Background HTML

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bucket Filling

I have been doing Bucket Filling for about 5 years in my elementary schools and I absolutely LOVE IT! If you are not familiar with Bucket Filling it is based off of Carol McCloud's Have You Filled A Bucket Today? book. She has authored 5 books in total about Bucket Filling and Tom Rath has also written a book entitled How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids that I use a lot as well.

The Bucket Filling concept is that our buckets are full when we are happy and feel good about ourselves. We need other people to help fill our buckets and they need us to help fill theirs. Filling another person's bucket is easy. A bucket can be filled by doing something as simple as a smiling and greeting someone, remembering to say thank you when someone has been kind, helping a friend with a problem, or complimenting someone on a job well done. Really the list is endless when it comes being a ‘Bucket Filler’. But sometimes, people dip into our buckets and that is called ‘Bucket Dipping’.  This is what we want to try to avoid doing to others. Bucket Dipping is when people use unkind words, bully others, say or do mean or inappropriate things, not helping others or not treating others in a respectful way.

I go into the classrooms and read one of the Bucket Filling books with the students to introduce the concept to them. I go over what Bucket Filling is and what Bucket Dipping is as well introduce some examples of both.                        

I then go into a more interactive portion of the classroom guidance lesson where the students actually get to practice filling each other buckets. I include the teacher and any assistants in the classroom in this activity as well. I give half of the class buckets and the other of of the class gets bingo chips. The students with the chips go around to the students with the buckets and give them either a specific and personal compliment or say something nice to them then drop one or two chips into their buckets. We continue this for a little while with the adults assisting the students as needed. We then gather on the carpet and the students share something that was said to them that really filled their buckets and made them feel good. We then switch it up and the students with the buckets get chips and we do it all over again. 

I get my buckets at Target's dollar section. These are some that I picked up this weekend while they were 70% off, so they were only 30 cents each.

I then go over the Bucket Filler of the Week program at our school and show the students the slips they will be using to nominate each other. Staff members can also nominate students. I give each classroom their own bucket with Bucket Filler of the Week slips in it.

I made these slips using the BucketFiller image from for use in my school only to help reinforce the concept with students.

When a student is a Bucket Filler of the Week at my school they get a certificate, a Bucket Filler sticker, a Bucket Filler pencil and their group picture is taken. I display the group picture outside my office and the principal also posts their picture on our school blog this year which is pretty neat for the kids! I really try to make being chosen as a Bucket Filler of the Week seem like a big deal.

I made this certificate using the BucketFiller image from for use in my school only to help reinforce the concept with students.

I recently came across a Bucket Filling SMART Board lesson online that I think I am going to edit this year to use with my 5th and 6th grade students as the interactive piece during their classroom guidance lesson. I need to edit to use with an older audience and personalize it more to the school setting. Once I get around to doing this I will definitely share it with everyone. But it looks pretty interesting - let me know if any of you have already used it and what you think!
BucketFiller newsletter blurb that was sent home to families. The logo is taken from to help reinforce the concept at home.

Below are some examples of different bulletin boards I have done throughout the years for Bucket Filling.
I put the group picture of the Bucket Fillers of the Week up on the bulletin board in the middle of their art work.

The coloring page is available here.

Pin It

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad I came across your blog! I'm planning to start bucket fillers with my class this week. I like your practice session with the buckets and chips, and thank you for posting about the smartboard lesson. I plan to include them both. Thanks-a-bunch!