Is it tattling or reporting?

"Jeremy cut in line!"
"Erica said she doesn't want to play with me."
"Ollie has his finger in his mouth."

NON-STOP TATTLING: How do you deal with it?


It's typical behavior for children to tattle on their friends in a classroom, and I believe that it is quite healthy because I see it as them gaining a sense of what is acceptable and unacceptable. However, if we teach them the difference between tattling and reporting, it will encourage the kids to be problem solvers, not just tattle-tales. In addition, it will preserve our sanity!

Here are some ways I deal with tattling in our kindergarten/1st grade classroom.

Good Behavior vs. Bad Behavior

In the beginning of the school year, we make an anchor chart of good behaviors and bad behaviors. Draw a line in the middle, and write down what the kids think are good behaviors and bad behaviors. Instead of just having them learn the rules of your classroom, have them get involved in distinguishing between these two behaviors. Have the anchor chart posted near the classroom rules so they can refer back to it throughout the year.

My kids also particularly enjoy modeling good and bad behaviors (well, mostly bad behaviors!). I do this throughout the year whenever I feel that they need a little reminder.

Tattling vs. Reporting

I use this PowerPoint quiz to teach my kids to distinguish tattling from reporting.

* PowerPoint Slides- You can use these as a way to teach, review, and quiz the children about the difference between tattling and reporting. There are 9 different situations to discuss.


* Cut and Paste- There are five pages to sort tattling vs. reporting.  There is an additional page to sort good choices vs. bad choices.



Be a Problem Solver

These exercises are not to stop your kids from coming to you to tattle on their classmates. They are made for our little cherubs to become problem-solvers. When you talk about each situation above, talk about what the kids can do to solve many of these problems by themselves, but of course, let them know that you are always there to listen to them. As they become intuitive problem-solvers, the tattling will diminish gradually!

How do you teach your students to be a problem solver? Please share with me! :)

Happy teaching!

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