Notes for My Teacher
For many years, using "Tattle Books" has helped to minimize incessant “tattling” and “telling on” each other in the K-3 classroom.
The format of this communication journal reinforces the skill of summarizing for grades 1-3, by narrowing student tattling to the 5 W’s, i.e., Who? What? When? Where? Why?
How to Use Notes for My Teacher: Our Communication Journal.
- As a part of setting classroom behavior expectations, discuss your rules regarding “tattling”. (There are also some excellent age-appropriate books about tattling.)
- Explain to students that instead of tattling, they can quietly go to the Notes for My Teacher book and write what they want to tell you. (You decide whether students need permission to go to the book.)
- Encourage primary students to use the word wall that lists students’ names, so that they can correctly spell the “offending” classmate’s name.
- Use a rubber band or binder clip to secure pages so that students cannot read other students’ entries.
- Students should not remove the book from its designated spot in the classroom.
- Place the book where it--and a pencil will remain undisturbed until someone needs to write a note to you. The student should never take the book to his/her desk. Be sure to place the book in a spot where you can always see it and monitor users.
- You decide when and how often during the class period students can visit the book and how much time students can spend writing a note. In the case of repeat “tattlers”, you might alert the school counselor for social/emotional intervention.
- You decide under what circumstances students may remain anonymous.
- Assure students that you will review the notes and respond appropriately. Reassure the students that their report is secure with you. Teachers should review the notes as soon as possible during the class period, as serious issues might need to be immediately addressed. (e.g., vandalizing the bathroom, theft, illness, bullying, etc.)
- ALWAYS PUT AWAY THE COMMUNICATION JOURNAL AT THE END OF EACH DAY, AND/OR WHEN YOU ARE NOT IN THE CLASSROOM. DO NOT LEAVE IT WHERE STUDENTS CAN ACCESS IT IN THE EVENT OF YOUR ABSENCE.
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