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?