To Show Or Not To Show? Good Question!
As for me and my class, I do; when it is appropriate and only for about 10 to 15 minutes.
I usually do this on a Friday, and it is at the end of our day.
This is something my students really look forward to.
I incorporate videos into what we are studying.
This usually has something to do with our theme or science unit such as weather, electricity, leaves, apples, buttterflies, the life cycle of a frog etc.
I have some super 8 to 10 minute science lessons on tape that are outstanding. I also own all of the Magic School Bus videos which I show in two parts.
My students enjoy watching their favorite stories that have been made into videos such as Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Gorilla, as well as many of the Arthur, Clifford and Berenstain Bears books.
I choose the ones that help teach the life-lessons they need to know like not being a bully, not talking to strangers, treating people fairly etc. Many Dr. Seuss' books are also on video. I also use video's for fire safety, counting, and the alphabet.
I feel that this is an effective teaching and learning tool; we usually have some wonderful discussions after a video that involve even the most shy and quiet children.
I tell my students a "secret question" I want them to be listening for the answer to. At the end of the program I'll ask who knows the answer. Sometimes a video is longer than the 15-minutes I have alotted. I will show the rest on day number 2.
Our principal has a rule that he must see all videos before we are allowed to show them to our students to make sure they are appropriate.
I've also plugged in a themed video at the end of a party day. The lights are out, the children are exhausted and it's a nice way to sooth and calm them down; they chill and unwind. It gives me an opportunity to clean up and pack up their things as well. It's amazing what one can do with 10-15 minutes of quiet time.
I'd enjoy hearing what you think about this "hot topic" and how your school handles it. email@example.com
Recently, on one of the mail rings that I enjoy, several kindergarten and first grade teachers have "had it" with all of the tattling that has been going on in their classrooms. I plan ahead for this problem with one of my classroom management stuffed animals. His name is Tattle and he's a turtle.
I find that little ones are prone to tattling. To help them learn the difference between tattling and letting an adult know things of importance, I tell them that what they need to say is important, but that Mrs. Henderson doesn’t have to hear everything. If someone is not ill, or hurt, breaking a rule or in danger, Mrs. Henderson is not the one to tell!
Those other kinds of things Tattle would love to hear about. When a child begins “Kelli said….” and all the other tattling tales… I interrupt and say: “Go tell it to the turtle.” Children need someone to spout off to and Tattle The Turtle helps them get little tiffs off their chest.
It’s also something they can hold on to that gives them a little comfort and helps relieve the “crankies”. Tattle resides on a shelf. Above him is a poster. Click on the link to view/print one for your class. Tattle Poster.
Tattle really has solved many tattling problems. I'll often find a child sitting in a beanbag pouring out their woes. One time a boy was actually having a conference with Tattle and several other children. I found the entire mediation process quite amusing, but told the children I was very proud of them. Once Tattle was even a sort of punching bag for a child who was really frustrated.
I find that I have more tattling problems toward the end of the year when children act more like siblings. I find too that most of the tattling goes on between my female students and usually begins with: "Susie doesn't want to be my friend anymore."
If I see that children are hurting each other's feelings and it's becoming a problem, I'll sit them all down and we'll discuss being a friend and how words can hurt.
I use the book Chrysanthemum as a wonderful lead-in story with that subject in mind. I Xerox off a picture of Chrysanthemum. Each time someone hurts Chrysanthemum's feelings I pass the paper around the circle. We each crumple up the paper, say "I'm sorry" and then smooth it out. By the time I am done reading the story the picture of Chrysanthemum is in shreds and full of holes as well.
We discuss the fact that words hurt, and even though we say that we are sorry and smooth things out with that person we are still hurting them, as the dilapidated paper visually demonstrates.
I also want children to understand that being critical of each other and saying things like "I don't want to be your friend" or leaving them out of a group when they play, is also hurtful. I'll ask them a question like: how would they feel if Mrs. Henderson said that to them, or how would they feel if I gave everyone else a toy or piece of candy, or let everyone go out for recess and didn't let them go? It really gives them a wake up call.
According to my online dictionary a tattletale is someone who gossips, discloses a secret or talks idly. Certainly something that should be discouraged. Explaining telling things of importance versus the trivial “tattling” is not as easily understood by a young child. They think that everything that they have to tell you is pretty much of the utmost importance. I’ve helped my Y5’s learn to distinguish what they need to tell me, and what they can talk to Tattle the turtle about, by having them ask themselves these questions:
If the answer is no, then they can get immediate attention and tell it to the turtle. Hopefully your turtle or whatever stuffed animal you choose to be a sounding board for you, will help be a time saver for you as well.
