A Pencil Eater?

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Mommyserenity, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Dec 2, 2010

    Okay...hoping someone else here has encountered a student who eats pencils and can help me figure out how to stop her. :) I have one student in my room that destroys every pencil I give her within a day or less. She chews the erasers off (I find dozens of them in her desk when we clean out each Friday), chews the metal part off where the eraser would have been, and then somehow chews the lead out over and over again all day long. She never has a pencil to use and literally moments after she sharpens her pencil....the lead mysteriously comes out over and over again all day long. It is driving me nuts! :lol: She is one of my brightest students (skipped kindergarten all together)....and to go along with that she is one of the most disorganized and messy too. (which I know can go hand in hand). she can't seem to get assignments done on time, ever, due to not having a pencil that works! Anyone ever have a pencil eater before or can offer any advice?
     
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  3. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Gosh Mommyserenity, in all my years teaching I have never heard of this. Have you spoken to her parents? I would suggest having her use a mechanical pencil, but then the lead would be easier to take out and eat!
     
  4. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    Dec 2, 2010

    I will admit that I was a pencil chewer when I was a kid. I could destroy a wooden pencil within minutes. I never chewed the lead out, though--maybe newer pencils aren't made quite the same way? I eventually grew out of it, though, without any intervention. I also skipped a grade in elementary school, and I was also outrageously disorganized (I grew out of that, too!). Perhaps this child is a long lost little sister or cousin of mine.
     
  5. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I'm wondering if she has some kind of physical/chemical deficiency? If not, she'll probably out grow the habit.
     
  6. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    I have mentioned to her mom. She is a teacher at our school and is literally in the room next to me. Her dad is my principal, but very down to earth. We don't know of any imbalance. We have also noticed that she does this with almost everything. She chewed up one of those big, rectangular erasers too and chews paper off the crayons. I tend to think it may just be her being young and pencil chewing may just be her "thing" like hair twirling is my oldest child's thing when she is working. I just can't figure out how she is getting that lead out so fast though. I have talked to her one on one and we talked about how lead isn't good for our bodies etc...When I see her doing it, I quietly ask her to stop so the wood/lead won't get into her tummy and she stops.

    Thanks to those who have replied. I was just curious if anyone had seen this before, as I do not recall having other students in the past who chew up pencils quite like this! :)
     
  7. jbrinkm

    jbrinkm Companion

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    Dec 2, 2010

    PICA?

    I have a student who eats pencils, along with other objects like books and toilet paper. We are pretty sure she has PICA (I can't post links but you can google it) but she also has Down's Syndrome. Do you know if your student has had any recent lead testing?
     
  8. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    I have a student with PICA and he does this. One solution is to have a pencil top chew- I am yet to actually get mine, but I hear they work. Worth trying! I am still waiting and hopeful! Let you know once we actually get it!
    For now, she loves crayons and that is a battle.
     
  9. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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  10. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    I had a child who had skipped kindergarten and was chewing her fingernails off down to the skin. She was very nervous, and not sure of herself. I arranged for her to go back to kindergarten and have some challenging work. She needed the time to grow socially. It sounds like this little girl may have the same problem.

    Do you think a hand manipulative would work for her? A Koosh ball or some other soft ball? It worked for the child I had before she left my room(for kindergarten), and she continued to use it when she returned to my room the next year for first grade.
     
  11. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    That's a very interesting idea that I may need/want to try someday with my students. Last year I had a student with autism, so that would have come in handy for him.

    How did she sharpen her pencil? Did see push the pencil down and you cut off the excess tubing or did you just ;et it hang? How did the other kids react? Were they weirded out and asking questions or just like whatever?
     
  12. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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    I didn't explain all that well, we only put about 2 inches of tubing on, though if necessary you could cover the majority of the pencil and trim it. It's clear tubing so none of the kids really noticed and if they did none of them asked any questions. Kids have all kinds of weird pencils.
     
  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Dec 3, 2010

    We have tried letting pencil chewers use colored pencils. The lead doesn't come out as easily and there is no eraser or metal to chew up. Golf pencils are another alternative.
     
  14. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I don't have a comment on the pencils (never had this issue), but why is it so many intelligent kids are sloppy? My brightest students can clean out their desks at 3:30 in the afternoon and have it destroyed by 9:30 the next morning...literally!
     
  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    ...And the floor under their desks look like a tornado went through...!
     
  16. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    ...and the concept of a folder is lost on them...they don't grasp the idea that math notebooks are for math and reading notebooks are for reading...they never have a pencil...:lol:

    ok, done hijacking now ;)
     
  17. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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  18. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Can she chew gum? I have one student that I give those little green plastic sticks that you get from Starbucks to chew on.

    If you do decide on the chewing tubes, make sure that you clean them. They can get pretty gross.
     
  19. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Dec 29, 2010

    Mrs_B...our school is tiny and we have no OT (or SpEd dept) in our school. May have to look into those pencil toppers.

    Proud2B...no, chewing gum is not an option in class since there is a policy of no gum in our classrooms for all students. If I break the rule for one (esp since it is the principal's child)I'd have to for it for everyone.

    Still trying to work on this issue with this child. I have basically put her on limited pencils each day. I give her two pencils and tell her they have to last her the day. She has done some better about destroying them since she can't just go get tons more from the pencil tray I used to keep out in the room.
     

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