Creating a Bucket Filling Classroom

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?  Do you even know what I'm talking about?  😜  If you do, then this post is for you.  If not, are you looking for a way to teach your students how to be kind and respectful?  Then keep reading, I think you're going to like this.

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.  By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase.   This helps me to continue writing this blog and providing you with these tips and ideas.  Thanks!

Creating a classroom community of kindness and respect is something we start working on from day one.  One of my favorite ways to do that is with the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.

This book explains that everyone has an invisible bucket.  We can fill those buckets by being kind to others and when others do nice things for us. We can empty those buckets when we are mean or unkind.  It's a brilliant idea that even our youngest learners can grasp.

My own child started learning about this in preschool and has continued this year in kindergarten.  I have used it for years with my first graders and I have friends who teach upper elementary and use it too.

I suggest you check out this book.  I promise it will transform your classroom.

Curious about what a bucket filler and bucket dipper are?  Check this out. We talk a lot about how you can be a bucket filler or dipper for friends in our classroom.  We also talk about how you can be a bucket filler or dipper for me, their teacher.   I hope this helps give you some ideas what to look for in your classroom.
So let me go into a little more detail on how I actually teach being bucket fillers in my classroom. 

Read Aloud

The first thing I do to teach my students how to be Bucket Fillers is read the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.  Like most books I read and share, I don't just read it.  I do an interactive read aloud with it.  I have an interactive read aloud for you already prepared.  It will make it super easy to read and interact with this book. 
Click >>HERE<< or on the image below. 
If you are familiar with my interactive read aloud resources, this one includes all of the same things.  You can see all of my IRA resources by clicking >>HERE<<.

This resource includes:
  1. All About Interactive Read Alouds
  2. Tips & Tricks for Interactive Read Alouds from me, a first grade teacher. 
  3. Interactive Read Aloud PLANNER for 2 complete, color-coded interactive read alouds.
  4. Sticky note printables. 
  5. Print & cut notes. 
  6. Tips for printing on sticky notes
  7. Sticky note template to use when printing
  8. Vocabulary cards including the words and definitions 
  9. 3 Reading connections/retelling worksheets
  10. 2 mini-posters to complete on being bucket dippers and fillers.
  11. Class book cover and template. 
I think the best part of my IRA resources are the printable sticky notes.  The stopping points, vocabulary, comprehension checks, and questions are ready for you.  All you have to do is print.  
Want to know how to print on sticky notes?  Check out this post >>HERE<<
The print and cut notes and vocabulary notes make it easy to do this IRA too. 
After you've read it, these retelling and comprehension worksheets are perfect to assess or to create a class book on how to be bucket fillers.  

Bucket Filler Activities

After we read the book, I like doing all sorts of activities to really enforce being a bucket filler.  I often spread these activities out and do them when I feel like my class needs a refresher.       

Check out this resource by clicking >>HERE<< or on the image below.   

Bucket Filling Sorts

After we have read the book, I usually take some time to do some sorts.  I love using picture sorts for my firsties.  I give each student a picture and we sort them as a class deciding if the picture depicts being a bucket filler or bucket dipper.  I'll have the student who has the picture choose first to get an idea if they are understanding this concept.  Then I have the rest of the class put their thumbs up or down to agree or disagree.  I like using this time to have students support why they agree or disagree.  I provide them with sentences starters to support their language . As a dual language teacher, supporting their language is always on my mind.    

Sentence Starters
I agree with ____ because...
I disagree with ____ because...

I will do this word sort later in the year or it would be perfect for older grades. 

Bucket Filler Bulletin Board

Another activity I love to do with my students is this bucket filler craft.  Students get to color and decorate their own bucket and then write several ways they can fill buckets.  
This resource also includes the BUCKET FILLER bulletin board title letters as seen here.  

Bucket Filler Celebrations

The last thing I usually do to create a bucket filling classroom is to find and acknowledge when my students are being bucket fillers.  I love to point out exactly what a student is doing and start with "Thank you _____ for being a bucket filler.  You were____."  That way the students know exactly what they did correctly.  I love handing out certificates, giving kids bracelets and sending little notes home.   Anything to get students engaged with the idea and for parents to know about it too. 

All of these certificates and rewards are also in my Bucket Fillers Activities resource.  
Click >>HERE<< to see it.    
If you know my other behavior system, TICKETS, my students would also get a ticket for being a bucket filler.   

clicking the image below or >>HERE<<.
Have I sold you on creating a bucket filling classroom yet?

If so, check out this Bucket Filler BUNDLE with both of my Bucket Filling resources. 

More Bucket Filling Resources

Have you done Bucket Filling before and are looking for more resources?  Check these out! Click on any of the images below.  
Have you seen any of these?  I'd love to know what you do in your classroom to teach your students how to be bucket fillers.  Post a comment blow, or email me at or click >>HERE<<.  I'd LOVE to hear from you!

If you found this blog post helpful, please pin and share. I truly appreciate when you share my posts.
That's all I have for you today.  I hope you will try creating a Bucket Filling classroom.

Happy bucket filling!

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