I am forever picking pencils up off the floor. This year I hope to solve the problem by having each student have a pencil holder on their desk. I am using the 10 ounce drinkable yogurt containers. I cut them in half with a serrated knife, leaving the cap on. Thoroughly wash each part. Take a small piece of velcro and place on the bottom of the container and also on the cap end. Place a piece of velcr on each desk. Velcro together and instant pencil holder. Not only will pencils be handy for each student but they can also keep their scissors or small ruler in it too for easy access. When I find pencils on the floor I'll just drop them in the nearest holder. If you find the cut edges to be a little sharp just put some duck tape or masking tape over them.
Yes, I have them bring pencil boxes. But by having the holder they just have a quick place to put their pencils when not in use. Alot of times they just roll out of the desk. Many of them are lax about returning pencils to their boxes.
Pencils and scissors drove me nuts last year. I started with a system where there was a cup of sharpened pencils by the sharpener and when someone had a broken pencil, they could take a new sharp one and leave the old one for a monitor to sharpen at the end of the day. It worked for awhile, but after Christmas I ended up buying pencils because the class stock ran out. I had their scissors at their desks, but some constantly played with them or used them as pencil sharpener! This year each desk group will have a communal basket for pencils, rulers, and erasers and the scissors will be kept with their names on a hook board in the art area. I'll see how that works.
In my daughters' kindergarten class, the teacher uses video case boxes. It holds their glue stick, scissors and pencils. I thought it was such a neat idea when I saw it. She even has their name tag inside the plastic cover of the video case.
I too do community supplies. We share glue, pencils, white board markers and erasers, markers, and colored pencils. I didn't have trouble with any of the supplies except of course the pencils. So, I put one person in charge of collecting the pencils at the end of each day. That person ( I know this will sound ridiculous) had to count the number of pencils that were turned in. If we were missing one, we had to find (We found MOST of them). Periodically, we put new pencils in their pencil pouches inside their binder to make sure that they had a pencil to do their homework with. Although , this worked pretty well and we had enough pencils to last us through the year with a few to spare. We also changed our supply list from 12 pencils to 24 and I also purchased several boxes of pencils that were dirt cheep at Office Depot and Target.
When I have my students in pods, I use DOLE pineapple cans (covered in fabric) to house the community pencils and other resources (pens, rulers, scissors, etc). Those cans are awesome!! They are sturdy, tall but short enough so the kids don't have to dig way in there for most supplies, and best of all-- because of the pull-off lid, there are no worries about sharp edges. I cover the cans in "cheap-o" fabric using a hot glue gun... each can has different color/theme so that's how I address each pod.
I Hate pencil boxes!! I used cups on my desk (the baseball icee cups were perfect, but you can't always get them.) Just punch a couple of holes in the cup and use a cable tie to "tie" it to the desk, leg, basket , etc. If you have table desks you can use velcro, put the soft velcro on the desk, the hook side on the bottom of the cup. That way, when you need to move the cup for anything the top of the desk has the soft side.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
I use pencil cases for Preschool and sometimes it is a nightmare because there is always that one little thief who sneaks other people's stuff and puts it in his box. I vowed never to use them again...until this year when I started getting ready for Fall and couldn't resist the urge to use them again! What I don't like about "community" supplies is , some of the kids are so rough on the supplies(markers, etc) and just ruin stuff. I don't think it's fair for the kids who are so careful with their things. SSSoooo, here I go again with the cases.