Thursday, June 18, 2015

No More Pencil Drama!

I don't know how many times I've told my students that I don't want any more pencil drama! Lost and unsharpened pencils are one of my pet peeves. I've tried collecting all pencils and sharpening them myself (too much work). I've tried a student sharpening all of them (time consuming). Then I tried keeping a can with sharpened pencils in it for students to take when needed, but then students started only using my pencils. They became less responsible with sharpening their own pencils. I was always having to refill the can. I've also had students write their student number on their pencils with a Sharpie. That idea helped with lost pencils on the floor. However, we still had pencil drama!

Good news! I have finally solved the pencil drama! Actually, my teacher friend, Abbey Myers, solved it for me. She showed me her idea for pencils. She said she found it somewhere on Pinterest, so I don't know whose original idea this is. Abbey took some decorative Duck Tape and put it
around the top of a pencil, creating a little flag. This flag lets students know that these pencils belong to the teacher, but they can borrow one at any time. I keep about 10 flagged pencils in a can on the counter. Students borrow, but the little flag reminds them that they need to return it at the end of the day.  The Duck Tape brand has super cute patterns and colors from which to choose.

I also have students sharpen their pencils at dismissal time. This helps reduce time wasted in the mornings when they first arrive. I can't count how many times students walked around the room for 5 minutes in the morning trying to sharpen their pencils.

Here's to no more pencil drama!

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