Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Have you filled a bucket...

One of the perks of working at a small private school is getting to know all of the students, not just your own. I can name everyone on the playground which comes in handy when someone climbing dangerously high on the jungle gym or trying to flood the sandbox... again. I know most students pretty well before they ever step foot through my door. With that being said, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into when I began school this year. And I knew that this class was definitely going to need a lot of positive reinforcement right off the bat. I decided to finally try this bucket thing I've been hearing soooooo much about. In years past, I've always had a "Something to Smile  About" board. I would put pictures of the kids up, they would draw and color their bodies and then anyone could attach a note to it at any time. Let me tell you, the kids absolutely light up when they see something clipped to their doll!! What I like about this bucket idea is that there is a cute story to go with it. So, here's how I've implemented bucket filling in my class so far...

First, I played a YouTube video of someone reading the story. My students always pay more attention when my projector is on, so I figured I would take advantage of it!

Then we recalled details from the story about how to be a bucket filler and a bucket dipper. We wrote our thoughts down on post-its and stuck them on the door. That night, I typed up their thoughts, cleaned up a few spelling and grammar errors, and laminated them. They now permanently hang as reminders of what to do and what not to do.

We also colored our own buckets. This is where we put our "bucket notes."I hot glued them to the paper on my closet door. At the top of the bucket I attached a paper clip (also with hot glue) so the notes can slide on and off easily.

The next day we watched the story again talked about how we feel when our buckets are full. After deciding it makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, we brainstormed a list of ways to fill others buckets. Then we wrote...

I love how she tried to make the bucket look like the one in the story!

Some kids couldn't quite understand that the bucket was imaginary!


Ah, yes... a video game reference. What day would be complete without one??

And my favorite! I wonder if she knows my birthday is this weekend?!

I can't remember where I got the worksheets from. I actually printed them last year, but never used them. I'm sure if you do a google search you can find something comparable out there. If it's ours, or you recognize it, let me know and I'll leave a link!!

So far, the kids are LOVING this bucket filling! They take their bucket notes out to recess to show them off to their friends. I've even caught a few girls writing bucket notes in class!! Let's just hope they keep it up. Plus, I'll be letting the parents know about our"bucket notes" during back to school night next week.

If you would like to see another awesome post about bucket filling from another awesome teacher, visit The First Grade Parade. She's always a great resource!

Well, I'm off to get an early start on my birthday celebration! Be on the look out for an upcoming TpT sale and some great tips for teaching summarizing! Have a great Hump Day (what's let of it)!

Best wishes,


  1. Wow! Your blog is so rich in content! I love this post. Filling buckets is such a wonderful concept. I also teach in a small private school with lots of freedom to teach the way I want. I'm your 99th follower! I wanted to be 100, but couldn't risk being 101!!! Come see me!
    Owl Things First!

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