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How Full Is Your Bucket?

Submitted by Columbus C. Brooks, Pittsburgh, PA
This lesson is taught in conjunction with the book How Full Is Your Bucket?  by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. It encourages young children to be kind to one another both in and out of the classroom.

The children at The Early Learning Institute's Penn Center preschool class are learning about friendship and being nice to others (i.e., inviting a friend to play, using nice words, being a good helper, etc.).  After reading the story, How Full Is Your Bucket?, by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer, our teacher, Ms. Laine made each child a “bucket” that they wear around their neck throughout the day.  When a child is noticed being nice to another child or doing a good job they get a “drop” or a sticker in their “bucket.”  Once the “bucket” is full the children are able to pick a reinforcer out of the prize box.  The children seem to enjoy the concept of filling their “bucket” and of course, they’ll love visiting the prize box when their “bucket” is full.  As parents come and go each day it's interesting to hear their comments:  "Remember to fill your bucket today" or "Think about your bucket while your in school today."  This concept has completely changed the tone of the classroom.  There is more kindness, sharing, and helping and less arguing and selfishness.

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Bucket Fillling is used quite a bit in our school division at the elementary level. I use the book "Have Your Filled a Bucket Today?" by Carol McCloud. Some schools do it school-wide! I bought a small bucket for each classroom and office. Students thank others for "Filling their invisible Bucket" with kindness. Teachers can fill each other's Bucket as well! They write their thank-you on a Bucket Note. Bucket filling spreads! Sandy Wason from Yorktown, Va

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