Drops in the Bucket
Whether your students need review in reading, math or even math in Spanish, Drops in the Bucket make it easy for you. With 6 levels of reading and 6 levels of math, you're sure to find exactly what your students need. Select the appropriate levels for your class not by a student's age or grade, but by the student's review levels. Whichever level seems right for your students, start one level lower. Firm up the foundation in skills, confidence, & attitude.
What are Drops in the Bucket?
Drops in the Bucket are teacher resource books of daily review lessons. The same skills, format, and directions are used every day, so students can work independently after about three days. Each day for twelve weeks, students review “a little drop” of each of the most important skills to assure they do not forget what you have taught! Drops in the Bucket are perfect as the first task in the morning or for independent work while you work with small groups! They are great for test preparation, and they work especially well in conjunction with the Frog Classroom Learning Game Sets and Frog Family Fun-Packs by the same author. Drops in the Bucket lessons are for review, so always start at the level which students can do independently – at least one level below the instructional level.
The Drops in the Bucket Story
“When I was a little girl my daddy told me, 'It's not what you do on any one day that shapes your character or your mind, but it's what you do day after day, like a bucket filling with water, drop by drop.' Learning experts call the same idea spaced practice with repetition – the basis of learning and retention! I wrote Drops in the Bucket based on that simple, basic idea.”
–Mary Jo Hand, Creator of Drops in the Bucket
Why Drops in the Bucket Work So Well
Drops in the Bucket utilize the learning principles of spaced practice, reinforcement, and repetition. Students develop both competence and confidence by using Drops in the Bucket every day. Because the directions and format do not change, students do the daily review independently after just a few days! While students work independently, the teacher is free to work with small groups or individuals for enrichment or remediation. Remember, the purpose of Drops is to provide review, so start with a level which includes skills that have already been taught.
Success with the Frog System
Drops in the Bucket are an essential component of the Frog System. The Frog System consists of Drops in the Bucket, Frog Classroom Learning Games, and Frog Family Fun-Packs. When all 3 components are used together, the Frog System is one of the most well-rounded, effective and fun curriculum based programs you can have in your hands.
Drops in the Bucket is research based and developed in accordance with state and national standards. Since 1997 Drops in the Bucket and its related products have been used by every school adopting the HOSTS (Helping One Child To Succeed) Learning Program which is specifically named in the No Child Left Behind Act as an example of an effective program. Drops in the Bucket is a research-based supplementary material which provides systematic daily practice for skills and reinforcement to promote long-term memory. The systematic daily practice of Drops in the Bucket assures that the commonly taught and tested skills, vocabulary, and concepts will be maintained and strengthened, not introduced then forgotten. Specifics can be found in our Drops in the Bucket Research Report.
Selecting the Appropriate Levels for Differentiated Instruction
Drops in the Bucket are available in many levels for both reading and math, and math Drops in the Bucket are now available with student pages in Spanish. Select the appropriate levels for your class not by a student's age or grade, but by the student's review levels. Since no two students are exactly alike in skill level and no two students learn in the identical way, it's ideal to use several different levels of Drops in the Bucket within the same classroom. Always start at the level which students can do independently – at least one level below the instructional level. View our Drops in the Bucket Sample Pages Booklet to find the appropriate levels for your students. Whichever level seems right for your students, start one level lower to firm up the foundation in both skills, confidence, & attitude. Remember, Drops in the Bucket are for review.
Spiraling Curriculum Builds Test Confidence!
Students practice ten of the most essential skill each day with the same format and directions. The level of difficulty increases ever so slightly each day until each skill is mastered. Drops in the Bucket give students the skills and confidence they need for success with standardized tests and state testing programs. Test scores rise to new heights when you use Drops in the Bucket with your students.
Drops in the Bucket Fit Seamlessly Into Your Lesson Plans
Used as the first assignment of the day, Drops in the Bucket assure a successful and orderly start. They are great in learning centers, as independent seatwork, or for cooperative learning teams. Parents love them as homework! Drops in the Bucket are also wonderful daily assessment tools.
Great Ways to Use Drops in the Bucket. . .
Want more perfect papers? Any student who gets a perfect paper earns the privilege for the next day of skipping the day’s Drop. The student may wear an assistant teacher button and give help when a classmate requests it. While others are doing the Drop, the student may use the Frog Classroom Learning Games or other enrichment activities.
Each-One-Teach-One! Every child loves to play school if he gets to be the teacher! After all students have completed the day’s lesson and turned in their papers, use an overhead projector to display a copy of the day’s Drops in the Bucket lesson without the answers. Remind the class that teaching is not just telling the answers; teaching means helping others see how to find the answers. Ten student “teachers” teach one skill each, standing at the front by the screen, using a pointer and their best teaching style. There are two rules for Each-One-Teach-One. (1) “Teachers” may call only on those who courteously raise their hands. (2) “Students” must point their hands, nose, knees and toes toward the teacher. This puts them in a posture for focused attention.
Each-one-teach-one takes only about ten minutes and brings many benefits. It is fun, increases cooperative spirit, reinforces learning, and provides an opportunity for students to build important communication skills. Just before or after doing Each-One-Teach-One, give examples from family and career situations of the value and importance of being able to teach or explain calmly and clearly. Take the role of “student” occasionally to ask questions which prompt the “teacher” to explain well. Then stand back and watch your students teach! You may even learn something about your own teaching style as your students imitate you!
Mini-Groups! While the class works independently on Drops in the Bucket, the teacher can work for a few minutes with small groups of students or individuals who need additional instruction in one of the skill areas. Meet with the same students and work on the same skill for three to five days for three to five minutes each day.
Systematic Reinforcement Programs! Students earn one point for each section of Drops completed without error. (No partial credits are given.) Use the points as part of a systematic reinforcement program for individuals, or strive for a composite class goal. For young children, set a goal that students will reach within a week. Older children’s goals can take several weeks to achieve. When the class goal is achieved, you could have a 20-minute celebration with simple refreshments and fun math games. You might invite the principal, the PE teacher, or some other favorite adult to be a guest at the celebration.
Warp Speed Ahead! Always begin with Drops in the Bucket at the student’s independent level. If in doubt about the level, start with the easier level. As your class develops confidence, tell them that they are doing so well that you will let them go twice as fast as normal for one week. Students do two pages per day–perhaps even numbered Drops in school, odd numbered Drops at home. At the end of the week you may allow them to continue traveling at warp speed for another week! The practice and joy they experience at the lower level (along with your good teaching) will prepare them for success at the next level of Drops.
Test Preparation! Schedule Drops in the Bucket for use in your class every day during the weeks which precede standardized testing dates to give confidence and prepare students.
Individualized Educational Plans! Include Drops in the Bucket in individualized educational plans beginning at each student’s independent level. In individualized classrooms with enthusiastic students, a perfect paper entitles the student to an opportunity to leap ahead by doing two Drops the next day. If either or both of those are perfect, he may do two pages again, but never more than two pages per day. This allows an enthusiastic student the opportunity to move at a quicker pace.
En Español También!
Math Drops in the Bucket are now available with student pages in Spanish. The Spanish edition can stand alone, or use it in conjunction with the English version for an effective way to help English language learners grasp the language.
Reproductions, Copyright and Site License
Each teacher needs only one copy of each appropriate level of Drops in the Bucket. The owner is given permission to duplicate the student pages (up to 35 copies each year) for use in his/her one classroom only. It is illegal and unethical for duplicates of pages to be given or sold to others or distributed for use in multiple classrooms. Purchase Drops in the Bucket for each teacher, or contact the author at Frog Publications at (800) 777-3764 for an economical schoolwide licensing agreement.