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Sharpening Pencils
Old 07-15-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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Okay, what do you all do about sharpening pencils? I have tried
student small sharpener with receptacle to catch shavings
community pencil can - need a sharp pencil? take one and leave yours... then I (or a student) will sharpen them at the end of the day.
You must have 2 sharpened pencils in your desk at all times.

Of course, then there are the issues...
the shavings end up all over the floor when they use small sharpener
either they don't leave the other pencils or we forget to sharpen them
they forget to sharpen pencils in the morning
someone broke my very expensive electric sharpener (someone put the metal end in

This whole issue makes me crazy. Can you share any ideas? Thanks.


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Sharpening
Old 07-15-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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I do the same as you and this prompted my question about borrowing pencils.

I don't like them to sharpen pencils throughout the day so I have many pencils sharpened that I loan to them. I find it is usually the same students who borrow.

Last year I had a consequence for students who did not have a sharpened pencil. (5 minutes missed recess). This helped some.
(I don't penalize if the pencil breaks while being used appropriately.)


I had a friend who taught Middle School and he used golf pencils- no erasers- when a student didn't have a sharpened pencil.

I look forward to reading some of the ideas posted. People seem to have wonderful ideas on this website.
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Pencils! UGH!!
Old 07-15-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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I maintained a can of sharpened pencils, told the kids that prior to the beginning of the day was their time to sharpen pencils. Now, the can.
Pencils were almost literally flying out of the can so I made the rule that if you needed a pencil, you left your shoe as collateral. Return the pencil and you got your shoe back. It actually worked fairly well and this was with 3 rotations of kids entering my room for Social Studies each day. Once the novelty of running around with one shoe on and the other off wore off, most kids came to class prepared with sharpened pencils.

It is by no means the be all end all, but it seemed to take care of the problem in my room.
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Shoe
Old 07-15-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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I did the shoe thing with my 5th & 6th graders and it was amazing how many of them had pencils in their lockers. It was the best thing I ever did.
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Pencil Challenged Group
Old 07-15-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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What is it about third graders and pencils? I was so sick of them sharpening their pencils all day that they could only sharpen them when they first got to school, at break time, and after lunch. Other wise they took a pencil from the can and left theirs to be sharpened. I had a can with pencils that I mark with nail polish around the top, these are mine and have to be returned. They can only take one of those (they are good pencils and have erasers) if they have a pencil to put in the "to be sharpened can". If they don't have a pencil they can take one from the other can, these are stubs or pencils I picked up from the floor. One of the jobs at the end of the day was to sharpen the pencils and return them (I have my kids put their names on their pencils). If they didn't have one of mine to replace theirs they had to pay a fine from my classroom management economy. I had kids that could lose a pencil while they had it in their hand.


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Pencil Monitor
Old 07-15-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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I am a first year teacher and have not tried this yet, but I have teacher friends who did.

They assigned a pencil monitor as one of their classroom jobs for the week. The pencil monitor got to help sharpen pencils in the morning or during a free choice time, not during the instructional time though.

I was also thinking of having the can, it worked in the class I student taught in, though we did have to keep on the can or it filled up with unsharpened pencils.
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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I have a two cans..one labeled Sharpened and the other labeled sharpen me. Students are only allowed to sharpen pencils in the morning or during break and at the end of the day the "pencil monitor" sharpens all the pencils in the sharpen me can so there are all fresh pencils in the morning!
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Leaving shoes and only providing golf pencils
Old 07-15-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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are two of the tricks I have used with my 6th graders. Both seemed to really help the situation. If it got incredibly bad, I would put even the golf pencils away and tell the kids that I am not loaning anymore supplies for a while. This forced them to ask a classmate for one. Most kids were really willing to share, though they would get annoyed when the repeat offenders kept asking for a pencil every class period or day. Since I am moving to third grade for next year, I am planning to have a can of sharpened pencils and one for those that need to be sharpened. There always are those sweet kids just looking for opportunities to help the teacher. This is one chore that I will be happy to let them help me with!
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:04 PM
 
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It's simple. You sharpen your pencils at the start of the day and that is it. You don't have a pencil, you borrow from a neighbor. It works, and we had no problems last year. Since we are an open concept school, we can't have the pencil sharpener going during the day. Plus, I hate to hear it. I agree with the poster, pencil sharpening makes me crazy too.
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My plan...
Old 07-15-2008, 10:03 PM
 
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is to have the two cans, one sharpened, the other needs sharpened.

My five year old will be in K at the school I'm teaching at, so I figure pencil sharpening will be a good job for him after school...at least at the beginning of the year! Hopefully he won't get tired of doing it for me, or I'll have to think of something else.


