Additionally, I have had time to reconfigure my reader's workshop time. I have come up with some new stations and plan on implementing those next week. Sorry for all the teacher-speak. I also created a Tattle Box for my room, which seems to be working just great. Let me debrief you on this tactic.
For a long time I have noticed that the same students seem to tattle on each other all the time. They were usually petty things like "He keeps putting his paper on my desk" or "She's humming too much". I decorated a fancy shoebox that I had to have the last time I was at TJ Maxx, with a label "THE TATTLE BOX". I explained to the kids that sometimes we aren't telling the teacher about something because someone is hurt or hurting you but just to get someone in trouble. Sometimes, teachers are busy and can't respond to a humming neighbor right away. Or sometimes teachers get tired of you being a know it all and trying to get people in trouble. Well, I didn't really say that last one, but you get the idea.
The Tattle Box is for the moments when someone really isn't in immediate danger or hurting anyone else...maybe just being annoying. I cut up pieces of paper and put them next to the Tattle Box. We talked about sometimes at a business they have a comment box and the Tattle Box is kind of like that. I explained that the tattler can not use a person's name because we wouldn't want someone to get embarrassed and they didn't need to write their name on the tattle. This was something that was strictly confidential and I would be the only reading the Tattle. Actually, my words were that if anyone opened the box to read the tattles, they would loose recess for a week. GASP!! Ok, Mrs. T we won't touch it!
Two days later, I realized that the Tattle Box was overflowing with tattles. After school it was my mission to read some of them. I thought I could pick a few and we could discuss how we could handle the tattling situation. (Teachable moments, people. Teachable moments.) The following were some of the tattles:
- Someone keeps bothering me. (Probably 20 of these.)
- Someone said I don't like their drawing when I really do.
- Someone keeps humming real loud.
- PEOPLE YELL TOO MUCH!
- Someone sneezed on me.
- A girl keeps calling me mustard. (This was in the tattle box twice.)
- My neighbor keeps talking during writing time when I am trying to do my work.
- At recess someone kicked me.
- At PE someone through the ball and it hit me in the face.
I absolutely love the Tattle Box! It's my new best friend and I think I might take it out to lunch for accepting so many complaints in so little time.
I just have to say that I love my job and my students. Things like the Tattle Box remind me of the innocence of being little, what is important or not and in the grand scheme of things, sometimes if I write it down, I immediately feel better. Case closed.