Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bucket Filling Bonanza

Cantiague Elementary School has been a Bucket Filling School since 2008! After the Shared Decision Making Committee Meeting decided that the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? would be the anchor for our school theme the following year things have exploded at our school. Although Bucket Filling was intended to be a one year theme, it has evolved into a philosophy and way of life at our school. Every child has read the anchor text during their time at Cantiague and each September we kick off the year with an assembly for each grade level where I read a picture book that supports or extends the Bucket Filling philosophy (see the picture below). Bucket Filling has become a way of life at Cantiague and as a result of being a Bucket Filling School we have seen an improvement in our students' self-esteem and a decrease in incidents of bullying and harassment. This way of life has provided us a common language that is simple enough for every child to understand yet powerful enough to convey a strong message. Additionally, as a result of being a Bucket Filling School here are some of the things that have happened in our school (first check out some pics & then read about the activities that have taken place)...

Our 2nd Graders writing about ways to be a Bucket Filler & avoid being a Bucket Dipper

Bulletin board in our Main Lobby that spotlights Bucket Filling & the Big Five

One of the banners we had made featuring the winning slogan from our contest

These posters hang up all over the school as a reminder

Displays like this are found in many of our classrooms as Bucket Filling is a way of life

This display is featured in our Library

One of our 2nd Graders included Being a Bucket Filler on his Heart Map for Writer's Workshop (upper center on the right side)

These are some of the books we have used to kick off each school year!

Some ideas we have implemented to further support the Bucket Filling way of life...

1) We implemented the Positive Behavior Referral Form (would be happy to share it with anyone who is interested) - each teacher in our building is given a bunch of these forms at the start of the year and they are encouraged to fill them out when they observe a child being a Bucket Filler (list of suggested things are at the bottom of the form). Our goal is to get one form completed for every child in our school. After the teachers complete the form, they give them to me and then I call the parents and tell them that their child was a Bucket Filler for whatever reason. Then I keep those forms in my office and each week a few of the kids are announced as Bucket Fillers of the Week (I get through every form before the end of the year) and they come down and get a pencil, wristband and their picture is taken and put on our website. This then gets emailed to the parents.

2) One year we had a slogan writing contest and the kids were encouraged to create their own Bucket Filling slogans. We narrowed it down to 10 slogans and then had a school-wide vote. The top three slogans (i.e. - At Cantiague Elementary we are Changing the World One Bucket At a Time) were put on banners and they hang around our building.

3) Another year we had a song writing contest and each grade level created lyrics about being a Bucket Filling school set to the music of Don't Stop Believin'. We then had a school-wide assembly and each grade got on stage and performed the song. Then we had a vote and the winning song is now our school theme song!

4) Two years ago the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders worked in small groups and created Public Service Announcements about Being a Bucket Filling and how to avoid Bucket Dipping. These PSAs were videotaped and shown across the school over a period of time.

5) We have little buckets in the lunchroom - one for each lunch table - and when tables are showing exemplary behavior they get paper drops and the table with the most drops at the end of the month gets extra recess. 

6) Each day we celebrate the Big Five (which have become the pillars of our Bucket Filling philosophy)... Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, Be Positive and Be Kind - it is announced every morning and every afternoon when we remind children to be Bucket Fillers!

This is just a quick glimpse into the world of Bucket Filling at Cantiague Elementary School where we are Changing the World, One Bucket At a Time! 

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