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.
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!