For the past year I have wanted to implement the Bucket Filler system into my classroom. I will start in the fall, but I need some help. First off, for those of you who are not familiar with "bucket fillers", the premise is basically that everyone carries around an invisible bucket and it is based on the book "Have You Filled A Bucket Today?" (see below). When we say and do nice things for others, we "fill their buckets". People can also be "bucket dippers" by saying or doing hurtful things. I think this is a great concept for 1st graders, and I like that you can positively reward them.
Here are some great sites with more ideas and free stuff that can help you get this up and going!
Mrs. Diller has great printables and writes extensively on how she uses this in her classroom.
Beth Newingham's Bucket Fillers
Official Bucket Fillers Site
***Here is my question: What do you use in your room? I'm thinking about getting the mini buckets and allowing the students to write positive messages to one another on slips of paper and then place them in the buckets. I want to have one big bucket that I fill with pompoms as the class receives compliments or behaves well.
I also want to have a classroom economy. This involves each student having something on their desk- possibly a notepad (maybe just a piece of paper with contact paper over it that I could write on with dry erase marker) that has a "Credit" and "Debit" side. If they are caught being good, working quietly, quickly following instructions, helping a friend, etc. then you would simply walk by and give them a tally under the credit side. The opposite is true for bad behavior- you mark a debit. At the end of the week they add up each side, and subtract it out (hello math skills!). Every so often you would open up the bank, have a "banker" student give them play money and allow them to purchase items at the class store (hello money skills!!). At the upper elementary levels, you can even have a class "economist" who tallies which items are in high and low demand, run sales based on this & create graphs. Love the math skills that are covered here! Beth Newingham is the guru of classroom economies, and she explains it much better with lots of pics. Check it out here! In Beth's class, the students even created innovative products that could be sold in the class store.
Next, I want to have teams. Each table will pick the sea creature mascot of their choice (we have an ocean theme in my class). I will write all the teams on the board and give them points (tallies) for doing excellent group work.
However, here is my problem: how do you keep this up? What incentives do you give to these kids? I'm thinking as a group they might could earn some extra technology time- computers/ipad/ipod/iphone on any educational game of their choice. I think they would like that. I tried this a year ago, and I had a hard time keeping it up because I started with big rewards early on. I learned. :) Also, I like the kid drawings, but overall this kind of looks messy, so I will definitely be cleaning this up a bit.
Positive Management Chart
Lastly, I wanted to share this management chart, especially for all the people that have the 3 colored cards or stoplight as your current management system. In your system, where is the incentive to be good? There is no room to improve or go up. The only response is consequences to negative behavior without focusing on positive behavior. I found this jewel at New Management, and I think it is great! There is even an e-book to help you get started. This sturdy looking vinyl chart can be ordered for $20.
*Update: Ashley Nichols at The Polka Dot Patch has some fantastic free resources that go with this chart! She has a discipline policy to send home to parents as well as class rules.
Whole Brain Teaching
Please see my earlier post on Whole Brain Teaching if you have not read it. It will change the way you teach!
So these are a few options of things that can spice up your classroom. I'm not advocating that you try it all together, but hopefully this has given you some new ideas. :) I know I will be making some changes next year!
What do you do for effective classroom management?
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