How Full is Your Bucket?
Sometimes when talking about rules at the beginning of the year, kids get the overkill of “be kind” or “follow the rules.” One book/ theory that I subscribe to with even my toughest classes is the “Bucket Theory” based upon the book “How Full is Your Bucket” by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton.
This book is based upon the premise that we are all a bucket. If someone is kind to us, it fills our bucket. If someone is not kind, they are called “bucket dippers.” In the end, it pays to be a bucket filler, because people will fill our buckets in return. This is great for both kids and adults alike. For staff development, our staff at school each had buckets on our desks. Other staff members could come and put things like notes, treats, etc in our bucket to “fill” it. The kids caught on, and it became a school-wide language. There is a children’s version of this book out, that is a great read for the beginning of the year.
I like this concept because it fits in perfectly with my theory of classroom management because it’s simple, quick, and involves no rewards. This means we can spend more time making art, and less time on management. Sometimes if I have a particularly disrespectful class in the art room, I will draw a bucket on the board and fill it up with how they are making ME, the teacher, feel. This gives them a visual representation and also reminds them that teachers are people, too, and their actions have consequences.
To kick off this “bucket theory” in my classroom this fall, I made a poster to hang near my classroom rules. Feel free to download it yourself! I have placed it in my “Visuals” tab at the top of the blog as well.
What are some simple but effective ways you use to build a positive classroom climate?