Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Why must 3rd graders lie?  This has been the question pressing on my mind.  I have to think that many of them don't see it as lying, just telling their version of the truth in a convenient way.  For instance...

Suzie comes to me..."Johnny pinched my hand."
"Johnny, come here.  Johnny, did you pinch Suzie's hand?"
Looking at the red mark on Suzie's hand...."Johnny, you didn't pinch Suzie?"
"No I didn't pinch her." The tears are starting at this point as well.
"So, you're telling me that your fingers didn't touch Suzie's hand."
"No....She just..." and so the confession begins that obviously it wasn't Johnny's fault because Suzie took his pencil.

Do they not understand that it is still pinching?!?!  My brain has been so boggled over trying to figure out how to approach these situations which happen not only once but often twice or more a day with various kids.  Ideas anyone?!!? Strategies?? Help!

Now, most third graders will eventually admit to the truth after I wear them down.  Let's not even start to calculate the amount of time I spend trying to wear students down to get to the truth.  However I have one Mr. Pinocchio.  His nose won't fit in the classroom before the year is done.  "No, he didn't turn off the lights in the bathroom, that was so-and-so accidentally leaning up against them.  That's why he didn't realize." "No, he wasn't playing around by switching bathroom stalls twice.  That was because they were obviously all clogged up (even though no one had told me and we all know all third graders want to talk about bathroom things)."  "No, he didn't chase the girl around the playground.  So-and-so MADE him do it (although the girls claim there was no one with him and the other kid said he didn't either.)" "No, he didn't mess with so-and so's hair in the other group.  Everyone else in the other groups are lying."  I've tried telling the poor kid that the whole world isn't against him.  I've tried explaining the story of the boy who cried wolf - he's been caught lying before so its hard to believe him now. But he still won't admit to ANYTHING.

AGRH!  This is very much the frustration of a Wednesday evening.  The counselor and principal intern (who is FABULOUS) are involved...hopefully things will look up soon.  Until then...what do I do with all my Pinocchios?


kvh(d) said...

I totes agree.

I HATE lying. Usually I just calm down (because obvi I'm to the point of screaming) and tell them quietly to go and think. If they decide to come to me later and admit to it, I will be proud of them and they will be in thismuch trouble. If they continue to lie and I find out they are lying, they will be in THISMUCH trouble and will have lost my respect and trust.

It worked yesterday?

kvh(d) said...


WHY do the kids think that "well she said something mean" or "he poked me" is a defense for their hitting/kicking/mean words?

Dude. For real?

LiveLoveLearn said...

First off, I love your blog!

I'm right there with you. I had to create a "tattle journal" so my kids would quit tattling about the small things. They were so concentrated on what everyone else was doing that they weren't doing their work!

I've got one kid who flat out told me that he NEVER does ANYTHING that his classmates said he did. It is always them lying. I'm trying to figure him out right now...let me know if you figure out what to do with the little Pinocchio's!

Elizabeth said...

Oh goodness, I have the same problem with my third graders....Unfortunately I have no wonderful solutions to share.

But, I do think you are a Versatile Blogger! Love reading your blog.

- Elizabeth