Tattling or Telling

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-9-20-54-am“Leah is sucking her thumb.” “Aiden laughed at Sid’s drawing.” “Jorge is bugging me!” Sound familiar? I recently asked a few teachers how they handle tattling. A teacher of kinders keeps a “tattle bear” in her classroom. When a child approaches her with a tattle, she asks him to tell the bear instead. Another teacher I spoke with said she teaches a lesson on the differences between tattling and telling (reporting). Before a child begins his tale, she gently asks, “Tattle or tell?”

A teacher in Chicago, Illinois, uses props. She attaches a bug and wish card to each of several metal rings. When a child is upset by another child’s actions, the student can pick up a metal ring and use the manipulatives to share his concern. For example, a child might say to his classmate, “It bugs me when you kick the back of my chair” and “I wish you would keep your feet still.” This approach engages students in problem solving, which is awesome! You can print or download the cards here.

So, how do you tackle tattling?


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