Monday, September 17, 2012

have you filled a bucket today?

I just need to do a catch up post, and I have so many pictures from my phone it's time to do another phone dump.  I had forgotten about these pictures from my phone, and I wanted to share them because I think this is such an important thing for all of us to remember.  So many classrooms are already doing this, and I think it is just an amazing way not only to create a classroom community, but to teach children to take these lessons with them everywhere, inside or outside the classroom walls.
We read the book "Have You Filled A Bucket Today?" by Carol McCloud, which is mostly about how to treat people.  How to show respect, and make others feel good.  My students then came up with ways they could fill each other's buckets this year (which they created on their own piece of paper with a pre-printed bucket on it).  Then everyone shared an idea they wrote down and I added them to our list and posted it above the buckets.
The idea has taken off with the kids- they love it.  They can write notes to each other, or do an act of kindness.  If they do, they put a pom pom in their bucket and the person's bucket they filled (and I love that they get to fill their own bucket too when they make someone else feel good!)  When they fill their bucket they will just get a sticker on the outside and start again.  There is no prize for filling buckets- this is intrinsically motivating.  And it really works!  I want to bring this idea home to my kids sometime soon.  I already bought a bucket for Andrew and Kerigan!  She's a little young, but Andrew can certainly do kind things to fill her bucket, and others.  

While we're on the topic of school (ha!) I just threw this in so my kids could see what their mama does all day at school teaching other kids!  This is our sign outside our door as you enter our classroom.  I loved that the Olympics were this summer!  The kids love it, too!  They love seeing their pictures on a "gold" medal!
The first day of school I made these little survival kits for the kids filled with things that meant something for the year, like a fruit by the foot to put their best "foot" forward, a sponge to "soak" it all in this year, etc.  The kids loved it and they were so fun to pass out on the first day of school.
My little man has slowly but surely been adjusting to the new Kindergarten "all work-no play" days!  Ha!  He comes home with awesome things, and he is writing so well, we just can't believe it!  Above he wrote "I like to play" all by himself.  Then he drew his beloved Madagascar characters!  Love it!
I thought this was so cute, too.  Again, all his favorite characters.  And he knows every single one and tells me who each one is!
This amazed me "I see the _____" (not sure what he was trying to say, but I love how he's writing all by himself and spelling so many words!
This one floored me!  "I like dragons!"  Spelled out perfectly phonetically!  I simply cannot believe he is doing this already.  It seems like just yesterday he didn't even know his letters or sounds!
In other news... Little miss had to visit the ER the other night.  She had been constipated (sorry when you read this someday, Kerigan!  Ha!) but we thought we had gotten her going again so I wasn't worried.  About a week later, her tummy was bloated and felt very hard and she was wincing in pain whenever we picked her up or touched her.  It was very unusual for her.  I was terrified and my mind jumped to the worst conclusions.  She was such a brave and precious little thing in her little hospital gown.  She had blood tests and an X-ray, which concluded she was still constipated and so not to gross everyone out, but they got her all cleared out and we were sent home around midnight.  The nurses and doctors were all having a fit about how cute and good she was.  She just laid on my lap the whole time and I don't think she ever cried- not even when they took blood.
Shortly after that, mommy and daddy both got the flu!  We were so worried about the kids but they escaped it this time!  We were celebrating by watching "Big Miracle" (about the whales) because we thought it was a BIG miracle the kids didn't get sick from us!  Ha!
Here's Andrew having way too much fun in time out!  Ha!  (And please don't ask what that ridiculous alligator mattress is behind him... Oh okay, I'll tell you since I'm sure you're all dying to know!  We have to use it to block our stairs because nothing else works for a gate since we have spindles, so we just slide it through the spindles and it works perfectly.  We used to have it at the lake for an extra place to sleep.  Andrew loves it!  But I am more than ready to get it out of sight!)
Andrew experienced his first tootsie pop the other day on the way home from school (he's deprived, I know!)  He was so fascinated by them!  He kept calling them magic suckers!  Ha!
Over the weekend when Kerigan was napping I came downstairs to find this.  Ha!
Andrew and Kerigan both adore their daddy.  The other day when we went to daddy's game, we were walking in the gate and Andrew said "Where's my sweet little daddy?"  Ha!  I got a kick out of that one!  And Kerigan says "Dad-eeeee" all the time.  Just today when we got home from school she said it as we were coming in the house.
Last Sunday it was so beautiful out that we took a picnic to the park (ok, ok, so we picked up Quiznos and took it to the park, but still!  We had good intentions!)
Daddy coached Andrew in t-ball again! 
Little miss enjoyed her picnic and even sat up at the table all by herself.  When did she get so big??
After a little t-ball we played at the park, the kids had a blast!
Andrew calls it the "Spiderman park" because of this web-like thing to crawl on!
We met Andrew's best little friend from preschool, Payton.  They had so much fun reconnecting, since they both go to different schools now.  Andrew misses his buddies so we will have to just keep getting them all together!
Speaking of getting too big for things... Seriously?  Day care sent me this picture the other day and I just had a fit!  When did she get big enough for the big kid table???
The other day I had to laugh because Andrew had pulled out the princess stuff...
And she had out the dinosaurs!  Ha!  I was cracking up over that one!
This is what she does lately when she's mad.  Ha!  She basically throws an all out fit, screaming, temper tantrum... then throws herself down on the floor like this!  It just makes me laugh so hard, I know she certainly doesn't think it's funny though!  Life is rough!  Ha!
Daddy surprised us and came home early the other night and brought pizza!  I was so thrilled! (No cooking!  Yippee!)  Those of you who know me know cooking is not my best subject... Ha!
And yes we order from two different places because we can't agree on where to get it!  Ha!  Yes, people make fun of us.  But this way we both get what we want and have leftovers!  It works out nicely actually!  (And for those of you wondering... I am Papa Johns, Craig is Dominoes!  I can't even hardly stand looking at his!  But I do admit to loving the cheese filled breadsticks, which he reluctantly shares with me while reminding me that I HATE Dominoes!  Ha!)
Last Friday night it was so gorgeous and daddy's game was close so I took the kids.  Andrew was enthralled with the mascot from the other team! Craig was a little embarrassed when Andrew wanted a picture with him!  I just told him to walk away!  Ha!
All the girls were having a fit about Kerigan and how cute she was.  They all wanted to hold her and they just passed her around as she's so laid back.  She loved all the attention and she thought she was really big stuff hanging with the big girls!  Soon enough she'll be one of these big girls and I just want time to slow down!!
Andrew had fun playing on the bleachers and not watching the game!  Ha!

I think I'm almost all caught up now.  Andrew started soccer this weekend and we made our first trip of many to our local apple orchard to get our season passes.  School feels more "normal" and routine now, and fall is definitely in the air!  I'll be bringing out my decorations soon and whipping up my first batch of pumpkin bread!  I can't wait!  More to come soon!

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