Save the Dates! Upcoming eCourse Sessions

I’m pleased to announce that the following eCourses are on the schedule for upcoming months! For more details about eCourse content, click here. 

Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff

Asynchronous eCourse featuring 6 weeks of lessons (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials)

Winter 2020 Session Begins January 13, 2020 – registration coming soon

 

Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide eCourse

Asynchronous eCourse featuring 6 weeks of lessons (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials)

Spring 2020 Session Begins March 2, 2020 – registration coming soon

 

Want to be notified when registration opens? Click on the “Follow by email” link in the right hand menu to receive Stories By Hand updates right in your inbox!

A Special Song and Giveaway!: Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?

Today I’m featuring a guest post from Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the excellent Story Time with Signs and Rhymes series (more about that here), about her upcoming releases and some exciting ways to use them in storytime!

Take it away, Dawn!


Hello Readers and Signers!

Kathy was kind enough to invite me to write a guest post on her blog to celebrate the upcoming release of my two latest picture books: Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty? and Where Does a Pirate Go Potty? These new books are geared for young readers ages 3-8, but they will appeal to potty humorists of all ages.

Although these new books don’t incorporate sign language like my Story Time with Signs & Rhymes series, in my experience, most books can be enriched with sign language with just a little bit of advanced planning. For example, I recently developed a detailed sign language story time lesson plan for folks who are interested in some comic relief while toilet training. You can find that lesson plan here.

That said, these new books are more aptly categorized as potty-humor books, vs. potty-training books. Given that I’ve taught Sing and Sign workshops for the past twenty years, music and sign language are infused in just about everything I do. Over the past couple of months, I had the unique opportunity to work with two different musicians to create a children’s song for each of my new books. I couldn’t be more pleased with how they turned out.

For the Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty? song, I worked with singer, songwriter and performing musician, Marshall Mitchell.

You can listen to our song here.

Kids of all ages love to sing and sign AND they love to laugh. Singing and signing along with the Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty? song creates a perfect opportunity to incorporate all three of these fun activities.

I’ve included the song lyrics for Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty? below, noting in bold some of the words you might consider signing along with. TIP: Don’t feel pressured to sign more words than you are comfortable with. It’s perfectly okay to start by signing only one or two key words, (for example, WHERE or POTTY) that repeat throughout the song. As your American Sign Language vocabulary (and your confidence) develops and grows, you can add more signs each time you sing. Rest assured, kids are likely to ask you to repeat the song again and again!

Here are the lyrics:

Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?

Lyrics by Marshall Mitchell and Dawn Prochovnic; Music written and performed by Marshall Mitchell

When she’s exploring nature…out west.

And her belly starts to feel somewhat distressed.

Out in the canyon or the brush…when she feels the need to rush.

Where does a cowgirl go potty?

When she’s out there on the wide and open range.

And her tummy starts to feel a little strange.

Because waiting is the worst…she thinks she just may burst.

Where does a cowgirl go potty?

Now she can’t go just anywhere…’Cause other folks go potty there.

She’ll find a place and then…it’s just beyond the next bend.

She knew it when she saw…then gave a big, “Yee-Haw!”

This is where a cowgirl goes potty.

Now, this is where a cowgirl goes potty.

Here are links to some reputable video-based resources for the bolded American Sign Language vocabulary , along with some brief reminder notes to help jog your memory as you are learning the signs:

  • BURST: Hands make exploding motion
  • COWBOY/COWGIRL: Think of a gunslinger
  • CAN’T (CANNOT): Pointer finger scolds/slaps other pointer finger
  • DISTRESSED: Think of nervous jazz hands
  • EXPLORE: Palm-down “V” handshapes looks/explores
  • FEEL: Middle finger brushes chest
  • FIND: Open hand becomes “F” Handshape
  • KNOW: Hand taps forehead then moves downward
  • NEXT: One hand passes over the other
  • OTHER: Ten handshape points “other” direction
  • POTTY/TOILET: The “T” handshape wiggles
  • STRANGE: “C” handshape droops near mouth
  • THIS: Pointer finger points to palm of other hand
  • WAIT: Palms up, fingers wiggle
  • WHERE: Pointer finger looks/searches
  • WIDE: Hands expand/go wide
  • YEE-HAW (APPLAUSE): Jazz hands raise and celebrate

As I mentioned above, I worked with singer, songwriter and performing musician, Marshall Mitchell for the Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty? song. Marshall Mitchell is a frequent performer at schools and libraries around the country. He recently performed dozens of fun, educational shows for a variety of library summer reading programs. You can see snippets of his work here.

The story of how I met and developed a friendship with Marshall is here.

If you’re interested in bringing Marshall to your learning community, you can contact his booking agent here.

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Kathy! I hope your readers have as much fun singing and signing along with this silly song as I had working on the lyrics and collaborating with Marshall Mitchell.

For those who can’t get enough of the song, keep an eye on my social media accounts about the release of the book trailer for Where Does A Cowgirl Go Potty? It’s in production now, and will be available to view, soon! Also, I’ll soon be making announcements about the song and book trailer for Where Does a Pirate Go Potty? ARRR!

