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fourselfs fourselfs is offline
 
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Organization question
Old 04-19-2012, 10:12 AM
 
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What do you do at the beginning of the year with student pencils? I have tried several different things and can't find one I prefer! In the past I have let the student keep the pencils (they use the up too fast or loose them), I have taken up all pencils and used them in a sharpened/unsharpened can (this is great, but we switch classes and my homeroom ran out of pencils quickly), this year I took up all their pencils and put them in a baggie with their name on it. I like this idea but sometimes they need pencils at inconvenient times and I can't get them one.

Ideas????


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Pencils (and other such supplies)
Old 04-19-2012, 04:14 PM
 
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I saw this online somewhere, and tried it this year:

I bought several of those three-drawer organizers that holds papers. (View here: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sterilite-...-of-4/15442451) They are numbered, and each student put his/her extra pencils, packs of notebook paper, and dry erase markers in there at the beginning of the year. Then, as they went through the year, if they needed refills of those things, they got them from their drawer. If they didn't have any left, then they wrote a note in their planner to bring more. It worked remarkably well. Yes, we ran out of paper and pencils eventually, but it took much longer than usual. Just par for the course in this line of work.
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Their responsibility
Old 04-19-2012, 05:28 PM
 
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I dread the pencil situation too! What has worked best for me is to totally make this their responsibility. At the beginning of the year I give each student a ziplock to put their pencils in. They keep this in the back of their desks for back up pencils. Each morning it is their job to be sure they have at least two pencils sharpened and ready in their desks. If they run down a pencil or lose one, then they go to the back up bag.

Our pencil sharpener is only "open" for the first twenty minutes of the morning. If anyone needs a pencil sharpened mid day I usually say something along the lines of "Oh! Well you can just switch to using the other pencil you had ready this morning." If that isn't an option (in which case their eyes usually scream "oops!") I ask them to find a solution for the rest of the day and jot themselves a note to sharpen more pencils the next morning. Then I walk away. Usually another student will lend them a pencil or they will make due with a colored pencil or other writing utensil (they can get resourceful!).

It sounded a little harsh to me when I got this idea from another teacher, but I have come to love it. They never "get in trouble" for not having a pencil, but the expectations are very consistent and it puts the responsibility on them. I give a lot of reminders early in the year to check their supplies in the morning, but with the exception of one or two students a year, it is not an issue. For those couple who may struggle with it, I usually just sharpen all of their back up pencils and keep them in an accessible place on my desk. They can go get a new pencil from there as needed, but I am able to keep an eye on the supply.

Works well for us! Good luck!
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Pencils
Old 04-19-2012, 05:46 PM
 
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I have a sharpened and needs sharpened can. Students can only ask me to sharpen a pencil during morning work which is the first 20-30 minutes. I keep a few sharpened pencils at my desk to give to students who lose their pencil or break them. If I give out all of my pencils (about 3) and there isn't any in the can, I tell them to find one or fix it. I say this so everyone can hear and usually someone has an extra and will give it to them. If it comes down to it, I tell them to use a crayon. I'm not stopping to sharpen a pencil unless of course it's a test and then I ask right before we take it if everyone has a sharpened pencil (I usually keep a few sharpened just for this too).
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