Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bucket Fillers Freebies and a Winner!

Happy Fall!

Fall has officially arrived.  It's time for cool weather, apple-picking, pumpkin goodies, and all that good stuff.  I always love the beginning of a new season.  The new weather and traditions are both refreshing and exciting.

Speaking of exciting things, when I arrived at my school for the first time August, I was very excited to see a giant bucket decorating the front bulletin boards.  Why am I excited about a bucket do you ask?  I'll tell you!  It's because my school is now officially a "Bucket Filling School!!!"

The principal has launched a school-wide campaign based on the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today?  I know many of you are familiar with this wonderful book, but I am still going to share it for Collaboration Cuties Must Read Mentor Text linky. 

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? is a great book that teaches kids and adults to be aware of how they treat others each day.  The book explains that everyone in the world carries around an invisible bucket.  The bucket is meant to be full of happiness and good thoughts.  However, the contents of the bucket are partially determined by other people's actions and words.  Everything you say and do makes you either a Bucket Dipper or a Bucket Filler.  Bucket Dippers say mean things, hurt people, and are not respectful.  They try to steal from other people's buckets, but really end up dipping from their own.  In contrast, Bucket Fillers are people who say and do kind things.  They care for other people and try to fill everyone else's buckets.  In turn, they fill their own.  Anytime you fill someone's bucket, you fill your own; therefore, you should always look for ways to be kind and caring to others.  Overall, the analogy is clear and simple, which makes it easy and appealing to students; however, it carries great weight because it makes everyone really think about the way they treat others.

As a Bucket Filling School, everyone at my building is making it a goal to not only read this book to the students, but to put it's concepts into action.  Each teacher might do something slightly different, but all of us are encouraging our students and each other to be Bucket Fillers.

After doing some Pinterest Research, I came across some great resources for Bucket Fillers.  I already shared about a few of them here.  Please be sure to check out that post for a cute video a link to some free posters I found.  For the sake of not being redundant, I am not going to re-post them all here.  

I do however, have some new ideas and resources that I just found.

Lastly, I found an awesome way to transform the idea of Peacemakers vs. Peacebreakers into Bucket Fillers vs. Bucket Dippers.  As you know, I implemented the Peacemakers vs. Peacebreakers concept in my classroom last year and it was a great success.  I found the original version of these cute posters from First Grade Parade and then a great replication and poster freebies from First Grade Fanatic.


First Grade Fanatic
Then, just today, I discovered cute, FREE headers from 3rd Grade Thoughts that can transform Peacemakers and Peacebreakers to Bucket Fillers and Dippers in the blink of an eye.

As much as I love all of these posters, I also took the time to adapt my own Peacemakers vs. Peacebreakers posters into Bucket Fillers vs. Bucket Dippers.  You can find the original versions here.  Click the pictures below to download the updated Bucket-themed ones.

Hope you like the posters!

Now, I am excited to announce the winner of an awesome pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies.  

Can I get a drum roll please...

The winner is....

Jennifer Neuman

Congratulations to Jennifer.  Thanks to all who entered and to all my new followers.  I am excited to be close to 200 followers on Bloglovin.  Perhaps I'll have a giveaway when that happens....

Before I go, I promised to be better about posting the rest of my India journal entries, so here goes another one...

Left My Heart in Hyderabad

Day Nine: Sarampet
        I woke up today thankful that my mouth did not hurt all night.  The ibuprofen must have helped.  Before breakfast, I hung out with the kids a bit.  They kept requesting that we sing the “Chai Song” that we made up.  So funny.  I was also adventurous and tried singing “Baby Shark” in Telegu!  It turned into “Baby Chepa!”

          Despite the joy of singing and laughing with the kids, I was shocked and saddened when I noticed that 8 year-old Nickayla was wearing a onesie as a shirt.  She is 8 years old and fits in a onesie!!  These kids are all wearing our discarded t-shirts and even baby clothes.  Yes, I am glad they have clothes, but it makes me sad to realize they have no choice in what to wear and convicts me that I have WAY more clothes than I could ever really need.
          When we finally ate around 9:30, we had corn flakes with warm milk, bananas, toast, and eggs.  Everything was good, but I am craving fresh produce.
          After the meal, Mary took some time to tell us about how the Bethel Gospel Church caught the vision for orphan care and how the farm began.  Though the information was very interesting, I had to fight to stay awake because anytime I sit still too long, I feel how tired I really am.  Still, I learned a lot.  Apparently, Mary’s dad, Pastor Sudhaker, had felt convicted about the Bible’s commands to care for orphans.  Some people in the church were skeptical about his vision, but then the church gradually starting taking some of the children in and caring for them.  They also organized sponsorships for school fees.  Then, later the orphan homes began as more people were willing to take in the children.  Next, the pastor and others got a vision for having the farm.  After a long process of negotiating with villagers who owned the land, the church purchased 8 acres.  Global Orphans helped fund the Father’s House orphan homes named Joy, Hope, Love, and Faith.  They also funded 2 others homes that are in the process of being constructed.  One will hold 16 orphans; the other will be for the elderly who have no one to care for them.  Mom will be so excited to hear that!
          As of now, the farm has not been profitable, which is so sad.  The goal is for it to provide all the rice, vegetables, milk, and meat the kids and workers need to eat.  However, the soil is not good at the Faith Garden section and there is no water at the Father’s Farm section.  Plus, market prices have not been favorable and many eggplants have spoiled because there is no efficient way to take them to the city.  Still, the workers do what they can and use whatever they produce to feed not only the orphans, but the village children.  That amazes me!

