I have two cups in my room where unsharpened/sharpened pencils are suppose to go. Here's my problem, I NEVER have time to sharpen them!!!! What do you do to avoid the pencil sharpener being on all day and also to not have to spend 15 minutes at the end of your day sharpening them???? I teach first grade, so I could incorporate it as a daily job...
I'm lucky enough to have a high school intern that comes as well as parent volunteers. I put them to work sharpening. I also happen to have a very good electric pencil sharpener. It barely takes any time to get our pencils sharp for the rest of the week. I take about 15 minutes once a week during the early morning to sharpen enough pencils to last us the rest of the week (if I don't have help that week). I don't trust my kids to sharpen because they don't know when to stop, how hard to push etc. and my sharpener ends up either getting overheated or "blowing up" and not working anymore. My friends all have the same policy about not sharpening. We all have the same panasonic sharpeners and love them which is why the children aren't allowed anywhere near them. Anyhow that's how it's done at my school.
Another friend of mine teaches second grade and hates sharpening pencils. Since we're encouraged at our school to discourage our students from erasing, she has switched over to having them write in pen and voila... no more sharpening. Anyhow I don't know whether you'd be allowed to do this at your school or not but that's another solution I suppose.
Hey! It's a panasonic model kp 310 they came from costco for $15 which sounds ridiculous considering how nice it really is. The other nice thing is that one teacher had hers break and costco replaced it no problem... even without the original receipt. So if there's one around you i'd check there. I have seen them online though but they're more expensive and if it were to be defective/break it might be trickier to replace.
but, we have a time in the morning to sharpen our pencils. We come in for lockers at 8 and pencil sharpening is done by 8:15. If your pencil isn't sharpened by then you must borrow from a friend. For 1st grade, what about mechanical pencils. Maybe they would break the lead too often, I'm not sure. It would be fun to teach those little ones for a day but I can tell that there would be a lot that I would be surprised by.
Don't know if this helps, but this year I am going with pens!! Wish me luck!! I read it in Lucy Caulkins book for writer's workshop. I made ones with feathers and flowers and flags, hopefully it will work!!
I teach middle school. When I had self contained (5th) I found odd looking pens in any clearance place I could find. Boy did it motivate journal and other writing. I saved the privaledge for writing only. I also found with the boys the grosser the better.(pens with eyeballs and brains)
In sixth they change classes and mechanical pencils are great. The manual pencil sharpeners get clogged up and ruined just as easily as the others. Too many pencils have plastic decals and things on them.
I teach third. I sharpen them myself in the morning or before I leave in the afternoon. It takes about ten minutes. I then have each kiddo grab three sharpened pencils from the basket as part of their morning routine. It works pretty well. I will be having a job this year for a pencil collector (may have that person sharpen too). I had one very stubborn child last year that refused to put his pencils back in the afternoon and he would have about 15 pencils in his desk by Friday!
I got a box of cheap papermate pens with the cap. I got a box of blue and a box of black. I then went to the dollar store and bought silk flowers, flags on toothpicks and some really cool feathers that look a little like peacock feathers only small.
I got green floral tape, and just taped them to the cap of the pen. When a students begins to write, they just put the cap on the end of the pen, and they have a cool writing implement to use.
I strongly encourage students to buy mechanical pencils. I know many teachers don't like them, but they work for me. I've done this with third, fifth and sixth grades. Third graders seem to be the worst about taking them apart to see what makes them work... but for the most part the hold up well. I buy a pack of 24 at Walmart at the beginning of the year and give each student one on the first day. I write their names on with permanent marker. I give them another one at Christmas... and a third when we do TAKS reading tests in February. I take up the TAKS one, and they get it back when they take the math test in April (and yes you can use mechanical pencils on TAKS as long as you make sure they are #2 lead/HB leadl)
For those who just can't seem to keep theirs together, I have a Panasonic pencil sharpener. They sharpen pencils first thing in the morning... they keep their own, I don't deal with pencils. I do keep a few on my desk in case they've forgotten theirs or don't have one... they tend to sharpen three or four in the mornings, so we don't have a problem. They sharpen again after lunch before we change for reading classes. If they should need one sharpened between, most of them have the hand held sharpeners.. or they wait until instruction is over and go sharpen it at the electric one.
That there were so many ideas about pencil sharpening!!! I would ideally like to have my Star Student of the week sharpen them, but I agree that they don't know when to stop or hard hard to push etc etc. I thin the best bet for me would be to put a volunteer to work. I guess that's what I'll do...thanks for all your input, though!