Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween: How to Trick your Tattletales for a Treat

Happy Halloween...or the craziest day of the school year.  Either one.

I was Max today from Where the Wild Things Are.  Most kids thought I was a "Bunny King."  But it's amazing how much better students listen when you act like a bossy 6 year old in a funny outfit.  Maybe I'll wear fuzzy slippers and a tall crown everyday.

Besides dressing up like a Bunny King, the best thing I've done in the past month was come up with a Tattle Meter.  It's like the famed Tattle Monster, but just a little more advanced.

I've never used a Tattle Monster before, mainly because I'm too lazy to decorate a Kleenex box, but I imagine my kids would think it was silly and make fun of the idea of talking to a Kleenex box.

Tattle Meters are serious business.  Here's the deal:

1. I explained Tattle vs. Telling in my classroom.
tattle (v) [tat-tle] : 
1. When someone is not getting hurt. 
2. If someone steps on your foot, bumps into you, says something rude, etc. let them know the problem: i.e. "You stepped on my foot," "That hurt my feelings." If the other person apologizes, there is usually no need to tattle.  If the other person refuses to apologize see telling.

telling (v) [tel-ing] :
1. When someone is hurt, getting hurt, or could get hurt. 
2. When someone does not apologize for their actions after you let them know it hurt you or your feelings.

There are always gray areas in every tattling vs. telling speech like when someone says a bad word or when two children are constantly having the "That Hurt My Feelings" Talk.  My students have picked up on it pretty quickly, though, and it seems to be going well.

2. I set a goal.
Right now our goal is Less than 10 Tattles in a Week = Cookies for the Class!

3. I implement it.
Every time I hear a tattle, I go to the board and fill in up to the next number.  I use a dry erase marker on my laminated meter so we can restart each week. 

Last week: We hit ten tattles on Wednesday. :(

This week: I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off this morning because I forgot to bake my AWESOME class cookies!  Eight tattles ALL week, ladies and gents!  8!

I hear so many problems getting resolved from one student to another.  Students will come up to me often and start to tell me a tattle but then they'll quickly remember, cover their mouth, and walk away.

We aren't absolutely great at conflict resolution in class, but we're getting there.  Once we get the tattles down consistently, we'll work on making better apologies instead of, "Sorry."  Baby steps.

Anyhow, that's enough talk for a Friday night.  Here's some Tattle Meters for you to have for free!  Happy Halloween!