The first week of school, we took the time to create class rules with the help of the students. During this time, we read the book How Full is Your Bucket? The book explains to students that we all carry an invisible bucket in which we keep our feelings about ourselves. When our buckets are full, we are happy; when they are empty, we are sad. We talked about how caring and respecting each other can fill not only the other person's bucket but also our own bucket. Students value themselves and each other when they are helpful, compassionate, and unselfish. "Bucket fillers" are those who help without being asked, give compliments, and spread kindness to others.
What happens when a student fills up his or her bucket?
Pom-poms are removed and a sticker is added to the bucket to show that it has been filled up. There is no reward for filling up a bucket and no student is the "winner" for filling his or her bucket the most times. The activity is designed to intrinsically motivate students.