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May 19, 2012

My Bucket Filler Area

Have you read that book, Have you Filled a Bucket Today?  It's a good book.  I started reading it last year with my class, it's all about how words can help or hurt someone's feelings.  Basic stuff, but it gives the visual that our hearts are like buckets.  Fill them up and we feel good, saying mean stuff can hurt ourselves and others.  That we want to be a "Bucket Filler", not a "Bucket Dipper".

In my classroom this year I took it to a different level.  Last year we just did the book as a read aloud and discussed it.  This year we read the book, discussed it, and the kids each had their own "buckets". Yes, it is just 2 plastic shoe organizers put side by side, but that simple mail system had my students being kind to each other the entire year.  The entire year!  

The first week of school, after we read the book, I gave my students a colored index card.  They wrote their name and their class number.  Then I stuck the cards into the pockets and we were ready to get started.

It is a pretty easy set up.  In the yellow bucket I had index cards.  When the kids wanted to give a compliment, or thank someone for helping them or being kind, they just grabbed a card and wrote it down.  I made them include a To: __________ and From: __________ along with the message.  

After they were done writing, they placed it into my red bucket.  I went through the cards and made sure that they were all appropriate.  Some kids throughout the year tried to pull just writing a note to their buddies on it.  This wasn't note time, rather the cards had to stay with the purpose.  If they wrote a note, it wasn't delivered and I called the student over to make sure they understood the rules.  

The students do like to be delivers.  After I checked them at Friday lunch (I would collect all week), I would pass them off to my student helpers, who would deliver them into the right mailbox.  At the end of the day on Friday, when as a class we are passing out the work to take home, students could go over and grab out their compliment cards.  It was an amazing thing every week to see - kids that didn't think they had friends realized they do.  Kids that are shy, still could write a message, and someone else would initiate a friendship.  It helped my class to bond with each other.  I'm definitely going to continue this for future years.

Hope this helps someone!


1 comment:

  1. I love this idea. One quick question: do you ever have a student who is a bit of an outcast who doesn't get anything in his/her bucket? If so, how do you handle that? Do you just write something for that child yourself?


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