My ASL Project is OVER!! Thank You for #KeepingCalm&SigningOn Each Week!

I did it…I blinked…

via (Yes, another Disney GIF…just sharing my love for the game people!)

It feels like this semester just started…but unfortunately, it is now over.  It has flown by.  My #LearningProject has also flown by!  Seems like yesterday I was just beginning to think what I wanted to learn over the course of my time in EDTC300 (Education Technology and Media in the Classroom).  Throughout this class, I was instructed to choose a topic that could be progressive and substantive throughout a semester.  I was also required to use the majority of the resources that I found online to assist me in my learning through my #LearningProject.  We were to blog about our process week-to-week and to share our progress with the online world and our peers.  With much humming and hawing, I chose to learn American Sign Language (ASL).

This was a skill that I had little to no experience with.  I was also so eager to learn ASL though, as I saw it all the time through movies I’ve watched, through my sister learning ASL from her friends who are apart of the deaf community, as well as in public from the people around me.  But what had the most influence on me, toward learning ASL was from watching and basically falling in love with Nyle DiMarco (famous actor, advocate, and model) from the popular tv show, Dancing with the Stars.  From watching him dance week-to-week, and listening to his home story/experiences and learning what brought him to the show made me want to learn ASL even more.


I watched his family video, I added the app that he teaches ASL on, I supported his advocacy campaign through purchasing one of his BeYOUtiful apparel items and I also relate to him through the fact that he has a very closely knit Italian background as well as I do!  When watching him sign on Dancing with the Stars, I found myself trying to learn to sign along with him by pausing the channel, etc.  What an amazing individual and even more inspiring through all that he has and is continuing to accomplish.

I used these above online resources, my sister’s ASL Dictionary, various YouTube tutorials, as well as my sister’s friends knowledge, from the deaf community, on the accuracy of my signing through the duration of my #LearningProject.  All of these resources, online, hard-copy and in face-to-face interaction, supported my learning in this ongoing process.

I can say that I have grown and developed in my ASL skills and am very proud in all that I have accomplished, but I still have a ways to go as I will continue to learn ASL and become fluent in this inspiring and profound language!

Below is a recap of my #LearningProject journey:

#LearningProject Recap

Welcome All To, #KeepCalm&SignOn!

  • Introduction, planning process, and how my #LearningProject will be laid out

Introducing Myself Through Signing

  • Week 1 of my #LearningProject
  • My initial thought process and challenges
  • Introducing myself by signing “Hi, my name is Manuela”

SIGNabet – ABC Learn With Me

1-2-3…Come On & Sign With Me

  • Week 3 of my #LearningProject
  • Learning to sign the #’s 1-15
  • The resources that I used adventuring into the ASL number realm, were: a Youtube tutorial, for beginners to learn numbers 1-15 in sign language, The ASL app: Know Your Numbers – Intro & 0-10, and the guidance and assistance of my sister, Alessandra
  • Challenges in learning from videos without people speaking and just sign

Mia Famiglia

  • Week 4 of my #LearningProject
  • Learning to sign a variety of family nouns
  • Awesome source which has a plethora of ASL teaching resources.  From a site called (look up how to sign a particular word)
  • This weeks inspiration not only came from my own family, but it also had a huge impact from Nyle DiMarco.  I have mentioned him before in some of twitter posts that are related to ASL.  On Nyle’s website, he has a video from his BeYOUtiful campaign titled, Family. (So touching…)
  • What or who can you become an activist for?

Integrating ASL into the Classroom

  • Week 5 of my #LearningProject
  • Teachers are using sign language to
  • Advantages and benefits to children with using ASL in the classroom
  • Videos of me signing: manners, the 5 W’s, yes and no, part one of school signs, and part two of school signs.  
  • Online resources that I used: Manners, 5 W’s, Yes & No – learned from The ASL APP. , Part 1: School Signs – learned from an app ASL on a smartphone, and Part 2: School Signs – learned from SignSchool app on smartphone


  • Week 6 of my #LearningProject
  • Learning how to sign some colours
  • For this blog post, I am gathered inspiration and resources from my classmate, Rebecca Hitchens, in which her post is extremely helpful on Colours and Clothes
  • I used the ASL apps that I have mentioned above
  • Connecting and relating it to my own artistic talents and bringing learning colours into the classroom in a different language than what children are used to

MMMM…..Food! Signing my Favourites! 🙂 

  • Week 7 of my #LearningProject
  • Learning how to sign a variety of commonly known food items, yummy breakfast items as well as cultural eats with my favourites in Italian cuisine
  • Online resources: SignSchool app on my smartphone (which I have used in previous blog posts)

Don’t Be Afraid To Show Your True Colours

Animals with Addy!!

