Spark Student Motivation - Bucket Fillers

I am so happy to be linking up with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation linky party. I am mostly excited to head over to her blog and read about (okay borrow) some new ideas to get me through the end of the year. Click on the button to head over to her blog.

This week I am sharing our Bucket Filling program. I will not go into details about the book or the message since I am sure you all already now about it - I am just going to share how I run the program in my class.

This is our 3rd year of bucket filling and my favorite so far. Each Friday we take the last 30 minutes to fill buckets. Each students gets this sheet and fills it out for two classmates (or their) teacher if they are feeling so inclined).

I don't know where I got this form, sorry, I tried Google Images but couldn't find it!
 At the beginning of the year I assign them 2 names, then we move to them selecting two people and telling me the names (in a whisper voice) so I can keep track and make sure everyone is getting at least one bucket. Then we move on to a free for all - I emphasize the importance of giving buckets to a variety of people, writing meaningful comments and thinking about someone who might need to hear some kind words.

I have extra copies for myself - I select a couple of students that I want to acknowledge and then do anyone who hasn't gotten one from a classmate. I add stickers and pretty colour ink to mine so they are super special.

We have used buckets when a classmate is seriously ill or having a particularly difficult time. My class loves reading their comments and having gotten so good at saying thank you to each other. I usually make them wait till they are packed up to get them - but I always catch a few kids sneaking a peek and then putting them right back!

My favorite part of my program this year is how we deliver our buckets. I use the pocket chart that is attatched to my book cart - it is supposed to be for signing out books but I made it our bucket filling area - here it is:

Sign from Christina Bainbridge

If you are feeling motivated to check out some blogs this weekend be sure to head over to this giveaway. Click on the picture to get there.


  1. I love this book and idea! It was especially helpful last year when I looped with my class and they really knew how to push each other's buttons!

    I'm proud you can do it every Friday...It became a management issue for me...I'm going to sit down this summer and really look towards next year and how I want to implement all of these wonderful ideas!

    Collaboration Cuties

  2. I have heard about this all year! I just have little faith in myself that I could keep it up all year. It is great that you have a schedule for every Friday. I need to think about how I could manage this because it is such an important lesson!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  3. I love this idea! I am like Amanda and Holly- I worry about the management which is why I haven't done it yet. Maybe next year!
    ideas by jivey
    Follow me on Facebook!

  4. This is such a cute idea. I love how you carve out time every Friday. I am going to need to try this out.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  5. I love this program...I also tried it last year and had a hard time keeping up with it, but would love to try it again.

    Literacy Spark

  6. I just ordered the book last week, so I'd like to implement this idea for next year. I, like everyone else, love how you have it part of your weekly schedule. It's such an important activity, but if not on the schedule can easily get lost in a busy day. I appreciate that you make it so meaningful and important to your kids! Thanks so much for sharing and coming to my party!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching


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