          My only thought about the lack of prosperity is that God is teaching everyone to wait and trust.  Then, He will blow everyone away.  At least I hope so.  I know He can do that.
          Even though there have been struggles and there are plenty of reasons to be discouraged, the workers have not given up.  They truly love the kids and are faithful servants.
          After hearing all about the farm, it was interesting to walk it with E, M, H, Santeesh, Srikanth, Sati, Hashita, Solome, and many others.  We passed the barn with buffalo (barre) and oxen, the cows (awu), rice fields, and a compost field.  One boy dug his feet around in the compost and a tiny mouse scurried out!  Everyone freaked out.  The boys threw dirt at it.  One boy hit it hard and it either died or was super stunned.  It was freakishly limp.  I hope it was stunned.
          Next, we all went over to Father’s House to play ball in the yard near the orphans’ homes.  The ground was wet and muddy and people were doing construction work, yet we still invaded the yard.  Some people hit balls with a cricket bat, Annie sang with the little girls, and I…
          The game started with Santeesh and me and then became a huge deal.  Solomon, Pavam, Jay, John, Vijay, and others all played at least for a bit; so did A, W, and BJ..  All we did was bump, set, and flail about to keep the ball up, but it was SO MUCH FUN!!!  The ball kept flying off and landing in mud puddles.  Now and then the soccer players would randomly charge through our area and we would all join them in trying to kick the dirty soccer ball.  It was mass chaos!!
          When Paul joined the volleyball game, it got more intense.  Mahesh, BJ, Paul, and I were the serious players.  M was the comic relief.  It was so cool to play hardcore.  I actually did quite well.  W, A, BJ, and Paul all thought I had played on a team before.  M said she didn’t know I was a hardcore volleyball player.  I think God blessed me for just letting go of fear and playing all out.  I didn’t even care that I was covered in dirt.  I actually found it hilarious that the dirt made my arms look almost black, whereas it looked white on the kids’ skin.  Hehe.

          One interesting note to add to my volleyball experience is that once again, I have been hanging out with the boys more than the girls.  Hmmm.
          2 hours later it was time for lunch.  I enjoyed the chicken noodle soup with added rice.  By the time we were done eating it was 2:00 p.m.; only one hour until our ETD.  However, I knew we would leave late.
          Before packing up to leave, we gave out awards to the staff to encourage and motivate them.  Then, we took group pictures.  When it was time to leave, the bus wouldn’t start, so we hung out for 2 more hours.  I talked with Santeesh and Johnny (I think).  Lots of the little ones kept bringing me crumpled papers with “gifts” inside.  I did not know whether or not I should keep the colored rocks of the old birthday napkins or not.  I did not want to take their stuff, but I hope I did not hurt their feelings.      
          Finally, the bus started we loaded up and said a million goodbyes.  I prayed over many children, which was a blessing.  As we pulled away, I teared up.  I most likely will not see these kids again this side of heaven, but they will be in my heart forever.


  1. Okay, I am not trying to be negative about a situation which it sounds like many are truly hopeful about, but I have so many questions about this story!
    You talk about the farm like it would be a wonderful thing, if only it had more available water and more accessibility. You also say,
    "My only thought about the lack of prosperity is that God is teaching everyone to wait and trust."
    Yet, hasn't God also given us our brains, intelligence, foresight, and knowledge to plan our endeavors? Didn't anyone research this property and the climate history before buying this farm? If they did, and these are rare drought years, than my questions may be irrelevant. But if they bought a property, hoping to farm, without adequately assessing the viability of such a project, that is not good!
    Is there a business/nonprofit plan or a sustainability model for the farm available for investors to look at? Do they have permaculture experts helping with the situation?
    Again, I'm not trying to be negative, just realistic. I'm speaking from my experience working with permaculture in the dry climate of Tanzania. You can go do a rain dance in the desert but maybe you should just move closer to a lake. Aka, prayer is awesome but it's not an excuse to not use your brain.