Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by teacherfan, Dec 9, 2007.
Dec 9, 2007
It is driving me crazy! How do you get a handle on tattling?
I tell my students if they are hurt, a friend is hurt (bleeding), they are on fire (after they stop drop and roll), have to go to the bathroom REALLY bad, they can come tell me. I also have to remind them if the recess teacher/ other teacher took care of it, then they do not need to tell me.
I take away pennies, (we use a token economy) when they come and interrupt and it does not follow one of the above rules.
I know other teachers that have the students write down what happened on a form. They end up not wanting to take the time to fill it out.
Also I know a teacher that taped a large ear on the wall for the students to tattle to.
Another is a tattle stuffed animal. They tell the stuffed animal.
I teach first and I was surprised to know that tattling still occurs in the fifth grade!
Dec 12, 2007
I use a tattle bbok. It is a spiral notebook that they have to write in. They are to write who they want to tattle on and then they sign their name and the date. I always make them sign their name to show that they are responsible for their words. By the time they write all that down they really don't feel like tattleing anymore. I alos go through and read them every day just to make sure that there is nothing serious that I need to know about. Worked wonders in my class. Hope that this helped.
Dec 20, 2007
Here's a super easy idea that I used last year when I had the same problem. I cut out a huge ear shape from tan paper and stuck it on the wall. I told the students that this ear LOVED to be tattled to. Some of them would line up to tattle into the paper ear, and others felt silly doing that so they just kept it to themselves. It saved me so much time!
Dec 26, 2007
For me, if it's something minor, I'll tell the child it's ok to remind his or her friend about the rules. e.g. "You can remind Stacey to please put the caps back on the markers, as long as you say it in a kind way." I'm big on collective responsibility as well as individual responsibility.
Tattling replies we used at camp (they were in our manual and they made us smile, so I still use them)
*Thanks, I'll take care of that
*I don't think you need to worry about that
*How could you handle that?
or, my personal favorite (and it ALWAYS gets crazy looks from the kids)
*I didn't see it, but I'm glad YOU know how to behave
Tattling is bad in our class too. It also leads to insults and more blame assigning that can sometimes get out of control. Sometimes it is legit, sometimes they have trouble letting go and other times they just want to avoid the work. I even pin pointed one part of the day where I had to just say they need to come in from recess and not say anything once they enter the door until class started because it was during this transition time that we had the most class blaming/insult hurling events occur.
We started a traffic light system. The system itself was not just for tattling but for all behaviors resulting from lack of self control. It was meant to be more of a visual system than a consequence one although it does have some consequence attached to it.
Interestingly the same class I thought was making great strides were going at it tenfold in a specials class I observed. I noted this to my teacher and said that they have reduced tattling to me but seem to still be doing it in other places. She said they were still tattling to her quite a bit! I started thinking about why this is especially since I'm the one who typically resolves most of the problems that do arise.
My guess is that my teacher still listens to the problem first. I listen to the first sentence they tell me and I decide right away if I think it is a good tattle tale or not. If it isn't, I move the tattler's (and anyone else who joined) clip up on the traffic light system. I don't listen to it. If they argue, I move it again.
If they were happy in the hall and all of a sudden had a problem related to recess, I simply tell them they had plenty of opportunity to ask for help during recess but now it is class time and I'm not going to listen to recess issues.
I've gotten pretty good at figuring out what is a time waster and what is really a problem. If it is really a problem, I do take the time to listen. I'm just trying to teach them not to waste my time and to know the difference between a big and small problem. Keep in mind we have gone through the guidelines a number of times.
I also tell them that once I solve a problem (some I solve to save time and others I help them work through), they may not like my answer but they still must let go and accept my decision.
Sometimes kids really dont know when it is a good time to get my help. It is helpful to be specific both when they don't do it well AND when they have followed the appropriate steps. "I'm glad you tried to work it out yourself first. I'm sorry Johnny isn't listening to you. Thanks for letting me know."
As a sub this is how I handle it!!
I find a lot of times as a sub that I have tons of kids who will come to me and tattle on kids. So this is what I started doing, in the morning during the class morning meeting I go over what I expect of the children. Part of this discussion also involves the difference between "tattling" and "reporting". I tell the kids that it is tattling if you are telling me just to get the kid in trouble. Then I go on to tell them that "reporting" is telling me when someone is doing something that will hurt themselves or others in the class. I still have troubles with tattling. It never fails in one of the younger grades a student will come up and say that so or so is using something and they are not supposed to. I will look at the student and ask if what the student is doing is hurting either student. If the student says "no" then I just say it is alright for today.
I use a tally system for both tattling and excessive talking. On my board I have the words tattle tally and then I have talking tally. For every 8 tally marks on the tattle side they owe me a minute of ABSOLUTELY not talking at the end of the day. For the talking tally if I feel I am being talked over at time during the day when I am teaching they get a talking tally. For every talking tally its a minute they owe me at the end of the day. In the beginning the tallies for both were outrageous. In fact I had to stop at five minutes because it's not effective past that. Right before the break things got out of control for tattling but there for awhile I wasn't having any tattles and hardly any talking minutes. The kids can't stand to have their minutes taken away at the end of the day and they are only kinder.
