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sharpening pencils?
Old 11-15-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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How do your kids go about sharpening pencils? I was recently in a class where they had to sharpen pencils constantly, it drove me nuts.


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Old 11-15-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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My kids are allowed to sharpen pencils first thing in the morning only. I have a little bucket with sharpened pencils and if their pencil breaks during the day they have to learn the broken pencil in the bucket and take a sharpened pencil. This seems to work well for me. The sound of the pencil sharpener drives me CRAZY!
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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This year I got those individual sharpeners for a penny at Staples. So they all have their own sharpener. What a relief!!! Now, what I will do when those wear out??? I don't know!!! They use them like crazy. Of course, I hate writing with a dull pencil, too.

I have also done this. Each kid gets one or two popsicle sticks. They can deposit one stick when they sharpen their pencils. They can do this at any time. (well, I do set rules about that) When their sticks are gone...no more sharpening. That has worked in the past.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:06 PM
 
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More teachers need rules about sharpening. I don't know how many times I've been in front of the class speaking and somebody goes and uses the shapener (often the electric sharpener). I find this very rude. Not to mention that I have to explain things all over again to the kids who was sharpening.
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Morning only
Old 11-15-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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I only allow my students to sharpen pencils in the morning. They have more than enough time to come in, unpack, sharpen pencils and get to work. At 8:30 (when they go to their special) the pencil sharpener is closed for the day. If they try to sneak one past me (this has only happened 3 times to my knowledge) they must flip a card on our behavioral chart.

It works wonderfully. I hate trying to talk over the sound of a pencil sharpening!


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Pencil Monitor
Old 11-15-2007, 07:31 PM
 
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One of my classroom jobs is pencil monitor. The pencil monitor keeps a pencil box on their desk which is filled with sharpened and unsharpened pencils. If someone breaks a pencil, they just go to the pencil monitor who exchanges their broken pencil for a sharpened one.
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This is what I do
Old 11-15-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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I have a wonderful pencil sharpener(electric) that absolutely drives me crazy! The constant sound of it was getting my mornings off to a bad start - I had to find a solution. I now have "pencil sharpening" as a job. I have a student come into my room before the bell rings or at recess if they choose and they sharpen all pencils. I have a cup that is full of nice yellow pencils. At any time during the day if a student needs a pencil, they make a trade. Their pencil is placed in the needs to be sharpened cup and they take one out of the sharpened cup. I use only yellow #2 pencils from Staples(remember those sales this summer?)However, I do pass out "special" pencils for special occassions. This system has completely eliminated my problems - no one "borrows" anyone else's pencil because they all look the same, kids no longer line up to sharpen pencils, and I don't have to listen to that *^#*^# sharpener in the morning!
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Pencil Sharpening
Old 11-15-2007, 07:41 PM
 
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This used to drive me crazy. I have learned to be very strict about it. My students are to sharpen three in the morning. If they tell me during the day that they do not have sharpened pencil I make them show me the three that they sharpened that morning that are broke. If they can't(meaning they didn't sharpen them) I charge them 5 classroom dollars and lend them one of mine. If they can show three then I let them use one of the hand held sharpeners to sharpen them. I know it seems time consuming, but they soon learn to make sure they sharpen some in the morning.
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I SHARPEN ALL THE PENCILS myself :)
Old 11-16-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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I have 2nd grade...

All pencils are given to the teacher from day one (no one is allowed to take pencils home or keep them in their desk)

So each afternoon I sharpen pencils for both their tables and the pencil tray.

My class has a community pencil policy, the pencils are owned by the class...this way no one says "someone took my pencil" If their pencil break, they go get one out of the pencil tray.

So, I am the only person who ever sharpens pencils...I hate the sound of the pencil sharpener This has been one of the best things I have ever done as a teacher!

Parents love it! students have nothing to argue about and no one is ever sharpening when I am teaching. If I have a substitute I have designated 1 student to sharpen all pencils.

Hope this helps

Last edited by apple324; 11-16-2007 at 04:18 PM.. Reason: Add
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Sharpening routine
Old 11-16-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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In my class, 2-3 children sit at a square table and there is a container of coloured pencils and lead pencils in the centre of each table. I think a key to this necessary job is to not have too many pencils out in the first place! We only have a set of around 12 pencils in each container.

I have sharpening pencils as a job that turns around weekly like the rest of my jobs. I trained the children early on each job too. So, on Monday morns, I choose 2 kids to be our SHARPIES for the week. They love this- I think it's also the cool name I made up and they get to wear a sign around their necks- so that's cute and they then always make sure they are good at this job! They also respond at times when the class breaks a pencil which is not too often-- the pencil is raised- and a SHARPIE gets up to sharpen it! It's great that I feel like my Grade 1's help me teach and maintain routine.

When we are all gathered for show and tell or other 'down' times, they race around with their manual sharpeners (with covers on them) to all the containers on kids desk where they pick up broken pencils or blunt ones and sharpen them there on the spot.

My sharpies always do a surprisingly GREAT job, it really improves their fine motor skills too so as the year goes on they are actually more efficient at the job. I would always now have this method of sharpening with a young class-- it is very successful for me.

