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Kishkumen Kishkumen is offline
 
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Pencil destruction
Old 04-02-2018, 05:19 PM
 
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It wasn't a problem until a few weeks ago, but new pencils are being snapped in half and thrown across the room. I never see who is doing it.

Last Monday I sharpened 48 new Ticonderoga pencils. Today I have 15. They've been broken in half all through the last week.

When I determine who it is, I'll inform parents to buy his own pencils to break instead of destroying mine.

I suspect a new student and two others, but I don't have time to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, build a case, and finally accuse the students.

My 29 third graders no longer have enough pencils to make it through the day, but I'm hesitant to get a bunch of new pencils just for them to be snapped over the next week.

How do I find out who is doing this?


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Send home a note
Old 04-02-2018, 05:28 PM
 
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Tell the families that the students have gone through the year's supply of pencils, and now the students need to bring in their own. Ask them to bring in a dozen sharpened pencils with their child's name written on them, in a pencil case also labeled with their names. Put it on them. Once a week send the pencils home to be sharpened.

I teach first, and once I put their class number on their pencils and gave them their own case, I used about 2/3 less pencils a year.

I would not buy any with my own money.
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Old 04-02-2018, 06:04 PM
 
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Try numbering (or initialing) student pencils and instructing them to use only the pencil that belongs to them.

Have you tried asking them what is happening? Have them write what they know instead of telling in person. Sometimes I get good results from that.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:30 PM
 
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Keeping up with pencils is a student responsibility. Not yours. Tell them so, and let them figure out what they will do.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:59 PM
 
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Do away with community supplies. You’ll soon see that the kids take much better care of their own things than someone else’s. Ownership increases responsibility. Then stop worrying about it. Kid doesn’t have a pencil, aww man that stinks, how are you going to solve that problem? Once they realize you will no longer be solving the problem for them, they come up with answers. They borrow. They use crayon. They ask their parents for more (which usually only has to happen once). The one thing I do to help out is keep an orphan pencil jar. When I find pencils on the floor, that’s where they go. If it doesn’t have a name, the kids also put found pencils in the jar. They are welcome to grab one from there if they don’t have one.


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Orphan jar
Old 04-03-2018, 04:25 AM
 
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As a PP said, the orphan jar is a good one. I use it too. I put the broken small pencils in there, the ones with no erasers, ones I find in the parking lot and such. Don't have a pencil, feel free to borrow one. If you have broken pencils that are still pretty much salvageable, put them in there. After awhile, most kids will either bring their own, or stop destroying what they have. I would also send out a note to all parents that there is a pencil destroyer (maybe use better words than I did!) and tell them that your budget can no longer supply the class.
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how long has this been happening?
Old 04-03-2018, 05:22 AM
 
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If these are 3rd graders, it shouldn't be too hard to find out the vandal(s). If you had noticed that the destruction's been happening since the newcomers came, it's possible that it might be any of them. So I would keep an eye. However, this has been happening for some time then keep doing a little stakeout.

If you're still feeling generous, I would not let students use whole pencils but instead cut them in half. And then assign each student that piece of equipment using a numbering system. I seen teachers cut erasers so students don't end up throwing whole erasers.
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Pencils
Old 04-03-2018, 11:17 AM
 
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I teach second. I have exactly enough sharpened for each child to have one. Lose one? Figure it out. Not enough pencils? It didn’t walk out the door. You have options, be a problem solver.

Usually the pencil(s) turn up. I collect them and sharpen them fairly often (or when a child shows me the broken nub).
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I guess
Old 04-04-2018, 07:45 PM
 
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It starts early. I teach high schoolers (10th grade). This happened to me very recently. I usually have a bucket of unsharpened pencils beside my pencil sharper for anyone that needs one. Well I started noticing that after this one particular class that I’d find my pencils broken on the floor. Usually they’d be broken in half with the eraser torn off.

I could never tell who exactly did it. I know several students would take a pencil. I had my suspicions but never caught them in the act. So I put a note on my pencil sharper that said, “ no more pencils will be left out because Mrs. ——— keeps finding them broken on the floor. From now on, but your own pencils.”

It is not my responsibility in the first place to provide them with pencils. It it their responsibility so I’m done with trying to be nice. They will find something to write with one way or another. They can afford pencils especially when I see what clothes they wear, what technology they have, and what cars some of them drive. Spending a few dollars on pencils will not cause them or their parents to go broke.
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found the kid
Old 04-04-2018, 09:08 PM
 
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Turns out all 48 pencils were destroyed over a week by the same kid. I found both pieces of a broken pencil in his desk. He snapped one right in front of me the next day in small group. I gave him a carpenters' pencil and he tried to break that, too. His partner told me that he'll break several in a row when he's mad.

Today I gave him a carpenters' pencil. Later, he had to go to a buddy room to finish work. He returned and told me he broke his pencil. He handed me the shattered remains. It had been broken in half, and then one half split lengthways to expose the lead. He got a pink crayon for the rest of the day.

Parents have been e-mailed and told he must bring his own supplies from now on.

Pencils haven't been a problem up until the last couple of weeks. This student moved in about a month ago.


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Old 04-11-2018, 09:16 PM
 
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As a title 1 school, our school provides basic supplies such as pencils for students so most teachers have communicaty supplies. For a lot of teachers this meant community supplies and lots of broken pencils or pencils with the erasors tore off. Several of those teachers came up with ways to assign pencils to teach student. I like having the pencils numbered but most teachers seem to pull it off without numbering them. The student do take care of their pencils better when they know they can't just grab one from the community basket. Some kids will continue to destroy pencils, no matter what you do.
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Old 04-26-2018, 10:35 AM
 
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You could try the short golf pencils. I work at a jail and we use those when my kids can't handle a normal size pencil.
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I agree!
Old 04-30-2018, 05:09 PM
 
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Golf pencils FTW. I have even had the IKEA near me kind enough to give me a handful. I also give each student 2 regular pencils per month and if they go through them right away- then you are using the golf pencil until you show me you can respect supplies.
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:39 PM
 
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I give every student 4 pencils to start the year, then they get one a month. No pencil, well here's a broken pink cray to use. It doesn't erase, well then you need to be really careful or a figure out how to solve that problem.
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Kishkumen Kishkumen is offline
 
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mechanical pencils
Old 05-01-2018, 12:30 PM
 
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I've recently tried giving every student a mechanical pencil with his or her name on it. The rules are: if you destroy it, dump out the lead, extend the lead out three inches and pretend to give yourself a shot, then you can use a regular pencil.

Any pencil with the label peeled off becomes mine again. Each pencil was marked so I can tell if it is one of mine or one brought from home.

Most students have gone a couple of weeks on their pencil. A few lasted a couple of days. The aforementioned student earned my trust over a week with carpenter's pencil, then got his mechanical pencil on Monday. By lunch, the lead was all gone, so I took it back.

I keep shattered pencils to hand to students who can't find a pencil. For repeat offenders, I have some special pencils: Disney Princess stickers have been applied to give to boys, and chewed-up pencils go to girls.
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Old 05-01-2018, 01:44 PM
 
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I'm sorry that he is destroying your belongings.Give the kid who broke the pencils are the broken ones to work with. Give him crayons. if he breaks those then give him one of those impossibly small pencils. You know the ones where the kid sharpens and sharpens and all you have is lead and a eraser. Nothing to break. If it continues then send all work home and have him complete it at home. I hope the parents support you and replenish everything he broke.( wishful thinking, I know. )
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