When I came into my new classroom last October, I noticed that most of the cutting the Little People were doing were cutting pre-copied straight and curved lines on copy paper. And while this can be good practice, there is so much out there to developing cutting skills than attempting to cut the same copied lines week after week.
Really, kids who are still developing cutting skills need the opportunity to practice skills that will lead them to good cutting skills – and then they need to opportunity to apply the “pre-cutting” skills they are gaining to actually cutting lines on paper.
Because of this, I have been trying to bring in a wide variety of these pre-cutting opportunities to my new Little People.
This week I put out a ribbon bin. I used curling ribbon, as this is easier to snip than cloth or satin ribbons. At first I thought I had to place the spools of ribbons outside the bin, and then have the Little People pull the ribbon from the spool into the bin and snip it off. However, after having eight or nine Little People swarm the bin and clamor for their turn to get ribbon from the spools, I realized this was silly. Instead, I just cut yard-long pieces of the ribbon and dropped them down into the bin along with several pair of scissors. I didn’t curl the ribbon more than the gentle curls it already had, although this would have been a nice (and appealing) touch.
All in all, it was a very attractive bin to the kids. And it gave me a good look at how the Little People were able to hold ribbon in one hand and snip it with the other.
In fact, I saw lots of different scissor (and ribbon) holds in the snipping attempts:
For some of my Little People, I need to help them hold the ribbon so they could do the snipping. With some of my more advanced students, they just abandoned snipping all together and moved to tying the ribbon in knots (see in photo above).
Either way, it was fun to see how one bin of inexpensive ribbon could host a wide range of skill practice for the Little People.