September 18, 2009

cutting center

I recall back when we sent Hannah Jane to preschool and they had a huge table box filled with all kinds of paper and scissors. Some of the kids would just stand there and cut things to shreds all day long. I was fascinated by how fascinated a group of kids could be with cutting things. They were entranced by it like little zombies.

I also recall how on Hannah Jane's end of the year report the thing she needed work on was cutting on lines. I thought it said she needed to work on "cutting in line" and worried that we had a bully on our hands and then I realized what it really said. So this was considered to be an important skill that I had never really thought about much. It builds dexterity. Your hands have to work together, on holding the paper and the other cutting the paper and not the hand. Not to mentions that it is captivating enough to quiet a class for several minutes, which in itself is a great value!

So today I set up a cutting station for the boys. I gave them each a pair of scissors and some paper, and a tray to catch the scraps (wishful thinking!) and off they went. It was interesting to watch how they each approached the activity. It looked a little something like...

Haven was wowed with his ability to cut paper. His mouth gaped open like this the whole time. Not the way your mouth opens when you're putting on mascara and you're just focusing really intensely on not poking out your eye. Nope. He was actually saying, "Wow! Whoa!!!" over and over. He was all puffed up and impressed with himself. What power! Mighty cutter of paper products!

Hunter, on the other hand was intense and focused. If I asked him a question he would just grunt and keep focusing. He squinted, turned the paper different directions, used the scissors in both hands. He was like a scientist. He approached the task from every angle.

Both boys continued on this way until m friend Barb arrived. I was sure they were int it enough that she and I might actually have a chance to hear each other talk today. I was wrong. the magnetic Ms. Barb was enough to break the spell.

I'll keep a cutting box around from now on so we can work on those skills when the mood strikes.

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