Fill a Bucket by Carol McCloud and Katherine Martin, M.A., and is illustrated by David Messing. This book is a “Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children.” This book refers to bucket dippers and fillers as those who give put downs or put ups. It is a visual way to help explain esteem and confidence to young children. It is part of the bucket series, this one being for the youngest.
What I disliked:
It is what I was expecting.
What I liked:
This was an excellent tool for explaining emotions to the young children I worked with; specifically it was an excellent tool they used to express themselves to me. Instead of “Charlie is a jerk,” and then crossing their arms and huffing, the students after reading the book would be like, “Charlie was a bucket dipper! He took my pencil and wouldn’t give it back!”
Or, to the contrary, they may come dancing into my office and announce, “My bucket is full today! First, Mom let me have a doughnut for breakfast. Then Jill on the bus shared her iPod. Then at school Mrs. A said she loved the picture I colored for her. I filled her bucket, but mine is full, too!” It gave the students and I a common language to share life together that lasted long after they left my office.
I would suggest having this book on hand for early elementary teachers and school social workers. It came in handy for the right students, and also gave entire classrooms language to use when discussing classroom culture.
I used it as a School Social Worker during the month of February when our Character theme of the month was Caring, though it could be expanded to other character traits as well. We read and talked about the book. I then gave the class stars and hearts to fill out and when they noticed their bucket being filled, they wrote or drew the nice action and turned it in to their teacher. On the door leading into the classroom was a gigantic bucket, and the students were excited to see their classroom bucket fill. There are lots of free resources online with their correlating website bucketfillers101.com.
Where to find it:
You can find a hardcover copy on Amazon for less than $7, the same as I 🙂