Sunday, August 16, 2015

Buckets of Kindness

 Are you starting out the school year right now or planning on starting in the next couple of weeks? Starting off the year on the right foot is important. Ever teacher knows that teaching procedures is essential in order for a classroom to run smoothly. After a week of procedures in my own classroom, I decided to add a little kindness into the mix. My students were understanding procedures and following rules and routines pretty well, but they were still tattling and getting frustrated with each other. I guess I should mention that I teach kindergarten, so most of the issue is just teaching them how to interact with multiple children at a time. I decided to read this book to my students.

As I was preparing to read this book, I started coming up with a whole list of ideas that would promote a positive classroom environment. 

The first idea I had was to create a bucket filler and dipper sort. After we read the book, we would discuss what being a filler means and what being a dipper means. The students really started to understand that when they make people happy, they become happier themselves. It was nice to be able to use these sorts as a way to practice identifying different behaviors. The students loved it so much that they started coming in from recess telling me all about how they were a bucket filler. The smiles on their faces were priceless!!

The next idea I had was to have a management system that goes along with bucket filling. As a class we can earn hearts whenever we see someone being a bucket filler. Once the bucket is filled the class can earn a surprise, extra recess, or even a small treat. This is not how I'm going to use it though. Since bucket filling is all about making good choices, I want to encourage happiness in my class. When our class fills the bucket with all of the hearts, we will have a meeting about Random Acts of Kindness (RAK). We will choose a person or people to preform a RAK for. This may be making cards for the class next door, cleaning up the playground, or even going down to the office and singing a little song for the secretaries. When my students are able to see the smiles on the faces of the people who get RAKed, this will be encouragement enough to keep earning more hearts.

The last part was to make fun craftivities that would reinforce making good choices, while still being fun.

So far I am really loving the bucket filling system in my class. I will continue to use it and add more to it as the year goes on. If you would like to use this in your classroom this year, you can pick up Buckets of Kindness in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

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