Teacher's Bookish Pick

Teacher’s Bookish Pick: September 2016.

Hello! I’m back today with a new blog post on something I’m hoping to do monthly: Teacher’s Bookish Pick. I’m really excited about starting this and sharing books that the children I teach have loved. There are so many good books out there that can be used in classrooms and not enough chat (that I’ve seen anyway) about them. Without any further ado, let’s get started!

haveyoufilledabucket

Title: Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids.

Author: Carol McCloud

Published by: Nelson Publishing and Marketing.

Age Range: 5+ (but more suited to younger readers, imo).

My Class: Scotland P4 age, all around 8 years old.

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A book promoting daily acts of kindness for all ages. This book talks about how everyone has an invisible bucket. If someone does something nice for you – even just makes you smile – something is added to your bucket. If you feel sad or lonely, your bucket begins to feel empty. Have You Filled A Bucket Today? shows that small acts of kindness can make someone’s day a little bit brighter.

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This is the first book we have read as a class and the children have really enjoyed it! The features lovely illustrations and uses simple language to get at the books message: kindness, even just the smallest things, can go a long way and make everyone happier. My class could all relate to the feelings of the characters in the book and began to relate it to their own experiences of feeling happy and feeling lonely. They could also appreciate how much happier our classroom is when they are being kind to one another, rather than when they aren’t getting along.

Why am I using this book?

This is the start of a new year and the children are all just settling back into the school atmosphere. They haven’t been around each other for quite a few weeks, and that takes some time to get used to again. We also have some new members of our class; these kids might be finding it hard to find their friendship group, find their place in the class. My hope was to use this book as a tool for promoting friendship, teamwork and being kind to one another. All things that work really well at the start of a new year!

haveyoufilledabucket-2

How am I using this book?

I can’t take full credit for the following ideas. This books is very well known, especially across in the States, and there are so many wonderful ways teachers across the world are using this book in their classrooms. There are also lots of other versions of this book, so it’s quite a big deal. Here’s a link to Pinterest for lots of other Bucket-Filling ideas.

I didn’t want to spend money on lots of individual buckets but really wanted to use the bucket-filling idea to full effect. I used the book as a stimulus to introduce the idea of filling buckets in our classroom. I have printed and laminated buckets for each child and displayed them on the wall. When someone sees another pupil doing something kind, that child gets a sticker on their bucket. The purpose is to notice kindnesses when they happen, and to reward those doing so. It isn’t about you knowing you’re being kind, it’s about others noticing your kindness. It’s worked really well so far: the children are noticing when people are being kind to them and they are loving filling their buckets with stickers. I think it’ll make a nice little something for them to take home at the end of term/year – a reminder of all the small, kind things they’ve done for others in their class.

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There we have it – my first Teacher Pick. I’m hoping to include one of these each month. Are there any other teachers using great books in their classrooms? I’m sure there are! Please let me know if there’s a book you’ve found really useful – and if you aren’t a teacher, maybe there are books you think would be useful too! Let’s share!

 

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