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The Yes! Half Hour


3/4s teacher Quynh Nguyen is back to describe her experience saying “Yes!” so students could plan part of the day. -Ed.

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While I haven’t read Yes Day! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, I have read blogs about people trying out the idea. Celebrities such as Jennifer Garner, and even ordinary parents, are trying it out. Seems like the idea of a “yes day” is to have the kids come up with some ideas, make a plan, and have some fun. I tried something similar in the classroom for 20-30 minutes. I wanted them to plan a short period of the day and see what would happen.

So the other day, I asked my class if they wanted some time to do what they wanted for about 20-30 minutes. They said, “Yes!!!” Then, I asked them to brainstorm what the activities would be and they said, “chat/talk, free draw, doodling, hangman/paper games, coloring, free write, and DEAR.” During this discussion, they set many rules for themselves (in reality, stricter than necessary).  

The result was my whole class hanging out and laughing together. Probably a fourth of the kids chose to read their DEAR books. Some chose to free draw. Some chose to take out their computers to work on writing their stories. Everyone was using their inside voice. And we all stopped when the time was up to clean and to get ready for the next activity.