If you are not familiar with the bucket filler concept, the premise is that everyone has an invisible bucket, and we can fill each others' bucket by saying kind words and using kind actions, which in turn fills our own invisible bucket. The other side is that we are sometimes bucket dippers (bullying). Beth Newingham wrote a great article called Have You Students Filled a Bucket Today? She gives a much better explanation!
I checked out Have You Filled a Bucket Today? from the library and read it to the class. This book was a great resource for introducing the students to the bucket filling concept. We had a great discussion on how to be bucket fillers.
I created the interactive bucket filler bulletin board above to help remind us to be bucket fillers. Each student signed our pledge (words from Suesstastic Classroom), and they each have their own actual "bucket" in the form of library pockets with a picture of a bucket (from What the Teacher Wants). During Work on Writing or when they have finished their work, they may write bucket filling messages (template from What the Teacher Wants) to each other. I uploaded the bulletin signs I created to Google Docs if you are interested.
So far, I love the implementation of this concept...the students are all about writing kind messages to each other and recognizing when someone has filled their invisible bucket or dipped into their invisible bucket. I peeked inside their buckets, and they were writing the sweetest messages to each other! I love it too because when I see or hear them not using kind actions or words, I can say, "How can you change your choices so that you are filling ____'s bucket and your own bucket?"
How do you build a sense of community and relationships with your students?