  • Week 9 of my #LearningProject
  • This week I decided to teach my 4-year-old niece, Adrienne to sign animals with me
  • To learn some of the signs that we didn’t know, we searched a YouTube tutorial on how to sign animals in ASL
  • Give it a watch 🙂 She’s adorable!!! PLEASE NOTE: Also making a guest appearance in our video is the well known, Belle#2 in my sweater! (She couldn’t be left out as my niece ordered heheh)

“Zia Man, Let’s Make Funny Faces!”

  • Week 10 of my #LearningProject
  • Learning how to sign some emotions with my niece Adrienne
  • Adrienne inspired this week’s learnings by beginning to make funny faces to me and it gave me such inspiration to have her co-starring this week in signing our emotions away
  • Online resource used: YouTube tutorial video on how to sign emotions
  • **Again this week, Belle#2 couldn’t miss out on the spotlight so she had to sit front row in Zia’s (auntie in Italian) sweater.

Holidays??? We Wish…

  • Week 11 of my #LearningProject
  • Learning to sign some national holidays: Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, Halloween, Happy Birthday and Thanksgiving
  • We had difficulty signing with combining 2 signs together, i.e. Thanksgiving – signing the word ‘Thanks’ and then signing ‘giving’
  • Online resource: YouTube tutorial on Holiday Signs in American Sign Language
  • It’s a long way down the ‘holiday road,’  but we had a great time on our holiday road with signing (HEHE)!

Reflecting on the Idea of Learning Online

a. The fact that if you mess up or get frustrated with a certain aspect of your learning, you do not get judged by others for it, as it is only you and your lonesome learning the newly found skill

  • there were many times each week that I got really frustrated with myself if I couldn’t get a sign down or remotely even do it
  • I could stop what I was doing if I would get too heated, go do something that would calm and take my mind off of it and then come back to it with a clear mind

b. To be able to learn ASL alone without distraction or interruption and at my own pace (as a classroom would otherwise)

  • I was able to go learn in a quiet space in the comfort of my own house (more often than not in my comfortable bedroom)
  • there was a deadline for each #LearningProject post but it wasn’t strict and I was relaxed and not stressed or overwhelmed in getting them completed and published each week
  • pretty mellow atmosphere

c. Receiving feedback, perspectives, suggestions, comments, ideas, advice, encouragement/praise, resources, etc., from my EDTC300 peers and from others in the online world, on my progress through my #LearningProject

There was a lot of commentary from my #LearningProject posts from my supportive EDTC300 peers, which you can go to my Final Networked Learning Wrap-Up document link for that!

d. To be able to connect with people through online interactions that live far away

  • some of EDTC300 peers lived in Yukon, which I thought was pretty cool to see how they do things over there and how their education differs than that of here in Regina
  • adding numerous people from all over the world to my PLN to collaborate with and converse with from my #Saskedchat encounter on Twitter

In Closing…

I am exposed to the benefits of learning online and gathering online resources from my peers and others professionals who are experienced in their differing fields.  I also now see the advantages of sharing my learnings through process and progress with the online world.  I have two big takeaways that I have from my #LearningProject:

  1. Receiving encouragement and feedback from my PLN, peers and online acquaintances


                     2. Sharing my blog posts through WordPress, Twitter and Facebook using the                            hashtag #LearningProject and #EDTC300 (for people to navigate quicker)

I am super proud of where I am at in learning ASL, but I definitely have the willingness to continue on in my ASL journey!

Thanks, friends for tuning in to my #LearningProject for these 12 L O N G weeks.


Also, many thanks for #KeepingCalm&SigningOn !!

Ciao! 🙂







Final Networked Learning: Wrap-Up

AT LAST!! Final blog post of the class!


Throughout this semester of taking EDTC300 (Education Technology and Media in the Classroom), I learned and gained an exuberant amount of knowledge through using Google+ communities, Twitter, and WordPress (blogging).  I have also learned that it is very important to have a positive and professional Personal Learning Network (PLN) and always to continue to add, subtract and build upon it.  In the duration of this course, I tried my best to begin and continue to contribute to my PLN with using a multitude of resources that I found myself, what other professionals have shared/used on social media and as well as sharing the resources that I used to benefit and educate others learning.  I have shared many resources and articles I have found on Twitter, in my weekly blog posts and occasionally through the Google+ community that we conversed in.