Tattling still occurs in the 11th grade! At that age I ask them if they are a tattle-tale. Or, since they tattled, they get to serve whatever punishment would have been given to the offender. This is all in jest, of course.
Dec 27, 2007
I have a question about these tattling strategies...say the child actually does want to fill out a form to write about the tattling--that will take some time...also about the ear on the wall, the child going over to the ear talking to it...both of these things would distract during classtime. Is there a designated time that they can tattle? Just wondering how it would actually work in reality.
Dec 28, 2007
Yes, some students will actually write out a tattle. By having the students write it down, it frees the teacher to give more teaching time. It is also writing practice....especially for the younger grades. As far as the Ear....same kind of thing. The students tattles to the ear instead of the teacher. Yes, it may be a little bit of a distraction, but the teacher has to show the students how to talk to the ear. I would imagine that the students would have to whisper. After a while of using the ear or the tattle book, the students will eventually realize that there isn't a real need to tattle and waste time. I've used a "Tattle Bag" with my kids....they have to write down the tattle. The tattling has been decreasing slowly.
Dec 29, 2007
Hmmm, I guess it would just have to be tested out in each class with the students. I could just see the students in the 2nd grade class I'm in...they would think it was a hoot to go over there, and would just want the attention on them for getting up during classtime. They already take advantage of getting up to get tissues for their "runny noses" that stopped running weeks ago!
Yes, the kids will think it's "Cool" since it is new, but after you have implemented it....the fad dies off and the kids will start tatttling less.
Dec 30, 2007
Instead of reinforcing tattling with little game-like activities we have a discussion at the beginning of the year that we refer to throughout the year.
I explain that they are NOT to tattle to me about what has happened (unless there is an injury) because tattling is a way of trying to get "their friend" in trouble, and that is NOT nice. If something has happened that they don't like they are TO USE THEIR WORDS and engage in a discussion to try to explain their feelings to their "friend".
These tattling students are only trying to manipulate the teacher and gain power in the classroom by using the BIG GUNS (teacher) to get back at their "friend", and after all, that really isn't a nice thing to do.
Aren't we trying to teach our students to try to solve their OWN problems and be independent, without manipulating others and behaving in an aggressive manner?
Jan 12, 2008
Tattling, or dobbing (that is what I know it to be called) is a huge issue. Like you, I am over it. I always start off by asking "Is what you're going tell me, going to help or hurt someone?" I always begin the year by exploring the difference and giving concrete examples and role play and model.
wow this is cool!
Jan 13, 2008
I teach Year 3 (ish) and I usually start the year with a discussion about the difference between Dobbing (Tattling) and telling the Teacher when there is a problem. The situation may be a problem for themsleves or another student. (Eg, may cause physical or emotional hurt.)
We discuss how dobbing is about getting someone in trouble and reporting a problem is about stopping the behaviour so that the problem goes away.
Then when the kids come to tell me something I ask them a question such as "Are you dobbing?" or "How is this a problem for you?"
They begin to differentiate the difference (and also helps them to learn to verbalise their feelings).
Many learn not to dob and interestingly, sometimes when you think they are dobbing, they can then explain how it hurts/affects them in a way you hadn't considered . . eg, I get in trouble when I do that, and its not fair that they get away with it.
Jan 15, 2008
If my students tatttle it must be written as a friendly letter.
I teach in a private school and really hardly ever have tattling... but every time we get a new student, they come in with a tattling issue that we have to sort of put to a stop ASAP. I don't know why our kids DON'T tattle so much, or why it happens elsewhere, but this is what we do...
We focus a lot on teaching communication strategies so that they actually can talk to one another about the problems. In the beginning, especially with new students, I will help them through the process, using I statements usually. I also teach them how to do a listening technique that allows each person to say what they need to say without interruption. I can't actually take credit for their competence in this area, since most are at our school from age 3 on and I get them at 8 when they already know how to work it out.
We do get issues which the teachers have to help solve, but I almost always take a few minutes to do it (during free time.) I don't get tattling so much during class, but if I do, I ask each child to move to a new spot for now, and then we talk about it later, if they still feel it's important.
I don't know how to fix the problem in the classrooms that have tattling issues, except to say that it's possible NOT to have them... I think it's the culture of the school. I also think the kids know we will listen. I have stopped class and we will have a discussion if there needs to be one. I know not everyone can do that. You'd think knowing the teacher will listen would make the problem worse, but I think they just find less to tattle about because they pick only the important things to ask for help on... also, since they know how to work it out on their own, I don't consider it tattling, I consider it asking for help in solving a problem.
I agree with the poster above that tattling inherently has to do with getting another kid in trouble... kids don't really get "in trouble" at our school so to speak, so there is not so much to gain from it... (There are some kids who get sent to the office, or rarely an incident when someone gets hurt, and would be "in trouble" but we deal with it very differently than most places... Very little "punishments" and this works, because in general we have very few problems. And our school is not some exclusive place with perfect children. I think at least 1/3 of our kids have ADD or some sort of LD, and we have many "quirky" kids as we like to say.)
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