Tattle-bugs!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by divey, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. divey

    divey Companion

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    Jul 28, 2011

    As I was looking through a teacher supply catalog, I noticed something they have for sale called the "Tattling Turtle". It's a stuffed turtle with a poster and a complaint box where students write what's on their mind and leave it for you to read later. I've also read an idea that said to put a picture of the President up in your room and when someone comes to tattle, tell them to "go tell the President". Although the President one made me laugh, I don't feel that either one (the President or the Tattling Turtle) addresses the issue of tattling perfectly.

    I get very frustrated with tattlers, BUT I really want my students to feel like they are being heard when they have a concern (and that I don't miss something that IS important!). I would love to hear how you address telling/tattling in your classrooms!
     
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  3. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 28, 2011

    We go over tattling and reporting. We go over situations in which it is tattling and how to go about trying to deal with the issue without me. We go over situations that they should come to me. We do lots of role playing. Last year, at the beginning of the year, our counselor also did a lesson on what tattling is and what it is not.
     
  4. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Jul 28, 2011

    "Go tell the President!" Ha ha ...I love it!!

    Seriously, though, I don't like tattling. So I wouldn't want to encourage it by having them tell it to someone else (even a poster) or write it down. I tell my kids they may not tattle, but they are required to tell me if someone is hurting someone else or damaging property or planning to do so. They need to decide, "If I don't tell the teacher about this will someone be hurt or something get damaged?"
     
  5. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 28, 2011

    Well... I do this in 7th: I have a mailbox with a stack of index cards next to it. The kids can tell me or ask me anything they want - to clarify something in class, ask me to move them away from someone, bug me to please get some "good" songs, tell me that so-and-so tried to cheat off of them, or just tell me my shoes were pretty.

    I think it works nicely. No disruptions in class and no one knows who said what or complained. I do get a LOT of mail, but it doesn't take much time to flip through it at the end of the day.
     
  6. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 28, 2011

    We do Double Ds...dangerous or destructive. Those get told. Everything else they work out. If they have tried to work it out they may then tell me what they did to solve the problem and I help them find other strategies to try. It takes training, but works.
     
  7. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    I let them tell me whatever it is.... and then I quickly assess the information. If it is actual reporting I deal with the issue. If they are just tattling I say "Thanks for letting me know" and just leave it at that. If it is a squabble between two kids that really doesn't need me to solve it I say "Bummer. I hope you two work it soon."

    And then leave it. I don't have them write it down because that means I will have to spend time going through all the notes later on. Also, if something actually is important I don't want to miss the original report.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jul 28, 2011

    I had the complaint/tattle box and I thought it worked really well. It had a flow chart over it that said "Is someone getting hurt?" and "Is property being damaged?" Under "yes" for those it said to tell the teacher right away, and under "no" it said to write it down on a card. The kids were then able to feel like they were getting it out without interrupting me. I also found that it made them stop with the really silly little stuff, since if they recognized it was such a small thing they didn't want to take the time to write it down.
     
  9. jeeskenj

    jeeskenj Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2011

    Forgiveness is key

    Im in a Christian school, but Im sure with some creativity this can be used in a secular setting...I teach my students the Matthew 18 Principal. Simply, its to confront your agressor, tell him/her you have been hurt on the inside (feelings) or outside (body) when you did "-----". The agressor needs to apologize by saying "Im sorry" and the hurt person needs to FORGIVE, by saying "I forgive you" and its OvEr in 2 seconds!! So...whenever a student comes to tattle I say did you use Matthew 18? usually they turn and walk away to go do that. I do tell them the three Bs: if something or someone is BLEEDING, BARFING or BROKEN, I need to know about it. Some parents (I teach 1st gr.) dont like that I wont listen to every single tattle...I guess some parents like to tattle! But when I say that it is a Biblical practice that teaches independence and responsibility I usually can appease them.:love:
     
  10. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2011

    I made an t chart with them and had them list what was tattling, and what they needed to tell me. We used the definition that tattling was trying to get someone into trouble or was something that I already knew. Telling was defined as something that was dangerous or if they or someone else was sick, hurt(including hurt feelings), or being bullied.
    I used tattle tickets for a while until they figured out what was tattling and what I needed to be told.
    After about 5 weeks, everyone had figured out the system(I didn't take a single tattle ticket for over a week), and the tattling stopped.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  11. sjnkate

    sjnkate Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2011

    We have guidelines for tattling. They have to talk to the child they want to tattle on first to try and solve the problem. If that doesn't help they are able to get me if:
    The child is hurting himself or someone else.
    The child is using language not allowed at school.
    The child is stealing something.
    The child is repeatedly bullying someone.

    I expect them to let me handle everything else. If they call out to tattle about something else (for example "Mrs. N, Johnny just threw away his paper!") we go over the guidelines for tattling and I remind them that they need to let me be the teacher and not worry about what Johnny is doing. It works pretty well, they don't tattle often.
     
  12. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Jul 28, 2011

    Waterfall, I love your idea. Similarly, I had one child with a complaint notebook. He spent all day whining and complaining so he had a notebook to write his complaints in. It helped us document and it also helped us to pinpoint the problem. It helped him think "is this important enough that it's worth writing?". Of course, he knew to tell us if something dangerous was happening.
     
  13. divey

    divey Companion

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    Jul 28, 2011

    Excellent feedback and some wonderful ideas! Thank you all!!! My 2nd graders LOVE to tattle. I talk to them, what feels like daily, about the difference between tattling and telling but it doesn't seem to sink in. I want every child to feel heard and hate not listening to them when something is on their hearts, but it is soooo frustrating to go through the whole "is it a tattle?" conversation only to find out they're trying to get someone in trouble.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 28, 2011

    I have a lot to tell the president...but it's not about tattling.

    I don't entertain too many stories unless they fit : fire, flood, puke or blood...and bullying. Sometimes hurt feelings but I seriously will not deal with ten minutes of bs everyday after recess.

    Don't spend your money on the turtle ( or the president...he's getting more than enough of your $$$).
     
  15. divey

    divey Companion

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    Jul 29, 2011

    No plans to buy the turtle or a poster of President Obama on my to-do list!:) As much as "tell the president" appeals to my sarcastic nature, I can't get past how hateful it would feel to be telling a child "I don't have the time to listen to your concerns, so go talk to the wall"! There are so many good ideas for addressing tattling posted here.....I can't wait to use them!
     
  16. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 29, 2011

    I teach the difference between being a Danger Ranger and a Tattle Tale (using the book A Bad Case of the Tattle Tale). It's a great book and really TEACHES kids how to know what teacher needs to hear and what doesn't. I prefer that!
     
  17. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 29, 2011

    I tell kids they need to trust me and tell me the important things. I also teach the kids to talk to one another. We go over I-Statements and do conflict resolution practices and role-plays. Every time a situation comes up, I try to find time to role play it in a short time afterwards (without making it apparent who the problem was with.) Anyway, I don't do the tattle-bug or anything, because I could easily miss something. Last year I had a child who was feeling bullied and was afraid to tell. That's the worst thing that can happen!
     
  18. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Jul 29, 2011

    You know what, its not often I say this on here, but I really like that idea. I just might have to use it this year.
     

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