Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tattle Tale: A True Story

Once upon a time a child decided to tell something to the teacher about another child. Some lovely school marm many, many moons ago decided to call this a tattle and a child that tells a tattle is sometimes labeled a "Tattle Tale". Many times the reports to the teacher are serious {reports of bullying, hateful words, or even physical aggression}, while other times, not so much {such as "He is breathing my air!", "She looked at me!", "My toe touched her pencil and then Johnny blinked at me!"...you know, SUPER important information like that!}. Because of nonsensical tattling, all teachers across the land wanted to pull their hair out one strand at a time lived happily ever after.

Quick Summary:
- Children will tell the teacher a lot of stuff. A LOT of stuff. About everything.
- Sometimes it's important, and then that information is called a report.
- Sometimes it's ridiculously hilarious the things they feel the need to tell you not so important, and that information is called a tattle.

So, you may ask, "How do you teach the kids the difference?". My district implements Responsive Classroom (RC) for management issues. RC has LOTS of great ideas that instill intrinsic motivation within students without having to give out prizes for every accomplishment, teaching students the value of hard work, and reinforcing positive behavior not as a manipulation to get what you want from the other students in your class, but to instill confidence in your sweet little learners as they make good choices daily in your classroom. Just like many other classroom management systems, it focuses on teaching behavior expectations, and revisiting these classroom expectations often. This is truly the {secret} to it all. Coming into a new district, learning this new way of management was very different than what I was used to before, but I have come to appreciate the value of this method.We also use the OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program at our school, where we focus on what bullying is, how to deal with bullies, ways to be assertive without being aggressive, and how to recognize the difference between someone that is bullying, or simply just not having a "nice moment". It's also so important for kids to recognize the value in reporting when bullying occurs to them or another student. In today's society, bullying must be taken seriously, but children need to recognize the difference between bullying and when a student makes a poor choice. Neither one of these behaviors is welcomed into my classroom, but if it is, then the students are equipped with understanding when it's important to tell me information about another student and why  it's important to do so.

I'm sure we've all seen this Pin from All Things Katie Marie:


I LOVED this poster and it's a great visual that lists explicit differences between a report and a tattle. This simple poster sets clear expectations for when to report and why. Because I loved it SO much, I decided to create my own version to post in my classroom:

I have this posted in 3 different areas of my classroom. This one happens to be over my pencil sharpener, where students will view this time and time again, along with the review of my daily verbal expectations of positive behavior.


I am looking forward to explicitly teaching these expectations to my students of when to report and when not to report. I implemented these rules at the end of the year last year, but I know it will be even more successful in correlation to implementation of RC and bullying curriculum.

I have this file in my TpT store for *FrEe*, baby! Click on the pictures above to download your poster for your classroom! :) I hope this helps cut down on unnecessary tattling and encourages students to reflect on an "occurrence" before they report information to you about another student!

Until then,

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