The biggest and most significant way to benefit and support others learnings, as well as your own, is through the use of commenting others blogs, tweets, and questions to give advice, share your experiences, give ideas, and share your perspective anywhere that is needed and that you feel would be influential and effective.

Now that the semester is over, it is time to step back and reflect on the past classes and think: “How have I contributed to the learning of others?”

Here is a link to the document of the class interactions and how I contributed to the learning of others.

Google+ Community

Google+ is a great program to use for a university course.  It is an alternative website to using UR Courses.  I have never used it before so this was the first time as well as with another course this semester.  Google+ allows you to connect, have conversations, post wonders and questions, etc., with your peers in the community.  Apparently, I wasn’t very good at keeping up with the community…more importantly, I really only commented when I had an answer or when I could actually help someone out with something they were inquiring about.  I was informed at the end of the semester by one of my friends that there is an app for Google+ and when you have it, you get notifications from when someone posts into the community, but I didn’t have it during the semester…but it would have been so beneficial if I had.  It is a really great program as people post questions about blogging and stuff and it answered a lot of my questions.


Personally, I don’t mind using Twitter.  I have had Twitter for some time now, but only really used it a bit before taking EDTC300.  Within Twitter, I was really able to build upon my digital citizenship and develop my PLN.  I also really like using Twitter as a tool to expanding my professional community of other teachers, educators, friends and acquaintances.  I tried to retweet and tweet out resources that I have used within my #LearningProject assignment that we had to do, and also others that I had found on the site we got introduced to which was, Feedly.  This, for me, was challenging trying to find sources on Feedly that I liked in order to share on Twitter.  I didn’t meet the ‘tweet 2x a day’ idea that we were supposed to adhere to, but I did tweet everyday.  I also retweeted, liked and commented quite a bit on what my peers and others posted on Twitter, so I made a presence that way!

WordPress (Blogging)

Another way that I was able to contribute to the learning of others was by blogging weekly and posting the link to my blog on Twitter for people to view and visit!  Through my blogs, I was able to share my ASL resources through my #LearningProject assignment.  I was also able to comment on my peers blog posts and give them my perspective, my ideas, my advice and encouraging words.  Not to mention, I loved the comments that I received from my peers and mentor on my blog posts.  Totally upped my confidence and I was so proud of my blog.

I loved learning what others were learning with their #LearningProjects.

Also, a huge shoutout to my EDTC300 mentor, Jordyn!  She gave me great insights on everything that I have posted within my blogs and have really boosted my confidence.  She shared kind words with me and also her experiences within the classroom and the different things that I have posted about different apps/tools and on ASL in the classroom.  I am so grateful for such an awesome mentor!!


That’s it, that’s all!  It was a great semester, with an amazing professor!


Summary of Learning: Shakespearian and Abe Style

I chose to record through audio using an app that I love, titled Puppet Pals!! 

This is a great app to use if you choose to not want to record a video including your face.  I had fun while using it.  I used different characters while speaking through reflecting on the course EDTC300.  Some of those characters were Abe Lincoln and William Shakespeare.

I strongly recommend this course to anyone out there and wants to learn about the cool things that I have outlined and described throughout my blog for the duration of this semester.  Also **SIDENOTE** Katia, the instructor/professor is amazing, so no worries there!!

Below is my Summary of Learning artifact.  The background got a little messed during translation of uploading I think…(which is so sad as it was the background of the Colleseum in Italy, Rome and now it just looks like some characters and a strip of colour…wah).  Believe it or not, it was working the entire time on my phone…before uploading.

Just bear with me, accompanied by technology for one last final HOORAH !!

And to continue…because it cut me short…(again, bear with me)

Hope you enjoyed viewing my weekly blog postings!  Have a great summer to all!!

Ciao for now! 🙂

Holidays??? We Wish…

-Week 11-

This week we learned to sign some of the national holidays.  The holidays that we learned were Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, Halloween, Happy Birthday and Thanksgiving.  These were a bit difficult to learn as some of them were combining two signs and some were one single motion.  We used a YouTube tutorial on Holiday Signs in American Sign Language

Don’t miss out on watching us signing our holidays away!!! Again…super adorable!

