Creating a positive and encouraging classroom filled with kindness and respect is something we start working on from day one. I always start the year by reading the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. The bucket filling concept explained in the book acts as a powerful classroom management strategy all year through. It underlines the importance and impact of our words and actions towards others and ourselves.
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? explains that everyone has an invisible bucket. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it’s empty, we feel terrible. We can fill our buckets by being kind to others and when others are kind to us. We can empty those buckets when we are mean or unkind. It’s a sweet and simple concept that even our littlest learners can understand.
Setting Classroom Expectations
Brainstorm positive classroom behaviours and sort the bucket filler and bucket dipper behaviours. The kiddos now understand some of your classroom expectations and the behaviours and actions they should work towards.
Bucket Filler Display
Create a central bulletin board display that helps students remember that they are bucket fillers. Make a bucket for each student using envelopes or zip lock bags. Then encourage them to write bucket filler notes to each other. Not only are they practising kindness but also working on their letter writing skills!
I also have a class bucket that I add pom poms to whenever I catch my kiddos being kind! They love working together to fill the class bucket.
Download the BUCKET FILLER FREEBIE below!
Bucket Filler Activities
I like to reinforce the bucket filler concept with different worksheets and activities throughout the year.