Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tickets Please!

I'm not sure what it is, perhaps it's just that time in the year. Perhaps I've just become less tolerant or could it be that the cherubs are just feeling a little unsettled with all the talk of school ending and the prospect of first grade. Whatever it is, tattling has made a reappearance in my classroom.
The Tattle Jar has stopped working. It was a pretty effective deterrent for awhile, but the novelty has worn off.
I was wracking my brain trying to come up with a solution, and then, suddenly, an idea!

I sat them all down and gave the tattle talk. I explained again about the big things that should be told about and also the little things that can be solved without a grownup's help.
Any blood? I need to know!
Someone is doing something that could cause blood? I need to know!
Someone stuck his tongue out? Unless it's bleeding, I don't want to know.
I threw a few scenarios at them, and they seemed to understand. However, we've had this chat before so I really wanted to make sure they understood.

Then I took out my sticky notes, the ones shaped like stars, and wrote each child's name on one and stuck them to the white board in front of the room.
I explained, "These my little cherubs are Tattle Tickets. You are allowed one, and only one Tattle per day, you can tell me anything even if it's little and silly. If you just can not hold it in and you really need to tell me, you can tattle but it will cost you your Tattle Ticket. Once the ticket is gone, you are done for the day. No more tattles."
They seemed excited about this plan, so I even added a bonus..."If your Tattle Ticket stays on the white board for the whole day, I will have a treat for you. (Eyeing the giant bag of M & M's on my desk)

Now, to be fair, not every child in my room is a chronic tattler, one even announced to me, "Mrs. Collins, this will be easy because I have never tattled in my whole life!", but I do have a few that just can't help themselves, these are the ones that really need a strategy to help them break the tattle habit.
I wasn't sure it would work, but by the end of the day, only 5 kids had tattled, and my two worst offenders? Their tickets remained where I placed it, right there on the Tattle Ticket Board!

They were so proud of themselves and I was thrilled to be able to hand out those M & M's!

Today, I only had three tattlers. Just three! Amazing.
I didn't pass out treats today, they need to learn, that to be proud of an accomplishment is reward enough. Judging from the smiles when I told them how proud I was of them, I think they understood.

Do I dare hope for a tattle free day? That might be too much to hope for, after all, sometimes you just need to be heard...even if there isn't any blood.


Ayn Colsh said...

Very cool idea! I'm trying it next year. I decorated a cereal box and named her "Tattle Tammy". The children tattle to her for the little things~it's worked pretty well. You're right, there's one or two every year that need a strategy! =)

halpey1 said...

AND, I'll be trying this before the end of the year... thanks for the idea!

margaret said...

We have done something similar but called it the No Tattles Club...only a member if your name is on the giant posterboard T. No other perks for membership. Worked so well that we have done a shoes tied club, too, for all who kept em tied or retied on their own-it was a posterboard sneaker and we used tennis shoe calendar cutouts for kid names. Used Velcro for pieces for the clubs to make them last longer and put a long strip of backing near poster for those out of the club. They also love having the k=job of periodically putting members back in.

Alissa said...

I like this pro-active idea. Also loving Margaret's ideas too. Tieing up shoe laces all day drives me insane!