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jmichelle43 jmichelle43 is offline
 
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Sharpening Pencils
Old 06-28-2017, 07:34 AM
 
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I've read some posts about people having trouble with kids always needing to sharpen their pencils in class, so I thought I'd share what I do.

First off, each of my students starts with a sharpened pencil with the added eraser in their supply basket in their desk. Should their pencil break, they are to silently raise it in the air. I nod and they may follow the procedure and head to where I keep the pencils. I have two jars for pencils: one is labeled "Ready to Write" and the other is labeled "Please Sharpen." The place their broken pencil (after they remove their eraser) in the "Please Sharpen" cup, and grab a new pencil out of the "Ready to Write" cup (which I keep stocked with about 20 sharp pencils). At the end of every day, the student that has the "Pencil Pusher" job is to remove the pencils from the "Please Sharpen" cup, sharpen them, and replenish the "Ready to Write" cup for the next day. Note: if pencils get smaller than the "Pencil Pusher's" pinky, they are instructed to throw it out and replace it with a new pencil (which is in my closet). Keep in mind that I only give this job to trustworthy, responsible kids, as they have access to my supply closet, as well as my expensive electric sharpener.#

It took a little while to teach them the correct procedure, but once they got it, it worked like a charm!#


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Great post - Agree
Old 06-28-2017, 08:02 AM
 
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I do the same except my helper sharpens in the morning because we have a lag time due to buses arriving at different times.

I also wanted to add that I put on my school supply list to bring "sharpened Ticonderoga pencils". Those pencils sharpen well and it's great having a year-long stash of pre-sharpened pencils in storage. That way, if we are getting low on sharp pencils, I can just grab from the stash from the closet. Also, when it gets close to a school break, I sometimes send home a ziplock bag of dull pencils to volunteers to sharpen if the storage stash of sharp pencils are running low.

It's funny how something as small as pencil sharpening becomes a big deal...at least when it comes to first graders

Last edited by pausebutton; 06-28-2017 at 05:09 PM..
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Old 06-28-2017, 04:06 PM
 
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My kids are allowed to sharpen pencils in the morning. There is ABSOLUTELY no sharpening after morning announcements. They should sharpen 2-3 pencils in case one breaks.

If they don't have a pencil during the day it's up to them to solve the problem. At the beginning of the year we talk about ways they can solve the problem. Done. Not so hard.
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In ms
Old 06-29-2017, 06:22 AM
 
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I love that idea. I have tried it certain years. However, in middle school, there are students who NEVER bring in a pencil all year. When I set out "free" pencils, students actually will break off the tips so they can get up and sharpen or even snap the pencil in half.

My solution: I do have some pencils on hand for students who have really lost their pencil or had their pencil stolen. For the others, they are free to borrow a pencil or use a colored pencil or crayon to write with. It's ironic because I start out trying to never lend a pencil and they still don't bring them.

I've also tried the golf pencils and these have been stolen and thrown. I am not spending another penny out of my own money for pencils! This previous year I was shocked that almost NONE of my students brought a #2 pencil. Of course the school only gave us 12 pencils.
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pencils
Old 06-29-2017, 06:32 AM
 
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That is very similar to what I do, and it does work! The only differences:

1. I don't allow a student to use the sharpener. I've never had one use it and it survive the whole year. I sharpen them after school to prepare for the next day.

2. The student gets their own pencil from the "sharpened" cup each morning. That's part of the morning routine.

3. The student puts their dull pencil in the "needs sharpening" cup when they're packing up. That's part of the afternoon routine. That way all pencils are ready in the morning. If theirs is ready to go, they put it in their pencil bag in their desk instead. That rarely happens.


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Extra crayons to use
Old 06-29-2017, 07:32 AM
 
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I had a container of several hundreds crayons to share. Students who did not have a pencil could come and pick up a crayon to use. At the end of this year I was down to a handful of orange crayons. My class did not return the crayons and it wasn't worth my time to deal with it. I will start over with the next class and set up routines and procedures and try again. I have found that it really depends on the class.
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Pencils
Old 06-29-2017, 08:39 AM
 
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I was never so picky about pencils until this past school year. I swear they had to be eating them. Now I keep exactly enough for the class plus five sharpened in a basket. I count them in the morning and have kids turn them in at the end of the day. I count them at the end of the day, too. I have an electric sharpener, so I have never allowed students to sharpen pencils. If their pencil breaks, they come and switch it out for an extra. I replace pencils every 2 weeks or so, one or two here and there as needed. This only takes a few minutes out of my day and in my opinion, for my sanity, it is time well spent.
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Pencils
Old 07-02-2017, 10:30 AM
 
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If they need a pencil, they go to the Sharpened Pencil can. They put their dull pencil in the Needs Sharpening can. At the end of the day, a student sharpens the pencils in that can.

I usually let them get up as needed to get a pencil, depending on the class. I have had classes that like to use that time as an excuse to meet a friend (If it's not there it's the Kleenex box or the drinking fountain).

Every year I have at least one student who likes to break pencils. Once I figure it out, I gather up the broken pencils and send them home in a plastic bag with a note to be signed by a parent/guardian. That way I have myself covered when it comes to report cards!
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Old 07-02-2017, 08:46 PM
 
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I am mean. Pencils are their problem not mine. Don't have one? Figure it out. Have one but it's unsharpened? Figure it out. Your assignment is still due. You can figure it out now or you can stay with me during recess or after school to figure out, or take the zero. They figure it out, real quick.
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Grade 1
Old 07-03-2017, 05:13 AM
 
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I give each student a class number, and wrote their number with a sharpie on a pencil case, 5 pencils, and an eraser. I only sharpen once a week while they are doing handwriting. It takes 5 minutes. I use half the pencils I used to use with this method. They take care of things when they belong to them. Shared pencils- not so much. They would fight oven the "good ones" or purposely break the points so they could trade them in. This Works well for me. I only had one student who lost all of his, but he was a hot mess. I had a few spare well used pencils that I lent him.


