Thursday, March 24, 2016

Scissoring Skills

Scissoring is Important! Think about it. In order to use scissors correctly, it requires so many skills! Children need:
  • sufficient finger and hand strength and stability (holding and squeezing the scissors)
  • sufficient development of the hand arches that enable the hand to grasp objects of different sizes and shapes (controlling the skill and power of the scissors)
  • hand-eye coordination which is the coordinated control of eye movement with hand movement, and the processing of visual input and proprioception for guidance (feeling where the scissors are, seeing where the scissors should go and making them go there)
  • bilateral integration which is the ability to coordinate both sides of the body at the same time in a controlled and organized manner (holding the scissors with the dominant hand and guiding the paper with the helper hand), and 
  • ability to cross the midline so that both sides of the brain communicate properly and the dominant hand develops (while scissoring, the helper hand or scissoring hand often cross the midline)
All of these same skills also contribute to the development of handwriting, so they are of particular importance during Preschool and Kindergarten. Help your students develop good scissoring skills (and help their handwriting) by providing them with lots of fun, varied practice, and proper guidance (keep your thumb up!). Here are various scissoring activities I use in my classroom:


I have also created some scissoring printables (available from my TpT store by clicking on each image) designed with multiple purposes in mind: 

Scissoring letters helps students internalize letter shapes. This then helps with letter formation, avoiding reversals and confusion between similarly-shaped letters.

Scissoring sight words helps internalize the ‘shape’ of the sight word. These samples are from my Dolch Primer and Pre-Primer sets.

The I Can Cut and Glue booklets reinforce scissoring, letter recognition and early reading. And scissoring animal shapes is a fun way to support your Animal Unit! 

As your students progress with their scissoring, they will move through the developmental stages of scissoring
  • snipping along the edge of the paper
  • cutting a fringe along the edge of the paper
  • cutting straight lines
  • cutting zig-zags
  • cutting curved lines
  • cutting right angles
In my classroom I offer lots of scissoring practice throughout the year by including scissoring in Centers almost daily. If I don’t have a specific scissoring activity that ties into the curriculum that day, I include something interesting to scissor (straws, paint chips, strips of colored paper) in my Writing Center along with other activities that reinforce handwriting skills. My students love scissoring!

What fun activities do you do in your classroom to help your students develop their scissoring skills?