Monday, February 1, 2010

Epidemic Proportions

There is no denying it. I have a classroom full of tattlers. I've been trying to put a stop to this when I first noticed it in late September, just a few weeks after school started. I pulled out the infamous Tattle Jar pretty early on hoping to put a curb in their tattling ways.Maybe it comes from their competitive nature. One trying to out do the other by making themselves look good by making another look bad. Maybe they are just looking for a little extra attention, their moment in the sun!
Whatever it is, it is getting the best of me. Actually, it's pretty much driving me crazy.

Normally the tattle jar just sits innocently on the shelf just waiting for someone to come up and tell their tattle into the jar. This serves two very important purposes.
1. Everyone gets a chance to be heard because the tattle jar is a VERY good listener, and
2. It helps me keep my sanity.
But suddenly telling the tattles in the jar was just not working. I was hearing tattles all the time again. Silly things, like "he said poop" or "she broke the pink crayon" or he poked me in the a- hole." (I kid you not)!!
The tattling is pretty wide spread, but there are a few notorious tattlers.
I know who they are of course, but I wanted hard, indisputable proof.
So starting at the beginning of January instead of just telling the tattle into the jar, they had to write down their name on a piece of paper, fold it and drop it into the jar. I promised each child that I would still stick my ear in the jar at the end of the day and listen to all their little issues.
I never expected to get this...

A jar FULL of tattles. All those tattles that would normally land in my ears, and bounce around inside my brain like ping pong balls were now in that jar.
Today when the kids left I dumped the tattles, a full month's worth, and this is what I discovered...
There were a total of 63 tattles in the jar. We had 18 school days in January, so that comes out to 3.5 tattles per day. It doesn't sound like much, but those of course are only the tattles that land in the jar, I still get to hear most of them.
Most of the tattles came from girls and most of those came from two girls in particular. (I KNEW it!)
What is it about little girls?
The boys were only responsible for 7 of the total tattles, are boys more capable of rolling with the punches? It would seem so.
So tomorrow we will have the "tattle talk" again. I'll explain to them again, the difference between "tattling" and "telling". I'll pull the two notorious tattlers aside and show them all their tattles...
maybe a little visual is just what they need.

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