A Non-Techie Resource: Bucket Fillers

If you Google “Bucket Fillers”, as I did when my 2nd grader came home talking about it last fall, the first link that you will most likely click on will be the  Bucket Fillers 101 site. It was here that I first read about the book by Carol McCloud and learned that this was about spreading love and good feelings towards others. For my daughter, at first, it was also about boosting her self esteem. She was coming home with little slips of paper (from her bucket) that said she was a good reader, that someone liked her shirt, that she had a nice smile. This did amazing things for her social well being as she was the new kid in her class and feeling very shy.

I asked Emma’s teacher if we could work on a project together documenting how the students used the buckets. The students would write the script for an Animoto, I would take the pictures, but they would creatively design poses that didn’t include any faces as we wanted to be able to share the video on YouTube.

This did amazing things for her social well being as she was the new kid in her class and feeling very shy.

In the meantime, I came to find that Bucket Filling was not such a unique concept. I heard Lisa Parisi and Maria Knee talking about it on Conversations. I saw that Scholastic had a post about it. I even found that countless educators had posted their lessons plans and resources using buckets in their classrooms.

So Mrs. Skaar from Evergreen Elementary School in Scotch Plains and I forged ahead. We set aside two blocks of time that I would work in the classroom with the students. She work ahead of time with them writing the script and then her student teacher and I helped them type everything into the computer. (They only had one computer in the classroom, so between my laptop and that one, we typed as fast as we could.)

You might ask why all of this?

I wanted to make sure that my daughter always remembered the lessons she learned in Mrs. Skaar’s class about being a Bucket Filler and not a Bucket Dipper. I saw the impact that it had on her and I wanted to create the video with the students so that they could look back and remember how it felt to read the little slips of paper. I also wanted them to share the experience with their families, so Mrs. Skaar sent the link to the Animoto to all the parents after we were finished.

Lastly, I encouraged Mrs. Skaar to share the project with her peers and I hoped that the video would encourage other teachers in the district to adopt Bucket Filling, or something similar, in their classrooms. Many of the students in the class expressed an interest in continuing with the program the next year, and I certainly could imagine both my children benefiting from boosts in self esteem and lessons in non-bullying behavior. Please watch their video and consider looking into their program if you don’t already do something similar with your students.

18 thoughts on “A Non-Techie Resource: Bucket Fillers

  1. Rebecca Atkins says:

    Love this video! I would love to show my teachers at my school (I am a counselor) but youtube is blocked. Would you be willing to put on teachertube or schooltube?

    Thank you!!!

  2. Raquel Williams says:

    This is so cute Lisa! I love how you maximize this lesson using the technology! Love it! You are just amazing my friend!!!
    Raquel Williams

  3. Morgan Mohler says:

    Hi, I am currently an elementary education student taking an EDM 310 class which focuses on blogging and learning about ways to use technology in teaching. All of the students in the class were assigned a teacher’s blog to read and summarize in our own blogs. I want to tell you how blown away I was by this post! I had never heard of “Bucket Fillers” prior to reading your blog! It is such an amazing idea and I feel like it’s especially important for children to have that positive feedback from their peers! This is going to change the way children view themselves and their peers! I can’t wait to tell other people I know about this project! . Thanks so much for sharing! If you would like to read my summary of your blog, I will be posting it September 12. Here is a link for my blog: http://www.mohlermorganedm310.blogspot.com/. Also, here is a link for our class blog: http://www.edm310.blogspot.com/

  4. LaChandra Lett says:

    Hello, my name is LaChandra Lett. I am currently attending the University of South Alabama in Mobile Alabama. My major is Special Education collaborative K-6. I read your post and watched the video. Bucket filling is a brilliant way to help boost students’ self-esteem. I believe it is important for students to receive complements from their peers. This method eliminates bullying and negative tension in the classroom. I think bucket filling will change students’ lives in positive way. I think every educator should incorporate this idea into their classroom. One positive word to a student could change their entire life. I will incorporate this idea into my future classroom. Thanks for this post and I look forward to your future postings.

    Dr. Strange’s EDM310 TT2

  5. Hello, my name is Matthew Rodriguez. I am currently enrolled at the University of South Alabama and I am studying to be a Secondary Political Science/ History teacher. I am enrolled in a computer class called EDM310 under the teachings of Professor John Strange and in this class he gave us the assignment to comment on both teacher and student blogs. I was assigned this blog and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to find out how encouraging and loving your site is to students. I have never heard of the “bucket fillers” before and I wish they would have had this while I was in school. I can just see how this would brighten up someone’s day and I love how this program discourages bullying, which is something that all schools should try to do. This is a great program and I loved the video. I hope you keep doing this in the many years to come

    1. Thanks for your comments Morgan, LaChandra and Matthew.
      Until last year I had never heard of Bucket Filling either, but now the entire 2nd grade in that school will be using the idea. Before the students started this fall, Mrs. Skaar turn-keyed it to her colleagues. She also shared the video and now they are all set up and ready. I’m looking forward to hearing her updates on how it is going.


  6. Beth Laureano says:

    I am having issues with negative social behavior in my Third Grade class. I had e-mailed the staff at my school to ask for advice and my prinicpal introduced my staff to your blog, specifically this page.I am so encouraged! I would love to try this out. Lisa, I tried clicking on the link for Bucket Fillers 101 but the website is not working. Where can I get more information on how to implement this?

      1. Beth Laureano says:

        did your daughter’s teacher work at a bucket filling school, or did she read the book and implement bucket filling in your daughter’s classroom?


      2. Hi Beth,
        Mrs. Skaar, my daughter’s teacher implemented Bucket Filling in her class for the 1st time last year. This year the entire grade is doing it.
        She was the first in the school.

  7. Judy says:

    I love the video and would love to use the song in my classroom. Could you please let me know the title and artist of the song? Thanks!

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