At the beginning of the year, as part of our classroom community building, I read the book Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol St. McCloud to the class. This book uses the metaphor of a bucket for the place where negative and positive feelings are kept based on our day-to-day experiences. We will discuss ways that we can fill each other's buckets' each day by helping someone in need without being asked, treating others with kindness and compassion, giving honest compliments, and remembering the golden rule to treat others as we would like to be treated. We will not only be bucket fillers every day in our actions, but to also use bucket slips to fill one another's actual "buckets" in the classroom with notes of positive comments. Doing something nice for someone else fills your OWN bucket and the bucket of the person you help!!
We also will talk about 'bucket dipping,' which can happen when we 'dip into someone's bucket' by hurting someone else's feelings. This can happen through rude comments, refusing to help with a task, bragging, or excluding someone. This sounds a lot like bullying, but I have found that many students do not think of single actions as bullying. They often just think of someone who is mean all the time to a lot of people as a bully. However, with this system, it is easier for students to recognize that we all have had moments that were not our kindest towards others and that these moments CAN have a negative effect on others. This kind of behavior is UNACCEPTABLE in G-11 and we will be working hard to create a community where it is not tolerated by anyone. Very specific examples will be noted and the students will agree on how our classroom should look, feel and sound. Students will considered ways that they could 'put a lid on their buckets' to let less than helpful behavior from a classmate roll off their backs rather than dipping in their buckets and ruining their day. Telling an adult and letting it be handled, then moving on is another way to put a lid on it.
Bucket Filler Friday
Every Friday afternoon in G-11, we have "BUCKET FILLER FRIDAY" time. The students will look forward to this every week, even though it only lasts about 5 minutes!! During the week, students fill out bucket slips for one another with positive comments to acknowledge that person's great effort or kind deeds during the week with SPECIFIC compliments. During Bucket Filler Friday time, students are called a few at a time to empty their buckets and read the positive comments that others have written to them. It is really a pleasant way to wrap up our week!