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Pencils
Old 07-16-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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My pencil plan is, I usually sharpen two pencils for each student with a few extras in case both pencils break. Each student comes in, picks up two pencils and a eraser for the day. The pencils and erasers are in baskets on the counters. At the end of the day, I have a pencil and an eraser collector who collect all the days pencils and erasers. Each student is responsible for putting two pencils back in the basket. If they can't find a pencil, I have them check their desk and its usually there. It may be a pain but I have cut down on lost pencils and erasers. Also, I don't have students destroying the erasers their parents bought. Kids love to be the pencil or eraser collector. Just another way of doing it.
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I know what you mean!
Old 07-16-2008, 05:47 AM
 
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I can't stand the whole 'pencil' thing. It is also amazing to me, that 3rd graders can't sharpen pencils. I will have some stand at the pencil sharpener for 2 or 3 minutes trying to sharpen their pencil. I go over there and sharpen it in 5 seconds. It's not like the sharpener doesn't work.


I tried the 2 can thing, but always ended up with fewer pencils in the can than I started with. I like whtny322's idea of a 'pencil monitor' who can pick up a pencil from each student, but I'm almost ready to go with kashmead's idea and just say, "Sharpen 2 pencils at the beginning of the day. Borrow if you don't have one."
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Another Pencil Sharpener
Old 07-16-2008, 07:11 AM
 
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This whole thing with pencils and pencil sharpening drives me crazy also. We use electric pencil sharpeners. I don't like the kids using them because they end up abusing them and they break......very easily. And I get so wrapped up in other things I sometimes forget to sharpen pencils before school stars. I think I'll try Kashmead's method and if that doesn't work, try the shoe strategy.
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Another Classroom Job: Pencil Sharpeners
Old 07-16-2008, 07:44 AM
 
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I rotate two students per week who are responsible for sharpening pencils for the whole class. During morning meeting, these students sit next to the garbage can and sharpen pencils using small sharpeners. After they are done, they are responsible to pick up any shavings (and wash their hands). When morning meeting is over, students pick up sharpened pencils and return their dull pencils. This has worked well for me, and the kids actually request this job. I started this because, like many of you, I got frustrated with broken electric sharpeners, and shavings all over the floor.
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This works for me!
Old 07-16-2008, 08:46 AM
 
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Ok, I hate dealing with the pencil issue, it drives me nuts!

I agree with a few of the other teachers, I tell my kiddos that they are responsible for ALWAYS having two or more sharpened pencils in there desk. They may sharpen first thing in the morning and right before dismissal. I tell them that pencil duty is not my responsibility and they must 'solve' the problem of not having a pencil. I do have some pencils I'll let them use, but I'm their last resort. (I tell them "see three before me"-ask three friends before coming to me) My students have become very clever about solving their pencil problems! One little boy taped his pencil to the top of his desk so he wouldn't lose it! I praise them for being creative!
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:27 PM
 
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The shavings drive me nuts too! In my class I have always had the rule that the students must have 3 sharpened pencils at the beginning of the morning. They have about 20 min from when the 1st bell rings until I start going over DOL. I put a sign on the pencil sharpener that says the times the sharpener is open. I have 2 sharpeners- front and back of the room. At the end of the day, they can sharpen their pencils while we're getting packed up. We have a classroom enonomy. If they do not have an acceptable pencil (must be at least fingerlength), then they can pay me a dollar to borrow one, or pay a friend to borrow one. Someone broke my pencil sharpener last year by sticking an eraser in it. Thankfully the parent was understanding and the student had to use allowance money to pay for another. I didn't allow him to use my sharpener in the room the rest of the year. I allow them to have hand held sharpeners... but if I see shavings on the floor they get only one warning and then it goes in the June box.
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pencil sharpening
Old 07-16-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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I've tried it all. I bought pnecil sharpeners that had tops to catch the shavings and it was still a nightmere. Either they needed sharpen that well or the shavings were all over the floor or they played the game I have to sharpen my pencil to waste time. This year you may only sharpen first thing in the morning and that's it. Sharpen 2 pencils at a time. I'm thinking about a reward system for this. A coupon iou to borrow pencils. If you don't borrow you get a prize at the end of the week. Maybe a pencil!!! If you borrow a pencil you lose the coupon.
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I sharpen pencils at the end of the day
Old 07-17-2008, 08:57 AM
 
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I tell them that i will sharpen up to three pencils a day and that is it. i try to do it at the end of the day but sometimes it doesn't happen until the next morning. Don't ask me for a pencil because I am not giving you one. If you don't have a pencil write with a crayon. I also tell them to put their names on their pencils.
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