The Lantern – A Tool To Reduce Tattling In Your Classroom

One of our challenges as teachers is to help students learn the difference between tattling and reporting. Often, students who tattle simply need an outlet to be heard. Rather than spending time after recess sorting through playground woes, have students record their concerns on a piece of paper and place it in The Lantern.
Glass lantern next to sign with Dr. Seuess quote.
This management tool invites students to write or draw about their concern rather than sharing with you verbally. Students are able to reflect on their feelings and carefully think about the details of a situation rather than spew their story all over your fresh-from-recess-Zen-aura when their emotions are running high.

Your students will be able to get it all out on paper, tuck it into The Lantern for safekeeping and make an effort to leave their worries behind when they walk to their seat.

Tips For Making The Lantern A Success

Here are a few tips for making students feel extra secure about sharing their thoughts in The Lantern:

  • When you see a student writing a note, give them a sign of acknowledgment so they feel assured you know their message is waiting to be read.
  • Immediately after reading a student’s note, whisper a few words of acknowledgment and let them know when you want to talk about the details of the situation (depending on the severity of the issue, that time may be immediate).

These subtle signals won’t go unrecognized by students who are unsure about using The Lantern. In time, most (if not all) of your students will become confident that The Lantern is a safe place for them to share important messages with you.

Students may also begin to share exciting and out-of-the-ordinary news about their recess life. It will warm your heart to read notes about exciting new friendships or involvement in a new game from students who struggle to make connections on the playground.

The Lantern Does More Than Reduce Tattling

Aside from bringing more peace to your post-recess transition, The Lantern has a few other benefits:

  • A visual of the classroom climate – if the lantern is looking rather full one day, it may be time to have a class meeting about R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
  • A strong outlet for the feelings of your emotionally needy learners.
  • A written record of playground behavior that can be used as evidence during IEPs.
  • A handy reference when preparing report card comments or notes for parent teacher conferences – sharing the actual notes with parents of other students is a definite no-no but rereading notes from The Lantern to gather yours evidence is a yes.

Start Using The Lantern In Your Classroom

Interested in setting up The Lantern and reducing tattling in your classroom? This FREEBIE from my TPT Store includes additional tips for getting started and the printable poster shown in the photo above (six colors available to coordinate with your classroom theme). Enjoy!

The Lantern Teachers Pay Teachers free resource cover page.

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2 Responses

    1. Hi Sylvia,
      This particular one is something I ordered online years ago from some random decor site when I was trying to design centerpieces for my wedding. I can’t remember exactly which site it was from, but you can probably find something similar if you search Amazon for white decor lanterns. 🙂

I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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