Besides learning how to read and do math, Kindergarten is an important time for children to learn how to be a good friend and to realize how what they say or do affects others. One way that concretely teaches these concepts is to have students visualize a bucket above their heads. When they say or do something kind or someone does something positive for them, a drop of water is added to the bucket. If the child is sad or angry or someone says something unkind to them, a drop of water falls out of the bucket. We talk a lot about being “bucket fillers.” There is a wonderful book that illustrates this concept beautifully:
After reading this book aloud to the class, I introduced a special project. Over the course of two weeks, the kindergarteners would be working to fill up the hearts of their classmates by writing everyone a special note. I showed students the template that I created to help with this process:
I wrote an example for the students that demonstrated just how personal I wanted each of the notes to be:
I showed the students how we would “fill up” each others’ hearts with these heartfelt notes, reading them aloud with our parents at our Valentine’s Day party.
The students were eager to get started.
They were encouraged to use best guess spelling, spaces between words, beginning capitalization, and ending punctuation.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the thoughtful notes:
I am so excited to see the children’s reactions when they read their special notes.