience library.
You can find my pre-made language experience book here.