It’s a long way down the ‘holiday road,’  but we had a great time on our holiday road with signing (HEHE)!

National Lampoon Vacation – Holiday Road via

I really enjoyed teaching and learning alongside my niece, Adrienne.  It was very fun and we gained a lot of new knowledge throughout this process.

Thank you for watching… #KeepCalm&SignOn!!


“Zia Man, Let’s Make Funny Faces!”

-Week 10-

This week we decided to learn how to sign some emotions! Just like we did when we took this picture…

Signing emotions/feelings was an easy task for us to learn as we always have fun together and it was great to learn and be goofy at the same time!  Adrienne inspired this week’s learnings by beginning to make funny faces to me and it gave me such inspiration to have her co-starring this week in signing our emotions away.  We used a YouTube tutorial video to help us perfect the signs of these emotions, on how to sign emotions

Below is the video we took of Adrienne and I signing!!

Again this week, Belle#2 couldn’t miss out on the spotlight so she had to sit front row in Zia’s (auntie in Italian) sweater.


Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post as much as we did! We will be back next week with learning how to sign some of our national holidays!


Animals with Addy!!

-Week 9-

This week I decided to teach my 4-year-old niece, Adrienne to sign animals with me.  It is best to learn ASL in early childhood, so this is extremely beneficial for her.  For example, when we were learning to sign animals, she caught on right away and was even teaching me how to sign.  To learn some of the signs that we didn’t know, we searched a YouTube tutorial on how to sign animals in ASL.

Below is the video that we signed together! Give it a watch 🙂 She’s adorable!!! Also making a guest appearance in our video is the well known, Belle#2 in my sweater!

It was a great opportunity to teach my niece sign language for the first time and we had fun learning how to sign animals.


Be sure to check out next week’s blog post starring Adrienne!! Don’t miss out as we sign ’emotions’ together!


How Far I’ll Go with Coding… (Not very far…)

Okay well for starters, coding confuses me and is majorly difficult for me to navigate and understand (YIKERS)…before choosing Moana (which is one of my favourite Disney movies) to code, I tried almost all of the programs that ‘Hour of Code’ provides.  Even the grades 2+ were challenging for me…WOW!

Literal representation of me… via

Below is a screencast that I took of my screen while coding Moana and narrating what I am doing along the way.  It unfortunately only took me up to 10 minutes with the version I had of Screencastify, which is a chrome extension that is free up until it stops you at 10 minutes and wants you to pay for the full version in order to continue (which I could but I am too broke for that right now), but I went on to finish all 19 lessons, Go Me!!!

I do realize that I could have screen-casted my progress for another 10 minutes, etc., but it takes too much time to upload it to YouTube, so I just shared with you my progress in the first 10 minutes of coding.

Longest hour of my life…….


For my university class, Treaties in the Classroom (ECCU400), we put an evening event on about having conversations on the road towards reconciliation, through reconciliACTION.  Our event was located at the Orange Tree Village here in Regina.  My colleagues and I set up our individual exhibits around a room and joined in on the conversation toward informing and educating the public, to raise awareness about healing and reconciliation for our former students and their families of Indigenous culture, as apart of our Canadian history; past, present, and future.  It was a successful night, I would say.  The exhibits that were set up were focused on: the resource  Gladys We Never KnewWalking with Our Sisters, Indigenous Rights, The Project of Heart, Modern Treaties, Understanding White Privilege, The Secret Pathand a few more.


(My ECCU400 Class)

My partner, Rashelle and I did our presentation on The Secret Path.  

This resource is explained thoroughly in our presentations as:

In 1966, Chanie Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy,  ran away from his residential school (Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School), accompanied by two friends. The boys stayed with relatives of the other two boys and soon Chanie felt left out and set out on his own along the railroad tracks in an attempt to get home to his family. Though he had a map, he was unable to read it. His family was over 600 miles away.

He didn’t know the distance, or how to get home but like so many kids, – more than anyone can imagine he tried to escape the horrific realities of residential schools.

Gord Downie began Secret Path as ten poems incited by the story of Chanie Wenjack, Gord was introduced to Chanie Wenjack (miscalled “Charlie” by his teachers) by Mike Downie, his brother.

The music and images are beautiful and haunting, seeking to imagine what Chanie must have been thinking and experiencing as he trudged toward home in freezing temperatures, wearing clothing that was ill-suited to the conditions.

