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pencil sharpener rules
Old 08-25-2006, 03:18 PM
 
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Help! For years I've stayed sane because I requested students to sharpen pencils with small sharpener at their desk. I hated the pencil sharpener my first year of teaching. Now I've changed schools and those small sharpeners are not allowed, no exceptions. What have you been doing to keep your sanity with one sharpener in the classroom? I'd love to hear your good ideas. Thanks.


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Old 08-25-2006, 04:02 PM
 
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No sharpener while a lesson is happening or while anyone is talking, one person allowed at the sharpener at a time. If a student sees that someone else is there, they just have to wait until that person is back at their desk.
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pet peeves
Old 08-25-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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Aren't students preoccupied looking to see who is at sharpener? What about the child who stands at sharpener forever so he/she doesn't have to do work?
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Sharpe Pencils.
Old 08-25-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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I sharpen pencils at the end of the day. I usually have some stashed away so when someone needs a sharpe pencil I have one at hand. When the students enter in the morning they have a sharpe pencil to start their day. It is time consuming but I find the pros outway the cons. Sometimes a student who is a walker will sharpen them while they are waiting for the buses to leave the school grounds or at recess.
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Old 08-25-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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I have my kids sharpen their pencils at the end of the day or before the tardy bell rings in the morning. If all of their pencils break during the day, then they use one from the "rent-a-pencil." I guess I'm really picky about pencils in my room! I can't stand the sound of the pencil sharpeners during the day and it drives me nuts when they leave pencil shavings all over their tables and floors!


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Pencil Sharpeners
Old 08-25-2006, 05:16 PM
 
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I, too, cannot stand the sound of the pencil sharpener. In the past I have had a container for "dull" and a container for "sharp" pencils. If a point broke or their pencil became dull the kids would just go up and exchange a dull pencil for a sharpened one. The pencils were to be sharpened by a helper at the end of the day, but that didn't always happen and as a result kids had to get up during the course of the day to sharpen. This year I am going to continue with the dull and sharp containers and I have promised myself to be more diligent. However, I plan to ask the kids to have two sharpened pencils ready at their desk after they arrive in the morning. This will be the only time the electric sharpener will be allowed to be used. I know that personal pencil sharpeners are not allowed at your new school, but I also bought each student one to keep at their desk in case of emergencies. ( I got them for a penny each at Staples.)
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Rules
Old 08-25-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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I let my kids sharpen before announcements, after recess (before I read), and at the end of the day while we are getting ready to leave. I've done it for years with succes b/c I hate when they use the sharpener as an excuse to get out of working.
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pencils
Old 08-25-2006, 06:32 PM
 
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I have 4 electric sharpeners (I purchased them from Costco) and one manual. Students sharpen two pencils first thing in the morning. They usually don't need to sharpen any more during the day because when one breaks they use their second one.
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backpacks
Old 08-26-2006, 03:28 AM
 
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I require students to keep their individual pencil sharpener in a ziplock in their backpacks. Part of their homework responsibility is to sharpen at least two of their pencils for the following day. If they break both of them they can "rent a pencil" for a $5 fee from their classroom checking account.

I absolutely hate the loud, grinding sound of the pencil sharpener and when I tried having the little pencil sharpeners at their desks, well... that was a real mess! This system has worked out pretty well except for a couple of students who forget to be responsibile.
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Pencil Sharpener Rules
Old 08-26-2006, 03:55 AM
 
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I have 2nd graders who just love to sharpen their pencils. My rule is that in the morning they sharpen 2 pencils. If both of the tips break they may not hop up and sharpen them. They must raise their hand and ask to get a pencil out of my pencil jar(already sharpened pencils) on my desk.


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Old 08-26-2006, 04:06 AM
 
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I agree with the other posters about having a place for dull pencils and a container of sharpened ones. I would use the mini-golf pencils that have no eraser on the end for the rent-a-pencil. It discourages forgetfulness. I've seen teachers ask that students leave a shoe behind when they borrow something from the teacher, as a reminder to return it.

I supervise a homework club and am surprised at the number of students who don't bring a pencil to do their homework (even after mentioning it to their parents) - SORRY - not MY responsibility to provide you with a pencil. Guess you can't get your homework done.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-26-2006, 04:35 AM
 
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Last year I bought a ton of pencils from Sam's club. Our manual sharpener does not work very well and I went through 2 of them the second semester last year. Being 6th grade I told them if their pencil broke or they didn't have one, they could borrow one from me. The rules were that if theirs broke they had to trade it and if they didn't have one they had to put it back at the end of class. What happened was no one bothered to bring a pencil. I went through 3 gross of pencils in the second semester! This year I just told them they had better have their supplies, be prepared and have them ready before class. If one breaks they can sharpen it during seat work time. Since my sharpener doesn't work very good they have all suddenly become more careful and have extras. I'm not sure about 3rd grade, but I really like the idea of the golf pencils. I don't like those little sharpeners either. Some students use them fine, others play with them, spill them, etc. By the end of April last year I had them leaving a shoe like someone else suggested, but it was always a big hassle for me. I guess just find what works for you. Sorry, this really turned into a vent for me.
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mini sharpeners in supply center
Old 08-26-2006, 04:45 AM
 
