Strategies for attempting new skills
|This task breaks down cutting into its initial steps: how to hold scissors, position them on a black line, and snip.|
|Children must hold the paper with one hand while snipping on the line with the other.|
These tasks provide ideas about how to structure cutting activities for students who are beginning to use scissors. The first breaks down cutting into its initial steps: how to hold scissors, position them on a black line, and snip. Strips of paper with short black lines are firmly attached to a bin. While they are cutting, students use their other hand to stabilize the container.
The second task uses similar strips of paper with black lines but children must hold the paper with one hand while snipping on the line with the other. When finished cutting, they place the pieces of paper into the “all done” pocket.
Each of these tasks has materials already organized so that the students can focus on the skill of cutting, instead of, first having to figure out how to set-up the task. Additionally, each task incorporates clear indicators of when the task is finished to the students. In the first, when cut, each strip falls toward the bin; in the second, strips disappear into the “all done” pocket. Students usually sustain attention better if they know when they will be finished.
There are many ways to teaching beginning snipping/cutting skills. However, helping the students to learn this new skill while also understanding when they will be finished aids in misunderstandings or confusion often associated with new tasks. Many times, when there is an ending to a new skill the student is much more willing to try new things.
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