Want an Advance Release copy of Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?

Comment below, and/or share this post on social media, and tag @KathysQuill (FB and Twitter) and @DawnProchovnicAuthor (FB) / @DawnProchovnic (Twitter) for chances to win. I have two advanced copies along with classroom sets of bookmarks to share. I’ll give them away sometime next week!

About the Author:

Dawn Babb Prochovnic is the author of Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?; Where Does a Pirate Go Potty?; First Day Jitters, featured in the award-winning book, Oregon Reads Aloud; and 16 books in the Story Time with Signs & Rhymes Series, including one title that was selected as an Oregon Book Awards finalist. Dawn is a vocal advocate for school and public libraries and was honored as a 2015 Oregon Library Supporter of the Year by the Oregon Library Association. She is a frequent presenter at schools, libraries and educational conferences, and the founder of SmallTalk Learning, which provides American Sign Language and early literacy education. Dawn loves to travel and has visited thousands of potties across the Pacific Northwest and around the world. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, two kids, two cats, and a feisty dog. Learn more at http://www.dawnprochovnic.com or find her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Register now for Basic ASL for Library Staff eCourse – begins May 20!

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, May 20, 2019 (6 weeks of lessons; Participants will have a total of 12 weeks to complete course materials)
Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.
Cost: $195.00 (discounts available for American Library Association members and bulk registrations)
Register here.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 30 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

American Sign Language (ASL) is an invaluable skill for library professionals. A basic grasp of ASL enhances your ability to serve deaf library users and opens up a new world of possibilities for storytime programs. It’s also a marketable professional skill that can translate to public service jobs beyond the library world. Ideal for those without previous experience, this eCourse taught by librarian and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. MacMillan will place ASL within a linguistic and cultural context, aiding participants in improving library services.

Past attendees say:

“This course has been invaluable to me. I have spent countless hours reviewing all of the video, re-reading the lessons, and just generally trying to absorb as much knowledge as I could. The instructor was a gem in the way that she provided comprehensive answers to questions, feedback, tips and resources.”

“While I had taken ASL many years ago, this class has expanded my vocabulary and boosted my confidence in my abilities. I think it helped that this class specifically addressed situations I might encounter here at work.”

“This has been a great introduction to both the language and the culture!”

“This class was interesting, informative, and entertaining. It opened my eyes to a variety of ideas and concepts that can only make me a better librarian as well as a better person. I thought things were well organized and presented in an ordered and logical fashion, each lesson building on the one before.”

“Ms. MacMillan provided timely feedback to all responses, questions, and comments during the entire course.  Her answers show the mastery of content knowledge and her response time shows how much she cares about her students and the topic she is teaching. This was one of the best online courses I have taken, and I will highly recommend this course to others.”

Register now!

Registration now open for Basic ASL for Library Staff eCourse

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, May 20, 2019 (6 weeks of lessons; Participants will have a total of 12 weeks to complete course materials)
Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.
Cost: $195.00 (discounts available for American Library Association members and bulk registrations)
Register here.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 30 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

American Sign Language (ASL) is an invaluable skill for library professionals. A basic grasp of ASL enhances your ability to serve deaf library users and opens up a new world of possibilities for storytime programs. It’s also a marketable professional skill that can translate to public service jobs beyond the library world. Ideal for those without previous experience, this eCourse taught by librarian and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. MacMillan will place ASL within a linguistic and cultural context, aiding participants in improving library services.

Past attendees say:

“This course has been invaluable to me. I have spent countless hours reviewing all of the video, re-reading the lessons, and just generally trying to absorb as much knowledge as I could. The instructor was a gem in the way that she provided comprehensive answers to questions, feedback, tips and resources.”

“While I had taken ASL many years ago, this class has expanded my vocabulary and boosted my confidence in my abilities. I think it helped that this class specifically addressed situations I might encounter here at work.”

“This has been a great introduction to both the language and the culture!”

“This class was interesting, informative, and entertaining. It opened my eyes to a variety of ideas and concepts that can only make me a better librarian as well as a better person. I thought things were well organized and presented in an ordered and logical fashion, each lesson building on the one before.”

“Ms. MacMillan provided timely feedback to all responses, questions, and comments during the entire course.  Her answers show the mastery of content knowledge and her response time shows how much she cares about her students and the topic she is teaching. This was one of the best online courses I have taken, and I will highly recommend this course to others.”

Register now!

NITA’S DAY available for pre-order!

Nita and her family are back in an all-new adventure that teaches 10 basic American Sign Language signs for babies and their grownups to use throughout the day: wake up, change, clothes, eat, potty, go, play, bath, book, and bed. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context, and repetition throughout each story makes them easy to practice. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference. No signing book collection is complete without Nita!

Nita’s Day: More Signs for Babies and Parents

by Kathy MacMillan; illustrated by Sara Brezzi. Familius Press, 2020

Pre-order now:

Learn more about the Little Hands Signing series here!

Nita's First Signs final cover

Starting Soon! Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom eCourse

Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide eCourse

Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, April 8, 2019 and continuing for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials.)

