I’ve got a few beginning of year ideas to share with you today using some super scissors (and punches)!. My friends at Fiskars sent me some of their cutting products so that I could share how I use them to get ready at the beginning of the year and to help my students beef up their fine motor skills!
First up, these Preschool Training Scissors are the most fabulous beginner scissors! I love using these scissors with my students who have little to no previous experience with scissors before they come to my classroom. We use them to cut modeling clay or dough. This helps my students “sharpen” up their cutting skills. The dough provides just enough resistance that they begin to understand the open and closing motion of scissor cutting. The Preschool Training Scissors also have a nifty arrow located on the side of the handles that let you convert the scissors to regular scissors when your students are ready for that. Between the arrow on the side of the scissors that provides resistance and the dough, my students quickly develop their cutting skills (and have some fun cutting those dough snakes into smaller pieces)!
Next, to help us practice fine motor skills, we used the Paper Edgers. My students love that these scissors can cut fun edges on their papers! I give my students scraps of construction paper and card stock to cut up. They love cutting the paper into little bits and using those little bits to create designs on their paper.
I also place scraps of paper into a clear bin and let them snip at the paper as one of our center choices. They love trying to cut the paper into small pieces and they don’t know that they are developing their fine motor skills at the same time. We also bring out the Paper Edgers out anytime we need to make thank-you cards to give the sides and edges a fancy trim! There are 6 different Paper Edgers included in this set and there is a design available for almost any need. My own boys love the Mini-Pinking and Lightning pairs of scissors to make teeth on all their monster creations!
Finally, as a way to help organize myself, I make several sets of name and picture cards. I use my 3XL Square Lever Punch and some card stock. I measured out from the first opening in the punch out 3 inches and drew a line. I then insert the card stock (that I cut to 2 and 1/8 inches wide) and bring it to the line and punch. Then, its just as easy as punching and cutting a whole class set! I then take a picture of each of my students and cut those out with the punch as well and glue them onto the bottom of the card. I then write each student’s name at the top of the card and surround it by a dashed border.
I laminate 4 sets of these cards and use them for lots of different reasons in my classroom. I use one set for bathroom cards. I attach magnets to the back and my students place them on an aluminum board when they leave the room to use the restroom. I use two sets to help my students rotate through our literacy and math stations/tubs. I have one set of cards on blue card stock and one set on green card stock. I have each student paired with another and I keep them side by side in a pocket chart. I move each set of partnered cards down to the next station/tub each day so the students can complete new activities.
The last set goes in the “pick-me deck”. I keep this deck on my table in the front of the room and use it to help me choose students to complete different tasks. Sometimes I use the deck to choose who is next when we are playing a game on our whiteboard, I sometimes use them to choose partner pairs for games we are playing, and I sometimes use them to help me keep track of who I’ve already called on to answer a question and who I still need to call. This deck is also handy for guest teachers. They can easily call on a student and see their picture next to their name. It helps them to know who is who by their name and face.
I hope you’ve gotten some ideas you can use to help your students develop their fine motor skills and to help you get organized for the upcoming school year! What are your favorite Fiskars products? They are my favorite brand of scissors both at home and at school!
Thanks to my friends at Fiskars for providing me with all the goodies! All opinions expressed in this post are my own.