Here is a ‘Heritage Minutes’ video narrated by Chanie’s sister, Pearl Wenjack who survived residential school…

At the end of our presentation, we put together an interactive and thought-provoking activity for the public to use as a ‘take away’.  The activity outlined that before they left, they were to take a sticky note, think of a commitment (small or big scale) that they can attain toward reconciliation and stick it up for all to see, by using the famous Twitter hashtag #myreconciliationincludes…  It was quite engaging and we had a lot of people comment and say how great of a way it was to end our presentation.  Below is the final product of the activity, (it is a bit blurry), the responses of the commitments that were written by the individuals were:

  • #learnthetruth
  • Be More Inclusive
  • Be sure to wear an orange shirt on ‘Orange Shirt Day’ on September 30
  • “I want reconciliation to cost me something, it can’t be cheap or empty… #restofmylife”
  • Become familiar with the TRC (Truth & Reconciliation Commission), Calls to Action and share them with others
  • Visit and support Indigenous projects to help raise awareness of injustices
  • Educate my future students about residential schools
  • Include reconciliation in curriculum and resources K-12
  • Attend more Indigenous cultural events and activities
  • “I commit to continue learning about Indigenous challenges and work to advance the cause Righting Relations”

It was so great to see such a comprehensive list of things these people were willing to commit to toward healing, respecting relationships, reconciliation, and in honouring and validating the healing and reconciliation of former students and their families.  This is the beginning of a change that I am seeing in our society, which is amazing!  I hope we continue to build upon these changes and further our journey to mending these respectful relationships.

From University to the Classroom

It wasn’t until university that I got the opportunity to learn about Indigenous culture, and what impact colonialism had on our Canadian history and story.  With each class I have taken throughout my degree (especially my ECCU400 – Treaties in the Classroom course), I have learned and unlearned things that were embedded in my mind/thoughts and gained the new proper/accurate knowledge.  It isn’t to say that I was ‘racist’ before coming to university, it has helped immensely in educating me in these important topics of matter and helping me piece together a huge part of our Canadian history that I didn’t know of before.  Now that I have gained this knowledge, I am prepared to teach, introduce and help my students learn, incorporate into the classroom and educate the ignorant generations before me, about the era of colonialism, residential schools and all other topics of issue that branch from our country’s past story.


It is Canada’s story.  It is about Canada.  We are not the country that we thought we were.

Don’t Be Afraid To Show Your True Colours

-Week 8-

The song that I decided to learn to sign this week was difficult to decide upon.  I had so many options in mind, but a lot of which did not turn out.  I instantly thought of Disney songs that I would like to learn to sign through ASL. I LOVE Disney movie soundtracks so much, they are my favourite and I am basically a child at heart…(oh well)!

What Disney movie and song is your favourite?


My decisions were tough as my options were: How Far I Go, or You’re Welcome from Moana, Let It Go, or Do You Want to Build a Snowman from Frozen, Tale as Old as Time from Beauty and the Beast, and the list goes on.  I finally settled on a song from the Trolls movie, called True Colours.  I picked this song to learn as it was a slower song, it is definitely one of my favourites and it conveys great messages within it; bullying, deaf awareness, just to name a few.


So without further adieu, below is the video of me signing for you! (punnnnny!!!!)

I gathered my knowledge of learning different hand gestures and signs from various YouTube tutorials and covers.  The video that helped me the most in my learnings for this week was: Signing to ‘True Colours’ (Trolls) Song for Deaf Awareness.  The process of learning and practicing this song was a lengthy one.  I had to mimic and learn the hand positions and signs from the man in the video and went through the whole song from start to finish about 10x over so I could somewhat be fluent in my signs.  When it came to video myself, I was nervous but got it on the first try so I was happy for myself, YAY!

I got the inspiration to sign a song from my ASL #LearningProject pals, Sydney Wall and her All the World is Made of Faith and Trust and Pixie Dust! blog post signing Lost Boy by Ruth B. and Rebecca Hitchens and her blog post on Sign a Song – Update on my #LearningProject.  Check these phenomenal and impressive ladies as they sign away and progress in their learning a new language very amazingly and with great confidence!

I honestly cannot believe I learned how to sign a song.  I am so proud of myself for doing so!!


This was a fun week of learning! But don’t change that channel, I will be back soon with more on…