Monday, August 8, 2011

Filling Up Buckets

I have no idea what made me read "How Full is Your Bucket". I wish I had a grand story that I was inspired to pick up the book and participate in a discussion of bucket goodness.....but I don't. Honestly, I was probably walking around B&N and decided that this book looked like fun. Little did I know, the bucket phenomenon was bigger than I imagined! All over, classrooms are applying this philosophy to their everyday curriculum. So, I jumped right onto that bandwagon! You can call me a follower. 
Click to buy the book here.
Funny story: I had my copy of "How Full Is Your Bucket" with me at school last year because my students were asking about it. Little did I know, I had forgotten to remove my bookmark that I had used a year or two before. My bookmark happened to be a birthday card from a few friends I met while studying abroad. The card read, "I see London... I see France..." and when opened the inside said, "I miss seeing your underpants!" 

One afternoon, a student brought me the card (after reading it) and said..."ummmmm, is this yours?" 
Oopsie daisy. Note to self: remove all bookmarks OR don't use birthday cards as bookmarks!

Back on track...

The "bucket" principle is very easy to understand. Everyone has a bucket over their head that can be filled with positive experiences and interactions with others. Or buckets can be dipped from when negative words or actions are used. As you can imagine, we strive to have a full HAPPY bucket!

Last year, I decided to implement this philosophy into my classroom. I started by reading the kid's version of "How Full is Your Bucket". I loved the conversations I had with my kids afterwards. They were very receptive of the idea of an imaginary bucket over our heads. This lead to awesome convos about how to treat one another respectfully. 

After reading the book, we had to start filling up our buckets! I downloaded a few different "drops" from the internet and had a mini lesson with my kiddos.

One of MANY ways to fill a bucket!

To introduce the lesson, I filled out a drop to our custodian. I thanked him for treating our school with respect and helping me when we had "the soil incident". (curious? We dropped soil all over the floor with WORMS! I don't touch worms.. so needless to say, I freaked out)

Afterwards, my kids were practically professional bucket fillers. Before I knew it, we were sending drops to other teachers and students around the school. It was truly incredible! 

What The Teacher Wants has free printables about bucket fillers here.

In my classroom, I created a bulletin board for our drops. It was by far the most meaningful bulletin board that I created for the year.

Thanks to a combination of Pinterest and Google, I have found several ideas for bulletin boards and buckets. Enjoy a few photos!

Clutter Free Classroom
Clutter Free Classroom

Clutter Free Classroom
This year, my bulletin board space is limited due to other things that need to be hanging. As usual, I was stumped on how to have buckets in my room. Then, Pinterest SAVED THE DAY! 

(at the current time Pinterest is not working... once it reboots, I will be able to show the original picture that I mimicked in my own classroom! Don't worry, I'll give credit ASAP!)

A bucket for everyone!
When school begins, students will be able to personalize and decorate their cup, err.. I mean bucket. 

Since I have yawned roughly 15 times in the past twenty minutes, I think that means it is time for me to go bed. Yep! There's #16. 


  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing everything you found! I'm excited to start bucket filling this year!

  2. Awesome! Thanks!! I have been looking for stuff like this!!


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