Hand signals while learning to read?

I was recently watching a documentary about a rural area of the USA. In it they visited a school where small children were learning to read, or learning the alphabet. The teacher seemed to be using some sort of hand-signals while saying the letters, I think for example that she made a thumbs up sign for U. No mention was made of the school being for children with hearing impairment or similar. What was this?

We need more information as to where this happened. Was it rural Vermont, rural Ohio, rural Idaho, rural New Mexico or rural Alabama?
Where? :slight_smile: