Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 1: Being Bucket Fillers

A few years ago, I found out about the concept of Bucket Filling and fell in love. It was the perfect way to highlight how being kind or cruel has its effects. The concreteness of the idea really hit home with the kids and I'm excited to say that now our entire school reads Have You Filled a Bucket the first month we go back. Yay!

If you have not read this book, you MUST! It is incredible :)

The basic premise is this: we all walk around with buckets. When someone is nice, it fills our bucket. When someone is mean, it drains our bucket.

People who are nice and do nice things are Bucket Fillers. Those who dip out of other people's buckets are Bucket Dippers. Bucket Dippers think dipping from other people's buckets will fill their bucket, but really, their bucket is emptier than ever. {love that part!}

The book goes on to explain ways you can be bucket fillers and it leads very well into creating your own list as a class about how you can be bucket fillers in the classroom and at school. I found a FANTASTIC resource on Pinterest and have blown it up to poster size to hang in my classroom because the ideas were all spot-on!


There are a host of other fantastic anchor charts on my Bucketfilling/Character Ed board on Pinterest if you'd like to see more.

Today, we also made a version of Cara Carroll's Peacemakers/Peacebreakers chart, but I changed the headers to read "Bucket Fillers" and "Bucket Dippers":
Each child had a cut out on their seat, so they had to read it aloud and say whether it was bucket filling or bucket dipping. Kids would gesture along by using a thumbs-up for bucket filling and a thumbs down for bucket dipping.

You can pick up a free copy of the headers HERE.

You can download the words and phrases from First Grade Fanatics by clicking HERE.

Now this chart is hanging prominently in our room so we can refer back to it throughout the year :)

There are so many ways to display bucket fillers bulletin boards, mini buckets, etc. in the room. I am so limited on wall space, so I have devised something simple and easy that still acknowledges my kiddos who fill buckets and builds our classroom community at the same time: Our Classroom Bucket!

I found this to be the easiest because it still is a bucket, but whew! it's so much easier than finding room for 27 buckets!


Here is my classroom setup with the poster (I made is poster-size so it's easy to read from anywhere!) and our class bucket and the bucket filling cards I ordered from Vistaprint.

Anytime throughout the week, kids can come back, grab a slip and fill it in, then drop it in the bucket.

Then, once a week, I will take the bucket during our class meeting and choose as many as I can to read aloud and share with the class. We applaud the bucket filler and the recipient can keep the card to take home and show their parents.

If we run out of slips, I will open it up to the students for a verbal bucket filler slip: "So and so filled my bucket when ____"

All of these ways help to acknowledge the kids that are doing great things and going above and beyond. I will often see them referring to our anchor chart and the cool poster from Pinterest when they are writing their slip, so I find it helpful to keep those near the bucket and/or meeting area.

Do you use Bucket Filling? I'd love to hear any additional ideas I can incorporate this year :)

13 comments:

  1. Love the poster! I am not doing individual buckets either, but I am doing pockets (library book style) for each student and putting them on the back of my tall metal bookshelf for a new bulletin board space!

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  2. I just ordered the book, it get's here tomorrow! I like the idea of the classroom bucket, because I'm pretty much out of space on my walls. Have you had problems with some students not having their buckets filled or some more than others? I'm really worried about that!

    Jenny

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    1. Hi Jenny,

      I know you will LOVE the book- it's such a concrete and understandable approach :)

      As far as who is filling buckets, I do try to keep a little tally just to be sure it's somewhat even throughout the year. I will also fill those cards out from time to time to not only model what a "good" version is (not just, "I like your shoes"), but also to include some kids who may not be spotlighted by others.

      Hope that helps! Enjoy :)

      ~Stephanie

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  3. How do you use bucket filling and classroom management? When do you allow your kiddos to "fill" buckets, without causing a distraction?

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    1. Hi Emily,

      We talk about times that are good for our class- like when we go out to recess, when it's Free Choice Time, if they get done with an assignment early, and the like. The cards are so small, they take a few seconds to a minute to fill in, so it's not a huge time filler. Likewise, they also know that writing them during a lesson or during independent work is not appropriate. Have your kids brainstorm times- they are a lot stricter on themselves than I typically am :)

      ~Stephanie

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  4. Haven't read the book but get the gist of it. Very cute and I'm glad you'll be looking out for the kids whose buckets don't get filled often. ;-)

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  5. I think I'm going to try your one bucket idea this year. Thanks for sharing. Can you tell me the name of the font you used on your headings?

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  6. i love this blog!! i'm currently student teaching and all your ideas have helped me- so much!!

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  7. I think your bucket filler notes are adorable and they go perfectly with my owl themed room! Any chance you would be willing to share the design? Or is it available through TpT? I have a Vistaprint addiction! :)

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    1. Hi Jessica,

      That cute little owl template is Vistaprint's and they offer them in business cards, stickers, notepads, and more! Check out my Vistaprint post HERE for more info :) Thanks!

      ~Stephanie

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  8. I am adding a little to the Bucket Filling Idea this year. I am using it as my whole class management technique. Students and I talk about ways to be a bucket filler for students and ways to fill a teacher's bucket (listening, following directions, helping, etc). When I see or hear bucket filling behavior I put a cotton ball in our classroom's bucket (I got it at the dollar store). I can also take cotton balls out if they are bucket dipping. When we feel the bucket we get a class party. That way I have one behavior thing going at once instead of having multiple ones.

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  9. I'm doing almost the same thing, but I have little buckets on my wall in a shoe organizer with student numbers on them. In the past I've tried to just have students fill their buckets with pom poms whenever they do something kind for someone else or someone does something kind for them, but it loses momentum quickly. This year I'm going to have students fill out slips like the ones you posted and put them in a bucket when someone does something nice for them or for someone else, and during our class meeting each week, we'll read them and then the bucket filler and the bucket fill-ee will each get to put a pom pom in their bucket so we can make a bigger production of it. I like how you included having the student take it home! And thanks for the printables and links! i LOVE your blog!

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  10. I am trying to figure out the best approach to implementing Bucket Filling. I really like your one bucket idea but, are there some students who never get a bucket filler slip pulled? How do you handle that? Do you give a reward for filling the bucket? I also thought maybe a trip to the treasure box for both the bucket filler and the person whose bucket "got filled".
    At my old school we did caught you being good slips but the teachers gave those out for "being good". I like the idea of bucket filling better. What I did with the caught you being good slips was randomly pull slips and award those students with either a small piece of candy, a sticker or a trip to the treasure box. The kids never knew which it would be. I'm wondering if something similar could be done with the bucket filling slips.

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Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie

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