Broken pencils.... Missing erasers....

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Nov 14, 2019

    Can someone explain to me why poor students break my pencils and remove the erasers? I know I asked this before but can’t find the old topic just to look at. I just can’t seem to grasp why a free pencil pretty much any time they want one goes unappreciated. This gets me every time I sweep my floor.

    And it’s not just pencils... our school qualifies for free breakfast and lunch for all students.... they complain about the breakfast and lunch..... it’s aggravating and depressing at the same time!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    When everything is given to you for free, you begin to feel entitled to it, and you have no respect for it. It is an unfortunate human character trait.
     
  4. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I did find a reply to my own comment in an old thread about an article saying you should supply pencils and even fundraise if you need to! ;)
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Time to bring out the golf pencils!
     
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 14, 2019

    I figure missing erasers is one of the typical qualities of a 1st grade classroom.

    That said, a pencil issue I had to nip in the bud was the "tiny pencil" craze.

    I'm the sort that says a pencil can write sufficiently for a long time. However, some student ran a mile with this and kept pencils when there was hardly any pencil to speak of left. And yes, it became the in thing. I have few incidents of pencil sharpening issues to speak of this year--most kids are very good about sharpening a pencil in the morning without becoming obsessed with the pencil sharpener. It was just that they wanted to sharpen the tiny stubs.

    But then the tiny pencils wouldn't work for my classroom sharpener. So one sweet child offered up his personal mini sharpener. Which then broke from overuse.

    Kids were trading them. Kids were boasting of them. It became obnoxious, so yesterday I announced that if a pencil wouldn't work for my sharpener and you didn't have your own and you still wanted the tiny pencil, you were to take it home.

    This was followed by a migration to the backpacks.

    Today has been very peaceful on the pencil front.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    If they break them in half, I simply sharpen the longest half and put it back into the pencil can. I don't even worry about the erasers - I figure that it they are throwing them around the room, they must think they don't need them anyway. Half a pencil = a golf pencil, no more money spent.
     
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  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    It's because students are given pencils repeatedly. They're not a valuable commodity; students are given a new one every time they need one. If there were some kind of consequence for not coming to class prepared, they may take it more seriously, but there's not and so they don't! I know many teachers feel it's not the hill to die on, which I get, but it does make the problem worse because it's no longer an expectation that they come to class prepared.
     
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  9. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    This is an almost too funny coincidence. The ad on top of my page is for bendable pencils and gigantic erasers.

    Another typical student behavior in elementary school is for students to pretend to give themselves injections with a mechanical pencil, especially when the lead becomes loose inside.

    I kind of think it goes with the territory of teaching human kids and not robots. Human kids' brains are constantly exploring, rehearsing, and metacognitively sharing ideas. And of course the teacher or parent is constantly redirecting their explorations.

    Slightly off the subject, I recall a newspaper article about a class that was purposefully passing gas during class. The teacher creatively turned this into a research project on such biological situations. I can see a fun research project on the cost of an entire class destroying pencils.

    Concerning sharpeners, along with more appropriate redirection, something I've done to add a bit of spark to classroom lessons, I've written secret messages on a white sheet of paper with a white crayon (press thickly). When a student sprinkles pencil shavings onto the paper and shuffles the shavings around a bit, the secret message appears.
     
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  10. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I always carry a supply of pencils when I sub. However I get them from IKEA (free) or from another store we have in the UK called Argos where they are also free. We have bookmakers shops on our streets as well. A visit to one of those will get you a pocket full of pencils!

    I have found they rarely break these, possible because they are stronger than normal pencils or because they are short and you can't get the leverage necessary to break them.
     
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  11. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    I have always had maybe 1-3 kids who did that regularly to their pencils. They are usually kids w/ issues. Golf pencils are perfect for that type. ( End of annoyance...) I get you w/ the free breakfast and lunch. Some kids do complain and it is annoying.
    I don't want to see kids hungry, but school is not Burger King. You can't have everything your way. I get sick of seeing free or pd for lunches thrown away.
    If a kid complains to me, I usually just tell them 1 of 2 things to put an end to the sniveling. 1. If you are really hungry, you will eat what you are given. 2. There are kids all over the world who would be thankful for that food.
    The 1 that annoys me the most is when the parents complain their kid does not like the school lunches and want their kid to have something different, but feel so entitled that they will not make their kid a lunch. That really irks me. It is like they feel the school should be a restaurant to their child.
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    This happened to me all of last year. I think it’s because I gave them out freely. However, what options did I have? They didn't bring pencils and they wouldn't be able to do anything without a pencil.

    This year, I have the opposite problem. Kids just leave pencils everywhere...it is ridiculous so I just make kids who don't bring one find one. My school supplies plenty of pencils but I don't really need them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  13. Pisces

    Pisces Rookie

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    I have the same problem. I put them all in a pencil cup in the front of the room and tell students those pencils are theirs.. the ones I find laying around the classroom. I have so many.
     
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Where are the posters that keep saying kids should be given ALL school supplies for free? I'm waiting to see what they will say?? You know who you are!!

    If their parents had to replace them constantly I wonder if they would stop this ridiculous behavior.
     
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  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    When I do a periodic desk clean-out, you can only imagine the pencil jar replenishing.
     
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  16. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I work at a Title One school in California, and yes, we are required to provide necessary supplies. I provide the basics, paid for out of my supply budget ($80/section, or $2.50 per student).

    And yes, I do see the free breakfast/lunch get thrown away. But we also had a student who wasn't eating his, because he was taking it home for his family who wouldn't have anything to eat otherwise. You just never know what students may be going through.

    OP, if the erasers are going missing, it's probably because they are taking them off and throwing them at each other!
     
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  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    What happens when your supply budget runs out if you had to replace pencils every week or two? Maybe they need to sign out a pencil at the beginning of the day then sign it back in to see if they will take better care of them if they will be called out on pencil abuse.
     
  18. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I think in @ms.irene 's case, I'd be demanding the powers above me to deal with that. What is their solution to your problem if pencils are being broken and your $80 won't cover it?
     
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  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    EVERY SINGLE TIME!!! Guess that means I agree wholeheartedly, huh?
     
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  20. Tired Teacher

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    Lol! This is so true. I had a class last yr that did this.
     
  21. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I subbed in a school where the kids would dismantle the calculators and throw the pieces at each other!
     
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  22. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Today I found my kid with autism eating a bunch of eraser caps. Sigh.
     
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  23. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I once worked where a troublemaker student (later drop-out) removed the batteries from my TI-73 calculators and just kept them.
     
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  24. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    OK I had a kid once who found a way to take the screws out of desks and chairs when no one was looking. That year our desks and chairs fell apart a lot. It took awhile, but finally I spotted the culprit in the act. :)
     
  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Kids who self harm will swallow the batteries. You must think about my point of view - a school with 100% special needs, a significant number with a tendency to self harm. Yeah, I've seen this one and a few more not mentioned. Staples - they love to take staples off the posters, later you will note they have been cutting.
     
  26. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    To piggyback off of this...

    Not very happy this afternoon. A couple of weeks ago I purchased some foam whiteboard erasers, a class set.

    Sometime today, one or however many kids decided to put them in their mouths. Over half of these are covered with bite marks and many of my kids have been sick. I've decided the best course of action may be to just throw them out. It's not even ten bucks for the set, but I am grossed out and appalled by this behavior.
     
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  27. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    Yuck! :) I get tons of Kleenex at the start of the year. We just use these to wipe their white boards. I had a kid 2 yrs ago who liked to bite on his desk. He was 10 yrs old.
     
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