Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bucket Filling Classroom

I am happy to say that we are "Bucket Fillers" in my classroom.  Along with my classroom economy and positive reinforcement strategies, I teach my students starting day one how important it is to say kind and caring things to others.  I have adopted the Bucket Filling Philosophy in my classroom(  It is a wonderful program that teaches students how easy it is to spread kindness and happiness.  There are several books by Carol McCloud that illustrate this philosophy.  We start the year reading the stories, and having my students understand the difference between a bucket filler and a bucket dipper.  This philosophy states everyone has an invisible bucket they carry around that can get filled with kind words, or depleted with unkind words and actions.  We use this simple terminology all year, especially when students have a conflict with each other.  I also discuss with my students the Golden Rule, which they not only learn but discuss and practice in the classroom.  We begin the year with Morning Meetings everyday which highlight these principals and give students a chance to role play and understand these concepts.  I also have a bulletin board up in my classroom all year with mini buckets for each student.  My students are able to fill another student's bucket when they catch someone doing something good.  They fill out a Bucket Filler form and write down both their name and the name of the child who's bucket is being filled.  They also get to place a "drop" in each bucket.  We use pom-poms to symbolize the drops. This gives a concrete example showing when you notice someone doing something good, both you and his/her invisible bucket gets filled.  Once a week we have a Bucket Filling Meeting.  In this 15 minute meeting we read through the bucket filling forms and highlight all the good deeds done in our classroom that week.  We then choose one of the papers of to highlight a student Bucket Filler of the Week.  Every other month at this meeting we take our buckets down and count all the drops in our bucket, adding a sticker with the amount of buckets filled in that amount of time.  I truly believe my students are more kind, caring, and thoughtful to each other because of our bucket filling classroom!

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