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Seen the light... me too!
Old 07-03-2017, 06:48 AM
 
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My second graders sharpen in the morning before the bell, and after that, the sharpener is closed for business. They have to be on time to school, to learn to plan ahead, to prepare, and to problem solve. It's good for them.
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I give them a pencil bag
Old 07-03-2017, 09:12 AM
 
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It has 5 pencils, a large eraser, a red pen, a highlighter, a gluestick, and a black dry erase marker.

Students may sharpen before morning announcements on the 2 hand held pencil sharpeners stationed on each side of the room. On Friday, they turn in their pencil cases. I count the supplies, refill if necessary. If everything's there, I add a treat, like Smarties, Star Burst, or a Jolly Rancher, If the pencils are short, I replace them with a new pencil, (but they still get a treat.)

Rarely do students deliberately break their pencils anymore. Or hoard them. I probably have two shoe boxes of extra pencils left from previous years. (I collect all the pencils at the beginning of the year for community supplies.)

While each year there are one or two third graders who can't hold on to their supplies to save their lives, its really very effective for almost all of the students.



https://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com/

I love these.
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:27 AM
 
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I don't do anything with pencils. Ever. Kids sharpen 2-3 in the morning. They should be good for the day. Sometimes a few sharpen in the afternoon, but it's quick and isn't disruptive.

I found that when I dealt with pencils, it was a huge issue and I went through hundreds a year.

About 6 years ago, I decided to be completely hands off. I don't ever have anything to do with their pencils. I think in 6 or so years, I've given out less than 10 pencils. Occasionally, I've seen a student borrow from another Student. But that's happened about as often as I have given out pencils, so less than 10x. For what it's worth, I do not teach in a wealthy school, so it's not a case of parents will just buy more and more pencils as needed. My kids come with 24-48 pencils and that's it for the year. Most take at least 1/2 their pencils home with them.

In my opinion, the more we focus on pencils the more of an issue it becomes. Pencils are not a source of stress in my room.
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Pencil pouches
Old 07-06-2017, 09:59 PM
 
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I buy a pencil pouch for all my students. Inside there are a couple of Sharpwriters, a couple of regular pencils, a pink eraser, a small pad of Post-its, an Expo, and a highlighter. Every Friday they give me their pouch. I take them home and run through them, doing any sharpening or replacing that needs to happen. It takes about 20 minutes. Once in awhile kids with tidy pouches get a piece of candy or an extra eraser or something. Kids who are continually losing or breaking things might not get a new Sharpwriter, but a little golf pencil or something instead. I pass the pouches out on Monday morning and we are DONE. No "I can't find a pencil" or "My pencil broke", or endless sharpening or complicated sharpened/not sharpened/pencil fairy, classroom pencil sharpening job systems. Just "Here are your supplies, take care of them and you'll always have what you need on Monday morning, it's your responsibility to make them last the week." Done it for 5 years now, works like a charm. The Pencil Battle is officially over. I won.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:29 AM
 
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I'm glad it's working for you.

Last edited by pausebutton; 07-07-2017 at 06:55 AM..
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:31 PM
 
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I'm going to try the idea that the previous teacher mentioned. I read about it here:

http://www.mrsbeattiesclassroom.com/...-problems.html
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:33 AM
 
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I love how she gets the lunch helpers to sharpen them. Smart cookie
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Ideas for Middle School
Old 07-11-2017, 04:28 PM
 
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I teach middle school ELA where the students move from class to class. I have students who come with no pencils. With 70 students total it is hard to supply everyone with pencils or even track who has what. Some come with no pencil on purpose to avoid work. Please Help!!
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200+ students HELP
Old 08-12-2017, 04:32 PM
 
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Although I love the idea of an individual pencil pouch for each student I am in a school that is severely underfunded and overworked. Since I am the ONLY 7th grade science teacher I have about 200 students on my roster. That being said I am desperate for ideas when it comes to this pencil dilemma. My kids are underprivileged so this is not something I can simply ask the parents to help with.
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Could you
Old 08-23-2017, 09:12 AM
 
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Could you set up your room so that there are desk groups? And then put a supply area for each group on those desks? Mark pencils, highlighters, pens, scissors (maybe...lol), rulers with colored tape based on the group they are in. The students would have to be told and reminded and held accountable for putting the pencils back. The reward is that there are no more dilemmas for supplies or transition when students need something. I feel like this would be an ideal solution for such a large number of students.

Another solution that I tried was that the student had to trade something for a borrowed pencil. (I usually asked for a shoe, headphones, cell phone, or something). I did this for one year, and it didn't really work for me. But I know other teachers that swear by it! I didn't like having to have a holding station for student things or try to remember that I needed to get a pencil back for the object.

What I do now is set up a "student station" with supplies for the students. On this station I have a Free Pen cup. At the end of the day, I walk around the room and pick up any pencils, pens, highlighters, markers, anything that writes that the students have left behind. The Free Pen cup basically fills itself now. I do fill it occasionally, but I only go through about 4 packs of pencils a year. I put about 10 in it to start it at the beginning of each quarter.
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