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  #1  
Old 11-15-2012, 12:50 AM
Tek Tek is offline
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Broken pencils driving me crazy!

If you have an effective pencil system, please let me know!

I tried the whole "box of sharpened pencils, if you break yours go get one of mine" system. I've heard many teachers trying this, and I prepared 40 pencils thinking I would be good for a while.

My kids went through it in 4 days! And now they're missing, or completely broken (literally, in half). I found one girl hoarding like 11 broken pencils. I was horrified. I guess I was naive to think 40 pencils could last me longer.

The sharpening drives me mad! The same cast of students are constantly sharpening their pencils in the mechanical device. I don't know if they're breaking them on purpose to get up and move about, if they're sharpening them too much or what, but it's driving me nuts.

Any 1st grade veterans who can tell me what's an effective pencil system?

And should there only be manual quiet sharpeners? I'm just at my wit's ends with this pencil business....
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2012, 01:38 AM
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yellowdaisies yellowdaisies is offline
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1st this year - 5th next year! :)
I'm not a veteran; I'm a first year teacher.

I don't know what to do about the broken pencils because I've only had that problem with a couple kids this year (and I don't know who!)

For pencils, I have two buckets in the back of the room - one for sharpened and one for unsharpened. They're right next to the electric sharpener but I NEVER let the kids use the sharpener. Pencils being sharpened during class is my pet peeve - drives me NUTS! When the kids need a pencil, they show me one finger - that's the silent "I need a pencil" signal. I then motion for them to trade their pencil. They put the dull/broken one in the unsharpened bucket and take a new sharpened one. Done. The kids each have two pencils so they're not trading all the time. Some mysteriously end up with more...so I just put them back when I notice. I sharpen the pencils in the unsharpened bucket every couple of days. My sharpener is fast so it only takes a couple minutes.

This system works for me with my group of kids, but of course each class is different! I just use it because like I said, pencil sharpening during class drives me CRAZY!

Edit: I was trying to figure out how many pencils I must have in rotation at one time. I know I started with each kid having 2 (2x19=38) and probably at least 20 more in the sharpened bucket. So I must have had 60 pencils out there at one point... yikes!
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2012, 01:47 AM
Tek Tek is offline
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Ah! Your system is similar to mine (even with 1 finger to signal I need a pencil) but my mistake is I don't have two buckets and the student putting the broken pencil in the dull bucket! That way, there's a fair exchange and I can sharpen at the end of the day.

I'll try this! I knew I forgot an important step... d'oh!
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  #4  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:25 AM
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mopar mopar is offline
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The two baskets works pretty well. I would also suggest having the students each take two pencils in the morning so if one breaks, they have a second. Then at the end of the day, collect all the pencils back from the students. This way you can easily see who is breaking or ruining pencils.
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  #5  
Old 11-15-2012, 08:47 AM
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latinteacher latinteacher is offline
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http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/s...d.php?t=166998

The link takes you to a system that I am using in my classroom. It is really working out so far! Kids seem to just like the convenience of taking our pencils because they are there and they are free. When they come at a cost (like with my incentive system), it makes them rethink if they really need to rely on our pencils (or if they need to hoard our pencils.. I had one of those girls too). I imagine you might need to modify it since you are working with younger kiddos, but I thought I would share in case you found it interesting.
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2012, 06:42 PM
HelloLove HelloLove is offline
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2nd Grade Teacher
I also do the "sharpened/unsharpened" baskets. But lately I've noticed kids are not returning my pencils. I know this sounds a little OCD, but over spring break I'm going to print labels with the kids names and put the labels on two pencils for each kid. I thought this was crazy but my mentor teacher says it saves her a lot of time dealing with pencil issues. It's worth a try I suppose.
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  #7  
Old 11-16-2012, 05:05 PM
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kpa1b2 kpa1b2 is offline
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I've labeled pencils before! I did it for every pencil one year because they were fighting over identical pencils!

I never let students use my electrical sharpener & I don't allow manual pencil sharpeners in my room. I can't stand pencil shavings!
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  #8  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:08 PM
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czacza czacza is online now
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I've been teaching for 15 years...this year pencils, markers, you name it...is out of control....kids don't cap markers, leave materials laying around, don't clean up after themselves....
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  #9  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:11 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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czacza---I agree. My students think I'm their maid, so we've really started focusing on cleaning up after yourself.

If you have the time and energy for labeling pencils, go ahead an do it. I'm not sure that it is something I would do unless the problem is severe (fighting).
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  #10  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:16 PM
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czacza czacza is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopar View Post
czacza---I agree. My students think I'm their maid, so we've really started focusing on cleaning up after yourself.

If you have the time and energy for labeling pencils, go ahead an do it. I'm not sure that it is something I would do unless the problem is severe (fighting).
I gave the 'Cinderella doesn't work here' speech this week....if anything, I'd be the Cinderella with the glass slippers, not the one cleaning up.
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