Students having buckets of fun

Students in Jennifer Jones’ classroom at Chase elementary are carrying buckets around with them.

Grade 4/5 students at Chase elementary are learning about good deeds — and bad — through two innovative programs their teacher

Students in Jennifer Jones’ classroom at Chase elementary are carrying buckets around with them.

They’re invisible containers — but, what they contain can be seen every day.

Inspired by the award-winning book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, the idea is to improve the way children interact and view themselves.

Jones said the idea of having to fill a bucket “seems like the perfect metaphor for students to understand the behaviours they are exhibiting and others around them might be using.”

Added to the bucket-list program is another one — classroom dojo — recommended to her by School District #73’s technology co-ordinator.

It involves tracking behaviours of the Grade 4/5 class, with points given for good behaviours and taken away for bad.

It’s all done online through anything from a computer to a smartphone.

Jones said using the dojo program helps her students track their progress online in a fun way with their avatar and a visual graph that shows what behaviours have led to the points.

The information can be emailed to or used during conferences with parents to give a clearer picture of how their child is behaving at school.

Teachers can choose what is graded — it can be anything from not doing your homework to showing leadership.

The lessons are many, Jones said, and her students are having fun with the programs as they learn.

Alyssa Becker said “using dojo, I’ve learned that you should always get a positive, not a negative.”

Gianna Badesso sees the concept as something that could reduce bullying.

“Bucket filling has gone a long way,” she said.

“First, it was just our class, but now, the whole school knows about it. It’s spreading really fast.

“If every school does it, then, in the world, there wouldn’t be as much bullying.”

Chase Winning sees it as a way of doing good — and feeling good.

“If you see a person who is down, you can try to help them out,” he said. It will fill their bucket and your own.”

Kamloops-Thompson school district superintendent Terry Sullivan said what Jones is doing in her classroom “is creative, innovative and leading-edge.

“We have many teachers like her who are engaging children and youth every day using a variety of methodologies.”

Technology continues to transform the education system, Sullivan added.

“We will have 4,000 students this year, predominantly secondary, who will be taking a portion of their program online,” he said.

“TRU has 12,000 students on campus and 13,000 taking courses online.

“The world is changing, which is why we have to look at structures like school calendars that have been in place for many decades.

“In my view, nothing is as good as an excellent teacher engaging children in a classroom.

“However, we are finding new ways to deepen that engagement, enrich curriculum and empower teachers. This is another example of that.”

 

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