Classes

Current and Upcoming Classes

Level 1: Special Needs Classes
Monday mornings (ongoing)
Toddlers: 9:30 - 10:00 a.m.
ChildServe Woodland Center
Des Moines, IA
This is a private class being offered to the children and staff of ChildServe in their downtown Des Moines location.  If your facility serving children with special needs would like to offer weekly sign language classes for the children in your care, send me an email at Melissa@MySmartHands.com.


Level 1 *Perfect for anyone beginning their signing journey!*
NEW CLASS STARTING IN MARCH! To be notified when class dates are determined, email me at Melissa@mysmarthands.com.

 

Class Descriptions

My Smart Hands Level 1
These classes run in 8-week sessions. You will learn over 100 signs to use with your child, as well as the ASL alphabet and 13 songs. Classes are 45 minutes in length and are created for parents/caregivers and their babies and toddlers.

In a playful, educational and language-rich environment, caregivers and children will build their American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary through instruction, interactive games, and songs. You will learn recommended first signs, discuss the benefits of using ASL with infants, and demonstrate easy techniques for successfully integrating signs into everyday life. Some of the ASL vocabulary covered for this age group includes everyday words, family, food, animals, emotions, opposites, bed time, and play signs.

Cost: 8-week class: $140 ($110 class fee plus $30 manual fee). Cost is per family, not per child.
Discounts: Hostess discounts available.


My Smart Hands Level 2
These classes are designed for graduates of My Smart Hands Level I class or for infants with basic ASL comprehension. These classes run in 8-week sessions.  You will learn over 120 signs to use with your child, as well as more songs and additional signs for the songs learned in Level 1.  Classes are 45 minutes in length. We will review signs learned in My Smart Hands Level I and continue to build our signing vocabulary. Weekly themes covered in class include people, food, animals, emotions, opposites, weather, and color signs.

Cost: 8-week class: $140 ($110 class fee plus $30 manual fee). Cost is per family, not per child.
Discounts: Hostess discounts available.


My Smart Hands Level 3
These classes are designed specifically for preschoolers, ages 3-5.  The instructor teaches directly to the children, and parents and caregivers act as "teacher's aides" during the class, helping the children with in-class songs and activities.  Children do NOT need to have taken Levels 1 and 2 to join this class; however, children who have gone through the first two Levels will be slightly ahead of children who haven't taken them.  These classes run in 8-week sessions.  You will learn over 100 signs, as well as sing songs and read books not learned in Level 1 or 2.  Classes are 30-45 minutes in length.  Weekly themes covered in class include life together, shapes, questions, days of the week, clothes, community helpers, places we go, and sports.

Cost: 8-week class: TBD. Cost is per family, not per child.
Discounts: Hostess discounts available.


Sign and Sing
Young children are active, spontaneous, and creative!  They enjoy singing and dancing to a variety of songs and rhythms.  children love putting actions to traditional favorites like "Old MacDonald" and "Wheels on the Bus."  In the 8-week Sign and Sing class, we teach ASL signs for traditional children's songs, music from the MSH Level 1 CD, as well as personalized songs from our new Name Your Tune CD!  Personalized Name Your Tune CDs use your child's first name in each song and may be purchased from Name Your Tune at a discount (parents will receive a discount code to enter on the NYT website; purchase of the CD is optional).  We will learn how to sign key words in each song, play games, and read books.  Most importantly, we will laugh and have FUN!

Cost: 8-week class: $120. Cost is per family, not per child.
Discounts: Hostess discounts available.


Daycare Classes
These 30-minute preschool-style classes are designed to be taught to a group of children in a daycare setting with the daycare provider(s) present.  Class lengths and topics can be customized to the needs of each daycare, whether in-home or center.  When Levels 1 and 2 are taught in this setting, each of the eight lessons are extended into four classes with a focus on 3 signs per class.  This allows the children more time to become familiar with each group of signs; children are more likely to remember and use the signs due to increased repetition and focus on each topic.  Signs are taught using songs, games, activities, and books.  At the end of each class, take-home handouts are given to daycare providers to send home with each family at the end of the day.  When Levels 1 and 2 are taught, daycares are required to purchase a minimum of one manual per home or center for use and reference by daycare providers.  Manuals are also available for purchase by parents of children in the daycare.

Cost: $5 per child per class, due at the end of each month, with a $30/class minimum.  Each manual is $30 and includes full-color photos of each sign, the ASL alphabet, lyrics for 1-2 songs per lesson, and a music CD.


Educator Workshops
These workshops are designed to show child care providers, educators, and homeschooling parents how to use ASL with the children in their care.  Workshop content and length are customized to the needs of each facility and staff.  Participants will learn hundreds of signs along with simple, memorable ways to integrate sign language into each day.  For homeschooling families, workshops can also be taught to both the parents and children at the same time (for this option, adjusted Level 1 pricing would apply).  ASL is a valuable educational tool that can enhance lessons for children of any age.  Ask me how!

Cost: $75 per hour (two-hour minimum), plus manual fees


FREE Group Demonstrations
I love sharing the amazing benefits of sign language with parenting groups! I routinely give free sign language demonstrations to parenting groups of all sizes. These 30-minute demonstrations include everyday signs, fun songs, and popular children's books. You can even determine the content! I will work with you to pick signs, songs, and books that will fit your group's dynamic best. If your parenting group would like to schedule a free group demonstration, simply call (515-577-5743) or email me (Melissa@MySmartHands.com)!

Cost: FREE!


Create Your Own Class!
Do you want to join a class but none on my current schedule work for you? Do you have a group of four or more families who want to learn baby sign language? Then create your own class! YOU decide what day, time, and location work best for your group. Get all the benefits of a Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, or Sign and Sing class at YOUR convenience!

Cost:
Levels 1 and 2:
8-week class: $140 ($110 class fee plus $30 manual fee). Cost is per family, not per child.
Sign and Sing:
8-week class: $120. Cost is per family, not per child.
Discounts: Hostess discounts available.