Children have very basic reasons for tattling. I think most of my Y5’s tattle simply to get attention. They seem to hope that the information they provide may somehow prove useful, and they will be rewarded with something as simple as a smile and “Thank you for telling me that.” Other times, I think they want to get their “friends” in trouble so they can say, "I told you so” or feel a bit superior.
I try to empower my Y5’s and teach them how to resolve their problems themselves. Our school is involved in anti-bullying programs that also equip them. I tell my students that if they see someone being bullied or they feel they are being bullied they should tell me and that this is NOT being a tattletale. We have discussions about verbal abuse to show that it can be just as hurtful as physical abuse.
Marie Montessori found that children tattle because they are trying to figure out the difference between right and wrong so they question everything. They come to adults for confirmation. I think she makes a good point and that’s why I try and define what the difference between “tattling” and “informing” is.
When I taught first, second and third grade I had a Tattle Box. Students simply WROTE their tattle on a pad of paper and put it in the decorated shoe box. At recess or the end of the day I’d read the tattles.
Some were very humorous since their spelling and writing skills weren’t the best. The first few months we had so many more tattles than later months. Students began to realize the difference between tattling and informing as well as the importance of being kind.
They also didn’t feel it was worth the extra bother to write it all down, consequently I didn't have that many tattles come the middle of November.
Another thing that helps, is going over the Golden Rule and discussing treating people the way you want to be treated. I cut out a large red paper heart. We discuss tattling to get people in trouble which is mean and hurtful, tattling in the form of telling secrets or breaking a promise, and saying unkind things to each other.
As my students give me examples, I tear a section of the heart off. When we are done, I lay the pieces in the middle of our circle and we put it together. Even though the heart is put back together, it is still scarred by the hurtful words that we inflicted and will never be the same. This visual helps them to realize that tattling can hurt, especially when it’s meant to be mean.
Another thing that helps older students decide if it’s telling to “inform” or simply “tattling” is by using the popular text-speak. Two signs on my desk and next to the Tattle Box help students re-think. MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) which reminds them to ask themselves: Is this something pretty trivial where they should ignore it and just mind their own business? They decide, and if it’s yes, they can do nothing and move on, or if still bothered they can leave a note. If it's no; they may come tell me. I also post TNK (Threatening? Necessary? Kind?) Is this "something" that you need to tell -- any of these? If not, then it’s probably tattling and can be put in the Tattle Box. Click on the link to view/print these posters.
When someone approaches you starting to tattle, you can simply say: “Is it TNK?” They’ll stop and think and then can decide whether to proceed and spill the beans or trot off to the Tattle Box to relieve themselves. Either way they get to express themselves, which makes for happier campers and less time wasted for you.
If you have a successful way that you deal with the problem of tattling, I'd enjoy hearing from you.
Thanks in advance for making the time to share and care! firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the questions I'm asked quite a bit is: "How do you get your students to follow directions when they can't read?" It's also a huge complaint of teachers who are tired of repeating directions as soon as they've just sat their students in front of a white board for a few minutes, modeled what they want their class to do, shown them an example, posted that on the board and done the activity step-by-step.
A young child no sooner gets to their desk and their hand shoots up: "What do I do now?" The patient teacher again explains the directions to that child, a few minutes later they are repeating the same thing to a dozen more who weren't paying attention the first time around. Does this sound familiar?
Who can really blame the young student though. Some experts believe that for every year a child is, you have one minute of undivided attention. If that's true, I basically have 4 minutes to explain my morning's- worth of table top activities. I had to think of something, or lose my voice and sanity, so I developed picture icons. They have been extremely successful! Here's how they work:
How Do You Get Your Students To Transition Quickly and Quietly?
Sometimes it's like "herding cats" or getting all the fairy princess-ballerinas in a row isn't it? There has been so much buzz about this on my mail rings that I thought I’d address it as January's Hot Topic to see if anyone will offer some of their handy tips and ideas. It seems lots of teachers are having problems getting those kittens in a line and having them settle into "purrr-fect" behavior....I decided to sit down and write down as many tips as I could think of that I’ve used over the past 11 years teaching young children and I came up with a list of over 70! I’d like to get this list to 100, so if you have some ideas that work for you please share! email@example.com and I’ll add them.
