October is ‘National Bully Prevention Month’ so I have been trying to think of ways to jazz up my anti-bullying activities throughout the month. My school uses the “bucket filling” program as it’s school wide anti-bullying program. If you are not familiar with it, bucket filling is based on the book ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids’ by Carol McCloud. The book talks about when I treat others with respect and kindness, I am “filling their bucket.” But, when I am unkind to others, I am “bucketing dipping” and stealing from others buckets. It’s very cute and I notice how the primary grades respond and implement it daily. The problem is my 5th graders say it is “babyish” and I am constantly having to look for new ways to make it relevant and get them interested in bucket filling.
Inspiration hit me yesterday while I was walking through Target. I, like most other teachers, love the $1 racks that are usually placed near the front of most Target stores. While looking through the fall and Halloween decorations I found these awesome buckets for only $1 each. The buckets are large and made of a sturdy plastic material so they will make it through the whole month with my rough 5th graders. There is also a variety of colors to choose from.
My intention is to use these buckets throughout the month of October to promote ‘Bully Prevention Month’ and our bucket filling program. Each student will be given a bucket and materials to write their name and decorate their buckets. I have some empty shelves in my room where all the students will sit their buckets. I have also put a stack of cards on the shelves with a place to write a date, a person’s name, and something kind that person is doing. Anytime a student sees someone being kind or respectful, they can fill out a card and put it in that person’s bucket. At the end of the month, when we have our fall/Halloween party, the students will get their buckets. Rather than buckets full of candy treats (which our district strongly discourages anyways), the students will get buckets full of encouraging treats from their peers.