Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Can't Say "You Can't Play"

One way that kids sometimes bully others is by excluding them from their play. The first graders want to make sure that nobody gets left out, and if it does, they remind each other:

You can't say "You can't play!"

They love this idea, and they love talking about it! When I stop by their classrooms, inevitably someone comes up to me and repeats the saying or tells me about how they have used it recently. Sometimes someone will mistakenly say, "you can't play you can't say," which everyone finds very funny! Yesterday as they were leaving the cafeteria, one first grader saw me across the front lobby and called, "Hey Mrs. Lallier, you can't say 'you can't play!'" and scampered off to recess with a big smile on her face.

But what if the last time a kid played with you, he did something you didn't like? You still need to include him, but first ask him to please not do it again. You might say,

"Yes, you can play with us, but please follow the rules of the game"
"You can play with me, but please don't yell in my ear."

Here's an example:

If that doesn't work, then ask a teacher to help, but most of the time first graders know how to solve these problems themselves. When you and a friend work out your friendship problems all by yourselves, you feel very proud!

Recently one first grader told me that he has gotten better at "playing with different people and making friends with them and caring about other people. When [student] tells people they can’t play, I stand up for them and tell him, 'You can’t say you can’t play.'”

Here are some other pictures first graders drew about including others:


Rick said...

I love it! I may steal, I mean, borrow this one for after the holidays.

Rick Scheibner
Hermiston, Oregon

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