Friday, February 4, 2011

Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?

Despite my many attempts at teaching my class about being kind, polite and respectful, I still feel we  need some more practice in these areas.  I have done lessons on tattling and have several positive behavior systems in place (color chart, paper clip chain, school- wide token economy), but we need something else to provide concrete scaffolding to help the students be reflective and change their behavior.

I had used class meetings in a previous school district I worked in, and even did some research during my student teaching on the effectiveness of class meetings ( I saw positive results) I have decided to beef up my morning meeting and include more character education. I explained instead of morning message on Fridays, we would have a class meeting where we spend time playing a short "team bonding" game, talking about 2 problems we noticed from the week and then brainstorming solutions to those problems, and last highlighting the positive parts of our week. I read Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids  by Carol McCloud.

This was a "new to teaching" find for me, but now I have read about a lot of schools that use this as their school-wide behavior management system.

I had tried the day before to start up a "kindness pebble jar"...every time I caught a student being kind, I would add a pebble to the jar, but I needed a good read aloud to anchor the idea. Then another first grade teacher shared this book with me. I read it today and the kids loved it. We had a great morning and earned 10 kindness pebbles for our class bucket. I heard kids saying "You are filling up my bucket" and asking me if my bucket was filled. (They couldn't believe teachers have buckets.)
(PS: This book has major implications for adults and teachers too!) 

Below is the bucket box and the little buckets I found at Target. I think I will use the star bucket first as our class bucket. I just grabbed a few more in case I needed one bucket for each table or something else in the future. The box is for students to put in bucket dipper or bucket filler examples for us to talk about at our weekly class meeting on Friday. I am hoping instead of tattling, students will try to write or draw about their concern and put it in the bucket box, especially during literacy work stations when I am busy with guided reading groups.


Rachelle said...

YAY! What a coincidence! I hope my printables will help you! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Pauette said...

Hey, I love your blog idea. It is a good source of refeshing ideas. You get the bucket and I will keep you supplied in pebbles. When it gets warmer, Jenna and I will go down to Bonnet and get you a variety of magical rocks and pebbles. You can even show the kids some pics from your scrapbook when you and liz were little. Make up a story about a magical beach with magical pebbles. I will also get different sizes, shapes and textures. You could include the idea that a "really big or special kindness" earns a nice big rock, which fills up your bucket faster. A rock might be earned for a kindess that affects the whole class. You could also have the kids pick a pebble/rock to match their kindness. This might help them to become self-reflective, just as you are doing. I'm sure this is a concept they are unfamiliar with. after the bucket is filled, you can have the kids paint the rocks. Jenna has a rock painting book I can send you. Then they could take the pebbles/rocks home as visual reminders of kindness. We can keep you supplied with neverending pebbles. when you come this summer, we can go to various locations to complete your stash. I love you and you are a magical teacher.