Click here to view/print a copy of my article and 74 Transition Tips
September's HOT TOPIC is:
Here's a booklet I wrote that might help with one of the #1 reasons for discipline problems: Keeping your HANDS to yourself! Click on the link to print a color booklet for yourself as a wonderful read-aloud. I put 2 on a page for easy copying so you can send a booklet home with each of your students to share with their families. I've also included a CERTIFICATE to help promote great behavior. Children will want to become a member of the "High Five Helping Hands Club!" They'll receive one when they understand the concept and have helping, not hurting hands. There's also a SKILL SHEET where a child can ZAP and X out the hurting hands, as well as a cute ART ACTIVITY where they'll make a "handy" heart-print, sure to become a cherished keepsake that makes a terrific bulletin board too! Have your little ones trace and sign the Helping Hands CONTRACT and watch great behavior grow! FREE BOOKLET
UPDATE: I just made a Teacher's Edition so you can have a BIG copy of the children's size. I laminated my copy, put it in a folder, laminated the children's edition, cut up the picture pieces and put magnet strip on the back. When I'm reading my big teacher's copy I pass out the picture pieces. When I come to that picture the child holding that piece puts it on the white board. We sequence the story. Everyone says the phrase "Please keep these to yourself." when a child puts a picture on the board. I keep these pictures in a baggie in the pocket of my folder. Click on the link to print a copy.
I've also made a Classroom Rules Promise Pledge. Click on the link for a copy. I have my students raise their left hand and then put their right hand over their heart and promise these things, and then sign the contract. I think it makes it official. Promises are a big deal in a young person's life. When an infraction takes place I remind them that they broke their promise and that I'm disappointed in the choice they have made.
If you need an easy Happy Gram Daily Behavior note to send home click on the link.
If you need a note to send parents when their child moves from the green to a red zone click on the link. FYI red zone note.
I also have Windows Of Good Behavior a great behavior modification technique that helps motivate even the "toughies"! At least it's worked on mine! Click on the link for 28-pages of help, including the game, self-esteem building incentives (bookmarks, badges, slap bracelets), happy grams, and directions.
Need some tips to get those students in line and quiet? Click on the link for my 70+ Transition Tips!
(Children say the first 3 lines with you rather loudly, then as they tip toe they say the last 3 softly.)
Ideas from other teachers: (Thank you!)
What To Do With A Real Problem Child
Document: Start a notebook on the child. Have a page for each day and make a bulleted list of everything that they do inappropriately. Have a tally sheet where you time how many times they are out of their seat in one minute intervals. List how many times they were in the Time Out Chair and why they were in it. Have a page of the behavior modification plans and special things that you are doing to help this child. Use the documentation to get the child observed by others, evaluated, tested, etc. Keep documenting.
Make Contact: Keep the parents informed of the child's behavior: Make a form letter so that this is not time consuming for you. Make it a check list. Sign it and have a place for them to sign and return; after so many notes home ask them to call you if your phone calls are not being returned which is usually the case. Set up a conference. Pin these to the child's back so that they will see them. Give copies to your principal.
Ask for help: Inform your principal that you need assistance; can you qualify for an aide? When there are extra volunteers/subs in the building could they please send them to you? When older students are in a block or not doing something could that teacher send down a few helpers to your class? Can the Psych department help? Can the parents/grandparents come in and work-one-on one for an hour one day a week? Is there a near by teacher willing to let this child sit in a chair in their class to get him out of your room for 5 minutes to settle down? Can you set up a program where you can send him to the office, or to the principal for an intervention time when nothing else works?
Set Up Ultimate Consequences: Can you make parents accountable so that If their child continues to be disruptive or hurts another child you can send them home?
Is this child a runner? Keep your door shut, keep that child's seat as far away from the door as possible, they are not to use the bathroom with out adult accompaniment, set up a "Child-On-The-Run" alert system. You have a walkie-talkie and so does the office. If the child runs, you notify the office and they take over. When the child leaves to go with another teacher, they get the walkie-talkie etc.
Cover yourself: You need to make your principal aware that other parents may complain and that this child is a potential threat to your, their, and his safety and that could involve not only complaints but a potential lawsuit. This always seems to give administration a wake up call that they need to listen. Sometimes they are not even aware of what a handful you have. Ask them to come in and observe the situation.
Explain: The rest of your class is definitely affected by a "wild child". You need to explain to them when this child is NOT present that he has a bit of a problem and that you need their help.
Positive Praise: As with all children the importance of praise is so imperative. A really challenging child may only have ever felt how it feels to get attention negatively. I try my best to notice any kind of positive behavior and then recognize it immediately and praise them. This can be a high five, thumbs up, a pat on the back, or simply an encouraging word or a combination. Putting a sticker, or drawing a smilie face or star on their paper is also very rewarding. At times I announce to the class: "X has completed their work, or stayed in their seat, or not been in the Time Out Chair this morning! Let's all clap for them." This child just beams. As with my other students who do a great job, or improve, when this child completes anything (!) I'll hold up their paper and say: "X finished his paper!" Always make sure the praise is genuine and just enough at just the right intervals.