May 8, 2016

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: Community Building in the Classroom

Use this activity to create a sense of community and a culture of kindness in your classroom. Give your students their own "buckets" to fill with kindness!

This community building activity is based off of the book, Have You Filled A Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud. It's all about how you should treat others, and the consequences for your words and actions towards others - both good and bad.

Click here for the graphics in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!  This listing is for the letters for "BUCKET" and "FILLERS" for your bulletin board.

I used clear plastic cups as buckets, using a push pin to attach them to the bulletin board.  They're not shown in the picture, but I printed each student's name out on a label and just stuck it to the cup.  Don't forget to make one for yourself!  I also used push pins to hold the book up on the bulletin board.  I put one on the top and bottom of the book (without actually piercing the book) in order to hold it put there without damaging it.  You can also cut up bulletin board border and just drop it inside the bucket to add some cuteness. :)

The children fill each others buckets by writing kind notes to each other throughout the day.  We had a new student the year, and without me saying a word about it, my students had filled her bucket by the end of the day.  Think about the fears of little girl entering a brand new school, where she doesn't know a soul.  Imagine how those fear were eased after receiving a handful of kind notes from her brand new classmates.  Like I said, I did not tell them to do that.  They did it all on their own.  Needless to say, this strategy works!  I took it down in December.  Halfway through the year after they had become very comfortable with each other, they started to just write random notes to each other.  I think the novelty of the physical wore off (but not the kindess!), and it was time to move on to something else.

This is my favorite note I have gotten in my own bucket.  (Yes, I have one too!) 

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