This year we'll continue to be Bucket Fillers!

Bucket Fillers is a program based off the educational programs of Merrill Lundgren, the Bucket Man. The book children's book Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids  by Carol McCloud is based on his programs and pioneering work in schools. The Bucket Filling program is done through school-wide assemblies and visits from the Bucket Fillers. If you're interested in having them come to your school, be sure to contact them via their website: www.bucketfillersforlife.com.

In my classroom, each child will decorate their own bucket and we'll put them on a bulletin board. Then, each child will be encouraged to help "fill" each other's buckets by writing kind words to them and celebrating the great things happening in our room! At the end of each week, we'll "empty" the buckets and read what was put in our buckets. I have not had the fortune of teaching in a bucket-filling school, so I have incorporated the values the best I can into my own classroom. I do the best that I can!!

The Bucket-Filling school program has several CURRICULUM GOALS :
 

1. To teach children how to reach out and express love, respect and appreciation to others

2. To help children become other-centered rather than self-centered

3. To help children express their feelings (good and bad) in a healthy manner

4. To help children understand where feelings originate and how to protect their feelings from being hurt

5. To establish a framework for more constructive words and actions and less bullying

6. To create more positive home and school environments

 

CONCEPTS LEARNED:

Bucket Filling (showing love and respect for others)

Bucket Dipping (bullying)

Be sure to ask your child about their bucket and all the great things going into the buckets of their classmates!!

Check out the Bucket Fillers website for more great information!! You can subscribe to their newsletter there, and get more information about their frog-tastic school programs too!

Stuff for Teachers

Letters for a bulletin board

Bucket cut-outs (for kids to decorate & put on a bulletin board)

Filling a Bucket forms

Picture of colored bucket

Picture of blank bucket

I get emails all the time from teachers asking me about Bucket Filling. Please remember, I didn't create this program... I simply use it in my room and wanted to share how great I think it is with others!! Here are some of the most common questions, and my answers to them:

Q: I'd love to do this, but I'm worried that there might a child that doesn't get their bucket filled each week. What do you do to handle this problem?

A: I tell my class before we start this program, that there might be a time when their bucket isn't filled. They all agree that they should be taking the time to fill buckets, and hope that their bucket gets filled. They are told not to expect their bucket to be filled. I give each child a class list (identical to what I use in my grade book) and they can keep track of how many buckets they've filled for their classmates. They fill it in each week. I also check the buckets Thursday after school, and I personally fill the empty buckets. This way, there are no empty buckets on Friday.

Q: Is Bucket Filling appropriate for younger students?

A: YES!! This program is made for grades pre-k through 12! You can adapt it however you'd like!!

Q: What do you do to make a pocket for the forms to go into?

A: I use a library pocket (you can get them at your local teacher's store) and then I tape/glue the laminated bucket that the child decorated (see above) to the pocket. Then I add a piece of magnet onto the back and it goes on the board (you can skip this part if you're going to put them on a permanent bulletin board)

Library Pockets (you don't have to use the fancy decorated ones)

Q: Do I need to buy the book to implement the program?

A: I would HIGHLY recommend buying the book! It explains things so well and all the images from my site come from the book... so they go together well.

Q: Should I read the book to my class before starting the program?

A: I read the book on the first day of school. We had a discussion about bullies and how they make us feel and then we talked about ways to make others feel good about themselves. Then I read the book and after I told them that we're going to be Bucket Fillers this year and then I had them decorate their buckets.

Q: Are there "rules" for filling a bucket?

A: YES!! Excellent question! Because the buckets are up and relatively easy to look into, I tell my class that if I see anyone looking into any of the buckets (theirs or anyone else's) I will take them down and we won't do the program. I explain to them that each Friday I'll call each person up to collect the contents of their bucket. The forms that are inside are private and personal and DO NOT need to be shared with anyone.

I also tell my students what is and what is not acceptable for a form. The notes MUST be positive and make someone smile. The notes are meant to FILL not DIP. The students respect that and all agree to write kind notes and not to peek into their bucket or the buckets of their peers.