" My son Callum and I have been participating in Bizzy Bee Signing classes since he was about six months old. I love to communicate and believe that teaching my son good communication skills is very important. Teaching him to sign means that he..."

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Picture and sign cards

These are the most important support materials for our courses, and are key to reinforcing sign language in the home or day care environment.

Picture cards

Our picture cards, which are aimed at children, have either photographs or realistic looking illustrations of a particular object. Any distractions such as background, fancy borders, logos, are kept to a minimum in order to focus attention on the actual object. This attention to the quality of the images is very important for several reasons:

  • According to Dr Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori Method of education, children should learn from photographs or realistic looking illustrations because they don’t yet know the difference between what is real and what is fantasy. Therefore, it is key that they first need to learn from the ‘real world’.
  • When children learn new words, they need to be able to form images for those words in their minds. Therefore, it’s important to use realistic images, rather than illustrations that maybe show misleading information, e.g. a cat playing the guitar.
  • Children with special needs (e.g. attention deficit disorders, autism, down syndrome etc) need images with a minimum of distraction.

Unlike regular flash cards, the picture cards can be combined into handy booklets, meaning that the cards don’t get scattered all over the place.

The cards are single-sided, leaving the left hand page of the booklets empty; this also encourages the child to focus on one object at a time. This feature has the added benefit of reinforcing left to right orientation, which is an important preparation for reading and writing in languages that use left-to-right scripts.

Sign cards

Our sign cards, which are aimed at adults, are intended to be a support when learning the signs. They

  • show a photograph of how to make the sign
  • include a visual key on how to produce the sign (hand shape, body space, palm orientation)
  • include a short description of the hand movement and, where applicable, provide a hint for remembering the sign

There are corresponding sign cards for all the picture cards. In addition, there are also sign cards for words that do not have a picture card (e.g. ‘all done’, ‘help’, ‘want') as well as for the alphabet and numbers.

Like the picture cards, the sign cards can also be combined into booklets, providing you with a handy, evolutive dictionary of the signs you are working on.