You Can't Say You Can't Play Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

Vivian Paley
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 111 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Chapter 1, You Can't Play, The Habit of Rejection

• As Paley turned sixty she became increasingly put off by the phrase "You can't play."

• Determined to remove this social practice of rejection from her Kindergarten classroom, Paley posted a new rule at the start of her class.

• Paley's twenty-five students were shocked, and only four (the outcasts) were happy about the new rule - "You can't say you can't play."
• With this new rule some of the children no longer saw a point to play if others can not be excluded.

• Paley worked to help children accept the new rule by initiating an imaginary story about Magpie, a bird who helps outcasts and shows them how to be strong.

• While Paley's classroom exuded stress and unhappiness, Paley was off to Canada to talk about "happy" classrooms.
• Angelo, one of Paley's students, did not understand the story about the magpie...

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