September 18, 2011

CUT HERE: Kindercutting

Cut here by James Gulliver Hancock
How do you teach a Kindergartener who have never held a pair of scissors to cut? Let alone 25 of them at once?

Do you have a cute song?

Or do you make a visual picture (put your arm up like a tree and root your elbow to the table.)

Do you demonstrate?

Do you even give them real scissors to practice for the first time?

I teach this every year, but every year I'm shakin' in my boots as I sing my silly song and leap across the room to make sure little freshy doesn't give herself a haircut.

My first year teaching in middle school I found an entire part of a weave cut off and on the floor. Later that year a girl asked to go to the bathroom and came back with trimmed bangs, for the record she went a little too short with them. She must've snuck them in her pocket. But I've come a long way from those good ol' days!


Phyl said...

Ha! We were both posting at the same time!
I want to know your scissor song. I'm most frustrated with kids who cut lefty. I'm a lefty myself, and I know how much easier it is to cut right-handed. It's something about the way we hold the scissors I guess. But these kids are so AWKWARD with the scissors. I've never figured out a good way to teach cutting, so I'm hoping someone will comment with something brilliant.

Unknown said...

Open, shut them, open shut them, cutting very care-ful-ly.
Open, shut them, open, shut them, al-ways sitting at my seat!

Mrs. L said...

I always have kindergartners repeat after me so they have to say what I say and that really helps. So I say "Repeat after me!" and they say (shout) "Repeat after YOU!" and so forth.

When cutting we do "Thumb in the small hole (thumb in the small hole), Fingers in the big hole (fingers in the big hole), Thumb on top (thumb on top), Hop Hop Hop (Hop Hop Hop)" And they open and close the scissors as they say the "hops." And then we do "Hold your scissors safety style" when they're not cutting.

It is hard, though. I cut with K's for the first time on Friday and I needed some chocolate afterwards haha!

ArtfulArtsyAmy said...

Have you tried using those "first scissors" that have plastic blades? They will cut. . But, won't cut fingers. I know it may be too late in the year for this. . .But maybe for next year?

I know last year we did the whole "repeat after me" game as well. I'm in MS this year. . . :(

But, I have a doc camera this year ( like an elmo) and I love it. I would consider using that doc camera so they can see your hands up close for scissors. Last year, I gave my kiddos strips of paper and we just cut and cut and cut forever. . We later used their cuts in a collage. I asked the parapros to stay to help on cutting day.

Good luck! Be sure to share what you end up doing. I'd love to know more.

Anonymous said...

Ya'll are so great! I love all of our common challenges when teaching cutting skills. I've never sung a song but I may try it and I like the idea of just immersing them in cutting scrap paper until they develop some confidence. The only funny story I have is one time when a little boy handed me his scissors and said," Here, you do it. You're better at it than I am!"Ha!

kszwahl said...

Cutting is one thing that went a lot better when I had them in "centers". I could focus on just a few while the rest did a center activity. It is working out great, although it would be a lot harder to do centers if I didn't see them every other day. But hey you could try it once and see how you like it for certain activities.
Good luck!
By the way I am going to use your cute song too.