Monday, February 14, 2011

Scissor Skills

One of the skills that many K-1 teachers I've spoken to say is not developed as it should be is scissors skills.  I'm sure there are many reasons, one being that often parents (and some preschool teachers) are not willing for their preschooler to use scissors for fear of hair cutting and etc.  Well, yes, that may happen but if children are supervised during scissor skill activities, it's less likely to happen.  :-)  I might also put in there that there are some K-1 teachers that do not use scissors daily either and that may influence the children ability also.  In our home-based program, we have a planned scissor activity every day.  It can range from snip cutting textured materials and playdough to cutting straight lines and simple shapes.  With daily practice, they become very capable with their scissors. A tip...if you are asking your child to cut out a picture that has a bold black line and then lots of other black narrower lines...then take a colored marker and trace over the bold black line so they know exactly what line to cut.  It hard for little eyes to make out what line to cut.  Also, I find that some beginner cutters have difficulty starting!  Simple solution, encourage them to draw a line from the edge of the paper to the line they need to cut.  Amazing how well that works! 

Today's scissor project was from the Kumon: My First Book of Cutting.  For ages 3-5.  You can purchase it at for $6.95, or Barnes and Noble, Target and etc.  This is an ideal book for a homeschooling mom.  The pages are very colorful and interesting, they are a perfect weight for beginner cutters, and the work is progressive.  So, from straight thick lines at the beginning to cutting out shapes with narrower lines toward the end.    I do not use Kumon daily with my students but I do pull it out on occaision.  After cutting the straight lines to create the passenger train, they glued it to their chosen colored background and dictated a story to me about where the train was going.  Take dictation whenever you can with your children!  Note the "imperfections" in the work above.  :-)  This is how we know that the child did the work and not the adult.  Refrain from "helping".  It doesn't have to look perfect.  The paper doesn't have to be glued on exactly right or the line cut perfectly.  They are proud that they can call it "their work" and we are proud that they were so capable! 

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