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Can you keep the minis in your supply center, away from their desks? There are quiet sharpeners out there, though they aren't that quiet! I only let them sharpen at the louder one in the morning...Why in heavens aren't they allowing the minis????
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sharpening Rules
Old 08-26-2006, 08:21 AM
 
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Each Monday I pass out 2 sharpened pencils per student. They are to keep up with these pencils all week. I have a sign posted above my sharpeners that states STOP! You may only sharpen pencils from 7:30 until the pledge. That gives them 15 min. I explain from the beginning that they are given 2 pencils and it is their responsibility to keep up with them and to make sure that they are sharpened for the day. If they lose them or break them then they are to borrow one from a friend. I explain about the responsibility of being a good borrower: returning items in good shape and not forgetting to return it. Basically I have to say about 1 time for that 1 student that can't keep up with anything that I hope you have been a good enough friend to borrow a pencil. I have done this for 2 years now and it is great. No more grinding pencil sharpeners during the day. I can handle 15 min. of grinding so long as I don't hear it after that! Hope this helps.
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no minis because ...
Old 08-26-2006, 08:23 AM
 
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No minis are allowed because in the past one student pulled apart the parts of the sharpener and was left with the dangerous razor. That's all I heard about the history of why no persoanl sharpeners here. I'm thinking I need to have 2x20 sharpened pencils for these kids on the first day, otherwise they'll all need the one sharpener at the same time. Am I right?
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Pencil Sharpeners
Old 08-26-2006, 09:50 AM
 
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Like others, I too, have a "Sharpened" and "Needs To Be Sharpened" container. Before the first day, I have about 50 pencils sharpened and "tagged" with a label (unless you have the ones with your name). I give students labels with their name and ask them to tag their pencils (to help reduce the "mini" pencil problem, I have them put the tag at least four fingers down from the top). They put those pencils in the need to be sharpened. Over the course of the next few days, I or a helper works to sharpen pencils. As students need pencils, they come up and grab one with their name, return mine, and move on.
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Here's what we do...
Old 08-26-2006, 11:48 AM
 
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When we publish our "suggested school supplies" list, we include 12 SHARPENED YELLOW COMMON pencils per student. We explain that the student will keep 6 pencils-3 in their desk, 1 at the writing center, and 2 in their school bags (for homework). The other 6 are placed in a community pencil box for the whole class. If a child breaks a pencil, instead of sharpening it, they can either use one of the other three in their desks, or they can "trade" it in the community supply. For the community supply, I have a divided box. One side has sharpened pencils and the other side has broken pencils. One of my classroom helpers has the job of sharpening the broken pencils at the end of the day.

Also.....we include a note about "fancy", decorative pencils. Children are allowed to bring them to school, but if they break them, they have to wait until the end of the day to get them sharpened by the helper. Meanwhile, they go back to using the yellow common pencils.

I hope this is helpful! JKB
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:23 PM
 
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I'm really picky about the sharpener too. I actually have 3 sharpeners that were in my room, but I don't allow sharpening at *all* during class time. The students were supposed to buy 2 boxes of pencils for the year, and they keep those in their desk. They were *supposed* to be sharpened when they brought them, but you know that doesn't happen. So, I open up the classroom before the bell for about 15 minutes and they are supposed to read (school policy) *or* I allow them to sharpen pencils. They may sharpen again during recess or after school. If a pencil breaks during class, they should always have an extra one in their desk. If not, they borrow one quietly from a neighbor. I do have a few pencils they can borrow, but so far it hasn't been needed. Once in a while, I get someone who has forgotten my rule, but, more often than not, they remember.
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newtothird - Student's Preoccupied?
Old 08-26-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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Maybe in some rooms - I've never had a problem. No one wastes time there either, but I'm pretty strict, so that could be why?
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Pencils w/o erasers...
Old 08-27-2006, 09:51 AM
 
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tell children to have sharpened pencils handy during lessons to avoid sharpening during that time, because the consequence will be the use of pencils you have in your emergency pencil holder...and in this holder are pencils WITHOUT ERASERS...children do not like pencils without erasers and this will discipline them to have good pencils ready to use. : ) Hope this helps.
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Community pencils
Old 08-27-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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Each table is given pencils during the week...

Table managers sharpen them at the end of each day...

Students are not allowed to bring their own pencils (this really helps with "Someone took my pencil!")...

This is my first year doing this and I LOVE IT!!! I do not have pencil sharpenings all over the room and no one is complaining about stolen pencils.

When the students brought the pencils in...I told parents they would become community property.
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:40 PM
 
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All pencils are community property, and if they need a sharpened pencil they trade theirs in for a sharpened one. My TA (high schooler!) sharpens bunches of pencils once a day. I have such a tiny room that I don't let my students get out of their chairs except to line up for recess, lunch, and to go home. The other exception is to check a book out of our class library, but they are required to keep it through two subjects (no getting up and down to keep rechecking out books).
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get the point
Old 08-30-2006, 01:34 PM
 
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Well, I guess it's clear that what needs to be invented is a silent sharpener. I too can't stand the noise. Love some of these suggestions though! I've tried to be strict about sharpening only at designated times but now I'm inspired to really get a system up and running. Thanks for bringing it up!
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2 Pencils a month
Old 08-31-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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I give my 3rd graders two pencils a month. They are allowed to sharpen at recess or after school. That's it. If they lose them or they break during class, they have to borrow one from a friend. It works really well, since we have a first and last recess.
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