Bucket Fillers of All Ages

These past two weeks of guidance have been dedicated to Bucket Filling.

In my school, we have two classrooms for each grade level. I meet with one classroom from each grade level, each week (e.g. 1st grade on Mondays, 4th grade on Tuesdays, 3rd and 2nd grades on Wednesdays, and K on Thursdays). So after two weeks, I have meet with every class in my division.

The month of September is focused on the character traits Respect and Fairness. I also try to incorporate Communication Skills, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Anti-Victimization into my guidance lessons this month. As I talk about each of my lessons, I will show how all of these 5 skills can be incorporated.

Kindergarten Bucket Fillers

Topics Covered: Respect, Communication Skills, and Interpersonal Effectiveness

The Kindergarten classes have already read the bucket fillers book. So, instead of reading the book to them again, we just reviewed how we might fill or dip into each other’s buckets.

Then, we talked about how Emotional Eugene might be dipping into buckets by not showing how he feels.

Emotional Eugene brought along a friend for this lesson, K.T. Cockatiel.

K.T. talks about how there are different Me’s that live inside each person. We talk about how this doesn’t mean that you are different people, just that we act differently at different times.

I used this story/Powerpoint to help them visualize. The Me’s

Our different Me’s are the Enthusiastic Me – always wanting to play or work, the Impulsive Me – who doesn’t think before acting and gets angry easily, the Bossy Me – who acts like a parent or teacher telling others what to do, the Caring Me – who shows kindness to others and helps them out, and the Thinking Me – who helps us to make good choices.

K.T. teaches them that they can control which Me to use and they can’t blame their actions on a Me.

Afterward, we talk about how we will help Eugene find his different Me’s. Then they do the Emotional Eugene coloring page.

*I got K.T. and the Me’s from Rita Richardson’s book “Connecting With Others.”*

1st Grade Bucket Fillers

Topics Covered: Respect, Sharing (Fairness), and Interpersonal Effectiveness

For the 1st graders, I read them the “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” book. During the story, we talked about what the people looked like when their buckets were full and how they must feel. We did the same for the people in the book with empty buckets. We recognized ways to fill and dip into buckets. We also had a short discussion about how filling a bucket is the same as showing respect.

I then showed them a Notebook Babies video about sharing. Afterward, we named examples of bucket filling and bucket dipping that happened in the video. *Also, just like the Kinders are obsessed with the Jellybean Jamboree. The 1st graders are obsessed with Notebook Babies!*

We ended the session by making a class book. The top of their page said, “I can show respect by. . . ” respect_book paper

They drew a picture of how they could show respect/fill a bucket and I wrote about the story of the picture underneath. I got this class book idea from Marissa over at her blog Elementary School Counseling.

2nd Grade Bucket Fillers

Topics Covered: Respect, Communication Skills, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Anti-Victimization

This lesson is exactly the same as the first grade lesson except I didn’t use the Notebook Babies video. If you watch it, you’ll know why.

Instead, I used a clip from the movie Sandlot. I got the clip from Film Clips for Character Education. In the clip, the boys are discussing whether or not they will let Smalls play baseball with them. All of the boys are making fun of Smalls, while Benny decides to give him a chance and help him practice.

After the movie, just like with Notebook Babies, the boys discussed examples of bucket filling and bucket dipping from the movie.

Ending the session with the class book.

3rd Grade Bucket Fillers

Topics Covered: Respect, Communication Skills, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Anti-Vicitmization

This lesson began the same as the last two. We read the book and discussed the actions of bucket filling and dipping. Third grade even got to watch The Sandlot video clip and participate in the same activity as 2nd grade.

Although instead of making a class book, I decided to get these boys up and moving around. We played a sharing feelings game (sounds lame, but they LOVED it).

1. I would count down 5-4-3-2-1. By the time I got to 1 they were standing face-to-face with a partner.

2. I showed them Feeling Elf game card.

3. They took turns sharing a time, memory, or example that went with the feeling on the card. Example: I held up Worried. One of my students told me that he was worried last year that he wouldn’t finish his country report.

4. We did 6 rounds and then came back up to the carpet.

5. I allowed some to share their experiences, because inevitably once we got back together they needed to share these various stories with everyone!

We ended the lesson by reflecting (in writing) a time that they filled someone else’s bucket.

4th Grade Bucket Filling

Topics Covered: Respect, Communication Skills, and Interpersonal Effectiveness

4th grade is a bit different. You see, I taught these boys last year. So they know me , and they know me well! Which is no big deal, but it has been a little hard for them to understand me, as a teacher and me, as the counselor.

Anyways, our lesson still proceeded with the bucket filling book. I think that this book might be too young for them and I probably need to look into finding a more age appropriate book that teaches the same sort of concept. If you know of one, hook me up! Either way, we talked about the bucket being a symbol for something. As I read, they tried to figure out what the bucket symbolized. They came up with your heart, God’s love, etc. I then introduced the idea of self-esteem.

Anyways, we discussed how to fill buckets (which is of course a deeper level of thinking than the previous grades).

Later, I talked to them about my new Peers As Leaders (PALS) group that I was putting together for 4th grade. This group allows the 4th graders to take ownership over decisions being made in the Lower School Division. Perhaps they want to do a skit about walking in the hallways quietly for the 1st graders. Or make posters in the hallway about proper recess behaviors. The options are endless and the best part is . . .  . IT’S COMPLETELY STUDENT RUN! So, all I have to do is mediate the conversation and make sure their goals are obtainable.

Here’s the application I used for the PALS group. Peers as Helpers Application

This discussion also lead to making connections about how bucket filling is contagious and they will be some what of the “professional bucket fillers” in the school.

Overall, these past two weeks have been pretty successful. I’ve started planning for my lessons for the next two weeks which are currently consisting of Friendship Skills (e.g. Interpersonal Effectiveness and Anti-Victimization). I thought this would be a good follow-up to being a respectful, bucket filler. I will keep you update on it’s progress!

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