Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tearing Paper Is Okay

I've posted about the power of saying yes to kids. I know that there are times that we must say no, but too often teachers use no as the default answer rather than using it only when necessary.

I found myself fighting that word "no" again this week.

In the blocks center I had added some rocks, toy trees, and green paper strips.

The boys built with the blocks. They added the rocks and trees.

Then someone said, "We have paper (for grass)." Boys took the paper and did this.

The word "no" was on the edge of my lips. I wanted to stop the tearing. But I wisely stopped and thought: "Why? Why is tearing a problem? Tearing paper is okay."

And the boys used the paper to create a grassy area around their building.

Saying yes (or at least not saying no) allowed the kids to experiment and create. I know the environment and classroom I want to create. But sometimes I must keep reminding myself and fight against old habits.


  1. I have also found that stating what i want them to do rather that "no" is much more sucessful ex: feet belong on the floor vs no feet on the couch

  2. I agree, Anon. That's usually how I handle behavior - telling them what I want them to do. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Love their creative play! Glad you held back. Vicky @