Welcome back! Our second year together has had an amazing start and the students and I are excited to share our learning and experiences with you. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts with us as well. Enjoy exploring!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How Full is Your Bucket?

This week we introduced a new way to recognize our feelings and the feelings of others based on the wonderful book, "How Full is Your Bucket?" by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. The book introduces the idea that we all have imaginary buckets over our heads that reflect how we are feeling at any given moment. The idea is that when you are happy your bucket is full and when you are sad, it is empty. The story also introduces different ideas for how you can fill someone's bucket by being kind, helpful, and supportive. It also made it clear that when your bucket is empty, you can sometimes want others to have an empty bucket too, but the act of doing something mean or hurtful to someone else does not help fill your bucket back up, but actually empties it more. With this visual reference, the kids had an easier time grasping the bigger concept of empathy and evaluating their own feelings at different times when things happen and it made it a lot of fun!
After coming up with a classroom list about "bucket filling behaviors" and "bucket emptying behaviors", we put our new knowledge and language to the test as we went outside with Mrs. Eaton's class to play on the playground. To reinforce and practice the idea throughout their time outside, each student had some stickers that they could give to a friend any time they filled their bucket. It was great to look around the field and see one student helping another balance, someone tying someone's shoe, and another asking if their peer was OK after they had tripped while running. There was a lot of bucket filling going on!
The next day the kiddos wrote on a raindrop one act that they could do for someone that would fill their bucket. There were a lot of great ideas; introducing yourself to someone new, comforting somebody when they are sad, and even helping someone with laundry. I was then further impressed by the time and effort they put into illustrating their raindrop, they really did a great job!
We will continue to talk about bucket filling and bucket emptying behaviors as well as using this language throughout the day. I encourage you to ask your kiddo to explain the concept to you and use this language at home as well if you would like. We are also lucky to have this book in the library, so your kiddo can check it out if they are interested in sharing it with you! The students loved brainstorming ideas and it really is a helpful way for them to speak to one another if a tricky situation takes place. Lastly, you can always ask yourself, "Have I filled someone's bucket today?"

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