Tattling

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jen12, May 17, 2012.

  1. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    May 17, 2012

    How do you deal with tattling?

    I hate to respond to it at all because I think it sets a precedent. I can't stand adults who go over someone's head to the principal, manager, boss...whatever, instead of just dealing with the situation head on. I feel like acting when a kid tattles is setting the way into a manipulative teenager and then a whiny adult.

    I've seen a major uptick in tattling from my pre-k kids over the last few weeks. It's totally developmentally expected, but I spend a lot of time going over what they should tell a teacher about and what they should handle themselves. Part of our issue is that the kids can't tell hitting from simply brushing past or bumping into them. I do find myself acting on the "he won't share" tattles more than I probably should. How many of you tell students to settle sharing disputes on their own?
     
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  3. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    May 17, 2012

    My first grade kids this tattle everyday, ALL DAY LONG! I simply tell mine to work it out...use their words and find a resolution. Unless someone is bleeding or did/said something way out of line then I try to stay out it. I feel you on this one!

    A friend of mine has a tattle teddy and it's been a huge hit. The kids can go tattle in teddy's ear instead of to the teacher :thumb:
     
  4. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    May 17, 2012

    At this point of the year when a student comes to tattle, I will either just say okay and walk away from them. Or I will get irritated and ask them what they want me to do about it. Most of the time, they have no response to that.
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    May 17, 2012

    :yeahthat::agreed:My mom teaches Kinder and this is what she does!!! In fact, when I complained to her about the fact that my kiddos were tattling too much, she recommended this strategy and it worked wonders with my 2nd graders!
     
  6. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    May 18, 2012

    Before I finished reading your post, I thought you were going to say that your mom told you to go tell the bear. :D
     
  7. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    May 18, 2012

    (Before I arrived), my MT sat the kids down and had a talk about the difference between tattling and reporting. She used hand signals, two handed "T" for Tattle (like "time out" in football) and a salute motion for Report. When the kids came to tell us something, we would say "Tattle or Report?" with the hand signal. If they were undecisive they could explain what they thought and we'd explain what we thought. After a few months they were really good at deciding and the tattling went way down.
     
  8. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    May 18, 2012

    the first graders at my school tattled alllll the time so the teacher implemented a "notebook" to write their problems in..... but the only thing is they just started using as a threat to each other, they would say things like "If you dont let me play im gona write u in the notebook" etc. And that got so annoying that I told them that they werent allowed to do the notebook thing in my gym classes.
     
  9. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    May 18, 2012

    It's a tough subject, because if you consistently tell children to just work it out, you run the risk of not addressing something that is serious, and teaching children to not come to adults for help when real help is needed, such as in the case of bullying.

    I think you (jen12) spending time teaching appropriate times to come to the teacher is a great thing. Kids need to know this. After all, there are definitely good times to go to the principal on an issue rather than confronting the teacher directly. Even as adults sometimes we struggle with the right protocol - how could we expect K or 1st grade students to inherently know?

    I think one of the worst responses is to appear frustrated when a student comes to you. I know it's natural, but it sends a clear message to kids to not ask for help or guidance. Instead, if the child is wrong and should have approached the other child and dealt with it directly, you can do one of two things: 1) prompt the child to go talk to the other student directly, or 2) help the child problem-solve how to go about doing that. You can also tell the child you'll watch them go and do that, which adds a degree of both accountability and support.

    I know in our world of increasingly high academic expectations, we often see social development as something that just needs to be managed quickly, rather than worthy of our time. I'm not saying anyone on this thread is advocating this, but I really believe social/emotional development is huge, and we should welcome the opportunity to address issues in that area.

    However, I can see how someone might say, "But the kids just aren't learning - they keep coming up to me, even after 8 months of repeating." My response would be that the social skill you're trying to teach probably hasn't been taught effectively, with the right amount of reinforcement/punishment attached at the appropriate times. For example, you could have a "sharing time" when a child shares how s/he appropriately used a social skill that day, which results in a reward. You could also set up a system in which a child came and told you about an incident s/he solved independently after s/he solved it, and follow up with a reward of some sort.

    Another thought: tattling usually isn't a uniform behavior. A lot of times when kids come up and say, "Jane hit me," what they really may be looking for (even if they don't realize it) is, "Jane hit me, and I don't know what to do about it." Given the myriad of different social problems that arise with 20+ kids in the same room, I would fully expect for kids to continue to come up and ask for help throughout their years in elementary school, and even throughout middle and high. Hopefully we can teach them more specific language, which is another idea - teach them to come up and say, "Jane hit me, and I don't know what to do about it" - that will give them a "self-check" of sorts - if they do know what to do about it, it won't make sense for them to say that, so they'll be less likely to come up and talk to you.
     
  10. Mrs.Godfrey

    Mrs.Godfrey Rookie

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    May 18, 2012

    We have a poster in our class that tells the differences between tattlin and reporting. In addition we have a tattle jar. If the students can't work it out by themselves ( always the first option), they can write their problem on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. I check everyday before lunch and right before they leave. If I feel that it is a big enough issue then I will discuss it with the kids. Other than that I expect them to work it out. Oh and on te sheet they write on it has them fill out things like solution to problem, what have you tried etc.
     
  11. tcherjen

    tcherjen Comrade

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    May 22, 2012

    When I taught Kindergarten mine were only allowed to tattle on Tuesdays. During the first few Tuesdays the tattling was alot. I would listen and not be too judgmental. The novelty wears off and they became more independent and learned to resovle their own problems, hence they could only tattle on Tuesday. :)
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    May 22, 2012

    Mine liked writing on the clipboard so much they were looking for reasons to write! So, now the clipboard is only for writing positive notes - when we catch someone doing something nice. It has set a much nicer tone for my classroom.

    I usually ask my students "What can you do about that?" and make sure you take them time to help them come up with a solution. They are learning how to solve problems, so don't sweep them away. Take time to teach problem solving strategies.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    May 23, 2012

    Clapping for EdEd's post!
     
  14. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    May 23, 2012

    I do a lot of modeling and reviewing expectations. We talk about when tattling is not tattling, when to just "let something go," and how to solve a problem on your own.

    When I begin to see a lot of tattling, I start my "final warning" rule. If a student has a problem with another student, they need to tell him/her to stop. If the person continues the behavior, they must give him/her a final warning. If the behavior continues, then they can come tell me. I often hear students say, "This is your final warning," and it rarely gets to the point where they need to tell me. I used this in kindergarten, as well.
     

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