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
Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids
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:
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
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
6. To create more positive home and school environments
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
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!
Letters for a bulletin board
Bucket cut-outs (for kids to decorate & put on a bulletin board)
Filling a Bucket forms
I get emails all the time from teachers asking me about Bucket Filling.
I didn't create this
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
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
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
Library Pockets (you don't
have to use the fancy decorated ones)
Q: Do I need to buy the book to implement
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
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.