$250.00 (ALA Members $225.00)

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 36 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

American Sign Language is most commonly used in storytimes for babies, but the applications can go much further. In this new 6-week eCourse, Sign Language expert Kathy MacMillan explores the benefits of signing with all children. In addition to learning basic American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary appropriate for use with children in library and classroom settings, you will also learn to teach stories, songs, and other activities that incorporate ASL. MacMillan provides you with a linguistic and cultural context to help make your programming more accessible.

After participating in this eCourse, you will:

  • Have a working knowledge of approximately 180 signs (introduced through video)
  • Create two storytime/classroom activities using the featured vocabulary that you can implement in your storytimes
  • Understand relevant aspects of child development and early literacy
  • Understand signing in a linguistic and cultural context

Feedback from past participants:

“One of the most well-organized and rewarding professional development courses I’ve taken.”

“Kathy is an amazing instructor. She made learning online very easy and comfortable. She replied quickly when students had questions and she responded with feedback with videos to help sign better.”

“I am amazed. It couldn’t have gone better. I came away learning many signs I can use and gained some helpful information for my storytimes.”

“The instructor was phenomenal, and I am already incorporating course work into everyday interactions in the library. Everything in the course is relevant and beneficial.”

Instructor Kathy MacMillan is a writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She is the author of Nita’s First Signs (Familius Press), as well as the author or co-author of many books from ALA Editions, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. She is also the author of the young adult fantasy novels Sword and Verse and Dagger and Coin (HarperTeen).

Register for Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language

Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language: A 90-minute webinar

Thursday, March 28, 2018, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30pmCentral/12:30pm Mountain/11:30am Pacific

Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Signing with young children of any hearing ability fosters bonding, stimulates language development, and reduces frustration for caregiver and child. Learn how to use sign language in storytimes to broaden their appeal and make them more participative. In this interactive workshop, Kathy MacMillan—American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, librarian, and storyteller—will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into stories, rhymes, and songs. You will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help you, your staff, and parents communicate better with children. Register at https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/liven-baby-and-toddler-storytimes-sign-language-workshop

Take the Read Local Challenge!

I’m thrilled to be participating in the 2018/2019 Read Local Challenge, sponsored by the MD/DE/WV Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators! The Read Local Challenge features traditionally-published authors and illustrators from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

We invite all schools, libraries, homeschool groups, scout troops … groups of any size to join us! Take the challenge to read as many of these books from local authors/illustrators as you can, for a chance to win fabulous prizes, such as signed books and free Skype visits with one of our Read Local authors or illustrators. Then visit our websites to find our already-scheduled book signings and events, or to schedule a visit to your school or library.

Nita’s First Signs is featured in the Picture Book Challenge, and Dagger and Coin is featured in the Young Adult Challenge.

All are welcome to take the Picture Book Challenge, the Middle Grade Challenge, the Young Adult Challenge, or all three!  Click here to learn more.

 

Register now for Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom eCourse

Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide eCourse

Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, April 8, 2019 and continuing for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials.)

$250.00 (ALA Members $225.00)

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 36 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

American Sign Language is most commonly used in storytimes for babies, but the applications can go much further. In this new 6-week eCourse, Sign Language expert Kathy MacMillan explores the benefits of signing with all children. In addition to learning basic American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary appropriate for use with children in library and classroom settings, you will also learn to teach stories, songs, and other activities that incorporate ASL. MacMillan provides you with a linguistic and cultural context to help make your programming more accessible.

After participating in this eCourse, you will:

  • Have a working knowledge of approximately 180 signs (introduced through video)
  • Create two storytime/classroom activities using the featured vocabulary that you can implement in your storytimes
  • Understand relevant aspects of child development and early literacy
  • Understand signing in a linguistic and cultural context

Feedback from past participants:

“One of the most well-organized and rewarding professional development courses I’ve taken.”

“Kathy is an amazing instructor. She made learning online very easy and comfortable. She replied quickly when students had questions and she responded with feedback with videos to help sign better.”

“I am amazed. It couldn’t have gone better. I came away learning many signs I can use and gained some helpful information for my storytimes.”

“The instructor was phenomenal, and I am already incorporating course work into everyday interactions in the library. Everything in the course is relevant and beneficial.”

Instructor Kathy MacMillan is a writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She is the author of Nita’s First Signs (Familius Press), as well as the author or co-author of many books from ALA Editions, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. She is also the author of the young adult fantasy novels Sword and Verse and Dagger and Coin (HarperTeen).

Register now for Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language

Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language: A 90-minute webinar

Thursday, March 28, 2018, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30pmCentral/12:30pm Mountain/11:30am Pacific

Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Signing with young children of any hearing ability fosters bonding, stimulates language development, and reduces frustration for caregiver and child. Learn how to use sign language in storytimes to broaden their appeal and make them more participative. In this interactive workshop, Kathy MacMillan—American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, librarian, and storyteller—will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into stories, rhymes, and songs. You will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help you, your staff, and parents communicate better with children. Register at https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/liven-baby-and-toddler-storytimes-sign-language-workshop