Over the weekend I reflected on the past week and decided I needed something else to help with talking while I was talking and students putting their hands on each other all the time. I had coffee with a good friend of mine and she told me that "bucket filling" had changed her classroom. With some advice from her this is how I set it up and started using it in my classroom. After only one day I am very happy with the results.
I bought a shoe rack, clear plastic cups, and pom pom balls. I went with clear cups so my students could watch their progress as they filled their buckets. I also wanted to be able to do a quick check on how everyone was doing without having to walk over and look in everyone's bucket. I used command hooks to hang the show rack. I chose the ones that can hold about 3 lbs.
I explained that we would take a few minutes each day for people to share how someone filled their bucket that day and that the "bucket filling" child would get to add a pom-pom to his or her bucket. I also explained that I would call on people to add pom-poms to their buckets throughout the day when I say them filling someone's bucket or when they filled my own bucket.
I also explained that there would be times when they would be working at their tables and I would pass out a pom-pom to everyone and the students who followed directions would get to keep their pom-pom and add it to their bucket while the students who did not follow directions would lose their pom-pom and not be able to add it to their bucket. I like the idea of them never actually earning the pom-pom for a bad choice rather than taking away a pom-pom they earned from making a good choice.
In most cases it is the child's responsibility to add the pom-pom to their bucket. Other times if I was closer to the buckets or if I wanted to give the entire class a pom-pom quickly then I added the pom-poms myself.
The day went so much better for me using this system. This was great for those students who have trouble making good choices all day long. They were still able to get rewarded for the good choices they made.
When they fill their buckets they will get a coupon for something fun like working in their socks or bringing a stuffed animal to work with during the day. I plan to very the reward periodically so they will not loose interest. It will always be something like a coupon or certificate as opposed to a treasure box toy.