Let’s talk about the last school supplies I focus on with my students during the first week of school…scissors! Handing kindergartners a pair of scissors for the first time in your classroom can make you a little uneasy, so let’s get them prepped first, and teach them how to use scissors.
There are many levels of development a child needs to master before they are able to use scissors independently to successfully complete an activity in a classroom setting. I am not an occupational therapist, but as an educator and parent, these are the skill levels and resources I have found usefully in teaching students to use scissors independently.
These scoopers are great for ALL ages (my daughter used them at age 1). They are a great way to introduce how to handle scissors and the open and closing motion. We use them with beans, rice, sand, etc. as we collect objects in our sensory tubs. Introduce these to you children early and scissors will not be as overwhelming to them when the time comes to actually cut for a project.
These scissors are perfect because they will not cut your little ones! Woohoo! We used these scissors for cutting playdough and cutting up ads from the mail.
These scissors make the cutting process simple for your child’s small hands. They are easy to handle and easy to cut with. A great transition pair of scissor before going to the real deal.
These spring scissors make it easy for your child to open and close the scissors while cutting. They can build their confidence and when they have developed this skill the spring can be removed and they have normal scissors to work with.
I always wanted my kindergartners to come to school with a pair of blunt scissors. Fiskars is a great brand and they work well all year long. Most students at this age should be able to use these scissors and I teach using these scissors during the first week. If students struggle with these scissors, I simply move down a skill level in a small group setting or give them a pair of spring scissors to use during independent work time.
So what do you do when you have little ones arrive during the first week??? You teach them like you do everything else!!! I usually introduce scissors to the students during a math lesson. It always seemed appropriate for my students to practice cutting while identifying their shapes…two birds, right?!?!
We would have a shape hunt and, afterwards, meet on the carpet for our lesson. We discussed our activity which was cutting our shapes and gluing them into our Math Notebook. We began by look very closely at our scissors and labeling the various parts on a visual (anchor chart or printed poster).
I introduced the saying, “Thumbs UP, far OUT” to help my learners know how to handle their scissors. (their thumb should be pointing up and the blades should be pointing out). Then, we discussed the rules of our scissors.
1. We will only cut paper with our scissors.
2. We will walk with our scissors by our side.
3. We will store our scissors closed and pointed down.
After we establish the rules, we sing “I Can Cut” and the students are able to cut their shapes at their seat. I closely observe at this time, help students as they need it and make notes of students that need further assistance or spring scissors for a week or two.
I hope that you found these posts helpful in preparing your students for a successful year and if you did, please subscribe below to get the ALL the materials you saw in this mini-series for FREE tonight!!!
School Supplies: How to Use Scissors