Innovative Papercutting Method

scissors1.jpgIf you’re like me, you cut up a lot of papers for your classes (I like to think of it as catering to kinaesthetic learners). You may have a specific motive behind it, it may be for variety, or it may just be the most practical way to do something. One of the worst things that can happen to a teacher, besides the copier breaking down at an inopportune time (meaning pretty much anytime), is one million pieces of paper slowly fluttering to the floor seconds before class starts.

Here is an innovative method to avoid that:

Imagine a grid that needs to be cut into sixteen pieces. You need four sets and so have four copies of the same paper. One easy way to separate the pieces is to cut them all at once but use different colors of paper.

Colored paper? Not at my school, you may say, we’re lucky if we have working board pens. No worries, try this:

Make four EITHER horizontal or vertical cuts – but don’t completely sever the column! Leave one or two millimeters attached. Now, holding the first column rather tightly, so it doesn’t slip, make the next four cuts the opposite way, but again: DON’T finish the cut. Repeat this so you have sixteen pieces nearly cut off. It takes some practice to perfect, but if you’ve done it right, you should have one sheet of paper that is almost apart in sixteen pieces. Bring it to class like this so you don’t have to worry about paperclips or pieces getting lost or mixed up, and have students separate the pieces before you start the activity. If there is some order involved, have them separate and mix up for another group.

If I didn’t know better, I’d feel like a dork for the enthusiasm with which I’m sharing this tip – but it really does make your life easier. Enjoy.