Hope this helps you. Be Smurfy


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Pencils
Old 11-17-2007, 03:31 AM
 
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I love the electric sharpener, but hate the SOUND (as do most of you).
They are allowed to sharpen in the morning... or I have a cup full of sharpened pencils and they are allowed to take one ONLY if they leave one...
They are allowed to get up and sharpen during the day only when mini-lesson or whole class teacher teaching is completed.
I agree with Sam5 that you need to model and reinforce (or plain be strict about it).
I tried the mechanical pencils, but in grade 3 they tend to press too hard always breaking the lead or clicking the lead all the way out....
Maybe we need to design a pencil that is like those twistable crayons -- thick enough to withstand firm pressing and no more sharpening sound!!
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sharpening
Old 11-17-2007, 05:23 AM
 
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Our rule is they can sharpen as long as no one is talking... so basically if they're working independently.

It's a bit hypocritical for me to complain, because if I don't use a mechanical pencil, I sharpen my pencil about every 5 to 10 mins, I can't stand if they're not sharp. (I also won't write with a medium point pen).
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:20 AM
 
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I heard about a pencil on one of the boards this summer. Well I finally had a chance to try it out and they are wonderful!!!! They are Ticondra ( I left them all at school and can't remember how to spell the name) Sensomatic. They are mechanical pencils that never break, the students don't have to forward the lead. It does it automatically!!! All you do is keep writing and never do a thing. It can be an investment in the beginning but after that all you need to do is to buy lead and eraser tops.
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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I really love the community pencil idea, and that only the teacher sharpens. Since I have a student in my room right now who has been coughing her head off, I would be concerned about spreading germs, especially when you have students who put pencils in their mouths and chew on them, and who knows where else they might stick them. Do you sanitize each one? or is it just not a problem? Yes, I guess you could call me a germ freak.
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germs
Old 11-17-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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I don't think you're a germ freak. That's one of the reasons I don't have my students use community supplies.

I'm like yesteach, I allow sharpening if needed as long as I'm not talking to the class at the time (why would my students be using their pencils then anyways?). But I also allow drinks and restroom whenever needed, again, as long as I'm not talking to the class at the time.

I teach the three-second rule with the electric sharpeners and the crank one (sharpen while you count to three, then check).

I ask on the supply list for students to bring a personal sharpener.

Pencil sharpening is not a problem for me. I tell them their pencil NEEDS to be sharp to help them do their neatest handwriting.
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I do not sanitize each pencil
Old 11-17-2007, 06:40 PM
 
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I understand that you may be a germ freak but think about these things...

Do you sanitize the water fountain? it has the most germs in your building.

Do you clean the handle on the toilet of the girls and boys bathroom?(germ city)

What about all the materials that the children use that are yours? such as glue, scissors or books.

I have not had one student out sick this entire year...I make sure I clean their desks and my doorknobs and my room.

If I catch a pencil with teeth marks, I through it out but the students were told from day one not to put them in their mouth.
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Old 11-18-2007, 11:21 AM
 
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I have two students who are Pencil Professionals in my room [we rotate jobs monthly]. In the morning these two students use my two sharpeners and sharpen all the pencils in the dull bin and then transfer them to the sharp bin. As part of morning routine, my students each pick up two pencils. At the end of the day, my pencil professionals pick up all pencils from the students and sort them accordingly as sharp or dull. The next morning they sharpen again, and so on and so forth. It's worked great so far. As the PP said, we through out any chewed pencils, though that doesn't happen much. We also throw out stubby pencils.
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throw out pencils
Old 11-18-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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We throw out old pencils with marks on them.
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Sharpening ideas.....
Old 11-19-2007, 06:46 PM
 
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One thing I did in the past was allow students to sharpen their pencils, at an appropriate time (when I wasn't instructing), and they would do this by raising their pencil in the air and tapping on the top of it. Then I nod my head and let them go or hold up my hand and give them a hold on signal and point to the sharpener if there was a student there already. This meant yes, but after that student sits down. This worked great because no one was raising their hand or shouting out that they needed to sharpen their pencil. It was a simple way to manage it and it also discouraged students from doing it every second. If it was not a good time, I would shake my head or ignore them and they new what that meant.

Currently, I have a pencil box with each row of students and a sharpener. Students sharpen and put the shavings in the pencil box. They can empty the pencil shavings after school when they need to. Sending a supply letter at the beginning of the year helped with most students having their own pencil box and sharpener. I have bought a few $.50 sharpeners that I will pass out if someone needs to sharpen, but it has worked wonders for my sanity having them do it this way! I award group points and they are not allowed to argue about sharpening or the box. It is a group thing and they get in trouble (lose points) for making any sort of fuss about sharpening. I have had no problems at all with this system.
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pencil sharpening
Old 11-23-2007, 08:20 AM
 
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I have a can that's painted red for broken pencils and a can that's painted green for sharpened pencils. Each day students should start with two sharpened pencils. If one breaks, they put it in the red can and take one from the green can. I take all of the pencils up at the beginning of the year. At the end of the day, I sharpen again for tomorrow. I will not sharpen during the day, so they have to borrow from another student if they have broken both of theirs and there aren't any sharpened ones left. This is the first year of using this and I love it!
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Sharpening Pencils
Old 05-09-2009, 01:15 PM
 
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I have a gallon size zip bag clipped to my board. When pencils break or become dull, they get added to the bag. When the bag has about 25-30 pencils in it, I send it home to one of the parents who volunteered to sharpen pencils. The next day, we have sharpened pencils! I have 4-5 parents every year that volunteer so our pencil sharpener goes quietly unused. (Sometimes I send a bag home to each parent that signed up and then I stockpile.)
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pencils
Old 06-07-2016, 04:34 AM
 
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OMG sharpening pencils drives me nuts I always tell my kids to bring in mechanical pencils but they never do so I'm this close to going to staples and getting them all one and taking all of my sharpeners and throwing them in the trash!!!!!!
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