Sunday, March 13, 2011

B is for Bucket

It's inevitable, I've seen it happen before. Right around the beginning of spring a transformation occurs. The cherubs in my class begin to behave more like siblings than classmates. The little arguments begin, the name calling and the tattling that we had a handle on, reappear and it becomes time to pull a new trick out of my kindergarten hat to help resolve these little issues before they turn into big issues!

I admit it, some of my best ideas come from the other blogs I read. There are some very talented and creative kindergarten teachers out there and I'd be crazy not to tap into some of that talent.

As I was searching I came across Rachelle's blog, What the Teacher Wants.
This is where I discovered Bucket Filling. I was so inspired I knew I needed to buy this book!  I couldn't wait to read it to my class. The premise of the book is that everybody carries around an invisible bucket to hold all their good feelings.
You are a bucket filler when you do or say something nice to someone, but you can also be a bucket dipper. A Bucket Dipper is not something you want to be. Bucket dippers try to fill their own buckets by saying or doing things that hurt feelings,but it doesn't work like that. Buckets can never hold bad feelings, only good ones.

So I read the book to my kids, and they immediately embraced the idea. We talked about it a lot, but I knew I wanted to do something more.  So I took Rachelle's idea which she posted on her blog and made it work in my room.

I found these really cute little metal buckets in the dollar aisle at Target and added clear labels with the kid's names on them.

I have 18 kids in my class and at a dollar each it is bordering on pricey, but I really felt like it was a worthwhile expense.

Then I added a little basket with little bucket filling papers (which can be downloaded from Rachelle's blog) and a pencil, then explained what I wanted them to do.
I told them that when they wanted to make a friend feel happy, they should write down something nice and put it in their friend's bucket. It can be as simple as a smiley face, or a compliment, or a little note to tell them how much you like being their friend.
I wasn't really sure how they were going to handle it, I was pretty sure the first day would be over the top bucket filling, but I was wrong. It seemed they really were careful about what they were writing and who they were writing to.

I also got in on it, mainly because I wanted each and everyone of them know they are special to me too, each in their own way, and I was rewarded with my own little filler.

 At the end of the day I gather all the bucket fillers and send them home with the recipients so their parents can see what wonderful friends their kids have.

Since starting the bucket filling project, I have noticed a difference in how they interact with each other, after all, nobody wants to be a Bucket Dipper!


ChiTown Girl said...

I, too, loved this idea when I saw it on another blog. But, since I have THIRTY kids in my class, it's just not in my budget. (I have purchased a few of those adorable buckets from Target, though, and I use one on each table for crayons) I'm thinking maybe I'll use those red plastic 'party cups' and add a pipe cleaner handle, and just make my own buckets. This idea is just too cute to pass up. Plus, my kids could use a little reminder about bucket filling. :)

Jackie H. said...

Great book review and idea!

Chrissy said...

I'm planning on starting this after spring break. Thanks for sharing!!

kricketts said...

I edited my post on my blog. Sorry about that. I was just so excited to share the news with my parents.

Mrs. Ricketts