I am a firm believer in positive and encouraging classroom environments. Students who feel safe and encouraged are being set up to take risks, challenge themselves, and work hard. There are a few ways that I achieve this in my classroom. This post will outline how to create a bucket filler classroom so your students can feel successful and work hard.
How Full is Your Bucket
Every year I read the book How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids. This book explains the concept of each of us having an invisible bucket. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it’s empty, we feel awful. It goes through the importance and impact of our words and actions towards others. It also describes how when we fill others’ buckets, in return, it fills our own.
Some other bucket filler books that I love to read throughout the year include:
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids (Bucketfilling Books)Bucket Filling from A to Z: The Key to Being Happy
Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children
Bucket Filler Anchor Chart
After reading the story, we move into some class discussion. I ask my students the question, “What are some positive choices we can make this year?” Then I instruct them to “turn and teach”. At that point the kids turn and face their turn and teach partner and they take turns telling their partner ideas for positive choices. After approximately 1-2 minutes, we return to our whole group conversation and the students share some of their ideas aloud. At that point I add their ideas to the anchor chart you can see below.
I would recommend hanging this anchor chart on your classroom wall for the first month of school. You will see why I recommend this next.
Time to Implement
Here’s where the fun begins. The kids now understand some of your classroom expectations and the behaviors and actions they should strive towards. They also understand the importance of using words to fill their classmates’ buckets. Now they get to put this all to action.
At the beginning of the week, each student gets the name of somebody in their class. It is their responsibility to look for something positive from that student. It can be something that was written on the anchor chart that is displayed on your wall or something different. On the final day of the week, the students create their bucket filler tag. This is a fun and rewarding experience for your students. They choose the tag that matches the compliment. They can use pencil, markers, or crayons to get creative. Then they deliver their tag to the student. Give them about 5 minutes to share with each other about why they chose to compliment them on that specific behavior. At that point, the students put their tags on a necklace, binder ring, library pocket, take home folder, brag tag book, or even in their pencil box.
Where do you get the tags?
I have created some free brag tags to print and use in your classroom!
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