During my recent workshops, the subject of how to teach scissor usage repeatedly came up. I would love your input as we discuss the numerous skills needed for the actual use of scissors! These are the ones I could think of! Can you think of more? We will take time to discuss these in my next blogs! Good posture: Stability before mobility Use of two hands together Strong hands Interest in scissor usage Concept of open and shut Equipment: types of scissors, practice “stuff”, paper weight Isaiah 55:12
As we regroup from the holidays, it’s time to ponder several different scenarios: 1. Your child continues to struggle in certain or all subjects: It may be time to have him evaluated by a professional either in school or privately. It is very important to know your child’s strengths and weaknesses as well as his learning style to enable him to learn in the most efficient and hopefully fun way. Who to contact for an evaluation: Developmental / Academic /Behavioral Delays } Developmental Pediatrician } Psychologist Specific Motor Weakness } Occupational Therapist } Physical Therapist Sensorimotor Problem } Occupational Therapist Visual } Pediatric Optometrist or Ophthalmologist
1. Can multiple pieces fit in the child’s hand? Is the child required to place one piece at a time out of her hand? Ex: Honey Tree: marbles must be placed one at a time into the “hive”. Holding multiple pieces (depends on age of child how many and if possible) helps shape the hands and build the small muscles in the hand used for writing, buttoning, etc. 2. Are there dials or push buttons? We use our index finger for holding a pencil, writing circles and loops. 3. Do the pieces require the use of thumb, index and middle fingers? Ex: pegs, pick up sticks, sticks used with Honey Tree, Cootie parts Can you add a tool such as a strawberry huller, tongs or […]
As you shop for toys, Apps, and other fun things, there are basic principles to think about when selecting a game or activity for your child. I would like to share these principles taken from my book Alphabet Soup: Stirring Your Child’s Interest in Letters with you over the next several blogs. I would LOVE your feedback as to your favorite games or activities! DEVELOPMENT 1. Is the game/activity appropriate for your child’s level of functioning and not his chronological age? Remember, the activity needs to insure success. Build on what your child already knows or is able to do. 2. Can it be adjusted to various ages? Games that “grow” with your child may be more cost efficient. Example: Connect Four (Hasbro): a young child […]
Beginners need stiffer paper to cut for easy success. Pull out your old holiday or birthday cards to cut up. Try old manilla folders but not too thick. So often regular paper or construction paper will bind in the scissors which frustrates beginners. Also start with short projects such as cutting a 4 inch strip in half rather than a whole page. Begin without lines on the paper as the child needs practice with just opening and closing the scissors. Then add lines, curves, and finally shapes. Most of all have fun!!!! Turn your short snips of paper into confetti and have a pretend party Safety Note: Always use blunt scissors with beginners. Make sure the scissor size fits your child’s hand size!
When teaching scissor skills to our little ones, please insure that they are cutting circles out in the correct direction: Right handers: Always cut the circle out going in counterclockwise direction. Left handers: Always cut the circle out going in clockwise direction. The direction is based on how our wrist works!
Children who have visual perceptual issues as mentioned in previous blogs of this series may need help in art. Here are some suggestions: Be aware that drawing may be difficult. Your child may not visualize the parts of the figure to be drawn. For example: A house is a square plus a triangle plus rectangles for doors and windows. 1. Have a model for the child to copy from. 2. If there are overlapping figures, make sure the child sees each figure and how they overlap. You may want to highlight each part. 3. Outline the figure. 4. Talk your child through how to draw each part. Model each part by drawing it as you talk. Ask your child to draw that part. Praise him! Be […]
Is your child having trouble drawing a square? Can he make a square out of blocks? As a child develops concepts of up, down, around, left ,right, etc. with his body, he is also playing with these concepts in toy play. Seeing a five-year old child who cannot draw a square, I may ask him to make a square with blocks. Often they cannot which means we need to begin with the three D concept of a square before teaching the drawing strokes of a square. Let’s look at what concepts must develop to eventually draw that square: Vertical: up and down: Near one year of age, a child begins to stack toys. Playing with the concept of vertical, a child at this age may […]
Book: Cavey, D.W. (2000) Dysgraphia: Why Johnny Cant Write: A Handbook for Teachers and Parents Articles: Dysgraphia: www.resourceroom.net/readspell/dysgraphia.asp Kay, Margaret J. EdD: Dysgraphia. www.margaretkay.com Disorders of Written Expression. www.nldontario.org Deul, Ruthmary K., MD. Developmental Dysgraphia and Motor Skills Disorders, Journal of Child Neurology, vol 10. Supp.1 January 1995. What is Dysgraphia Spelling? www.ehow.com Richards, Regina G., “When Writing’s a Problem”. Resource Directory, Southern California Consortium, Orton Dyslexia Society 1996. My article reprinted in this blog: HIBIDA Resource Directory 2011 available from The Neuhaus Education Center, Houston, Texas
1. Understanding: Understand the child’s inconsistencies in performance. A spelling test may produce more legible writing than a paragraph that the child may have to think of and write quickly. The paragraph which requires complex thought organization and writing of these thoughts on a page in a readable format may be more challenging than writing familar words or writing in a handwriting workbook. Something to remember: The brain seems to prioritize written expression (thought organization, spelling, grammar, punctuation) over motor control and spacing. So if a child is really working on “written expression”, often the writing’s legibility will decrease as well as his ability to space between words or put letters in or on the lines. 2. Encourage organizational strategies such as outlining, webbing. Please see www.donjohnston.com or […]