Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Alisha Brandon


Montessori Elementary Education, Elementary Education, American Sign Language


Our research introduced the use of ASL signs with hearing elementary children and examined if this intervention affected the noise level produced in the classroom. The project was performed in two Montessori lower elementary classrooms (1st-3rd grade); one at a Maine private Montessori school, with 28 hearing children, and one at a Wisconsin public Montessori school, with 34 hearing children. In Wisconsin the researcher was a teacher in the classroom, in Maine the researcher was not. Data was measured using four tools: a decibel measuring app, observation form, tally sheet, and a structured discussion. In both classrooms, the change in noise level was minimal, decreasing by 2% overall. Qualitative results, however, indicate the project was worthwhile. The children responded positively to instructions given using ASL and their enthusiasm of learning signs justified the intervention. The intervention granted the children opportunities to discuss exceptionalities. We recognized the importance in such conversations and encouraged this dialogue. Keywords: