Opinions on erasers

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by teacher36, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Aug 20, 2009

    This year I was given pencils without erasers. When I inquired as to why, I was told that they don't want preschoolers thinking that they made a mistake. So if they write or draw something that they don't like, have them circle it and try again. :confused: Ok. So here's my problem. I thought it was good for children to learn that they can make a mistake and just try again (after erasing it). My line has always been "That's why they put erasers on pencils!!!" Huh, now what? What is your feeling on erasers? I know I will have a bunch of frustrated children this year when they try to erase something they want to change!! Of course, I'm not talking about developmentally inappropriate writing. I don't make them trace and or/ copy written letters and erase them if they are not perfect. I am talking about free writing and drawing and a child who makes a mistake or wants to change something now is stuck with what they have!! I'm interested to hear some of your opinions.
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I know nothing about preschoolers, but when I tutored some middle school age kids in math, it drove me nuts that some of them wanted to waste time and create a mess erasing entire pages of work to fix one error. I really had to work on getting them to just draw a line through and redo. So, I can see some benefit to encouraging kids to not spend a lot of time erasing large sections of work.
     
  4. KarenPreK

    KarenPreK Companion

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    Aug 20, 2009

    Our pencils don't have erasers either, but my kids rarely ever choose to use lead pencils. When they draw, they usually choose markers, crayons, colored pencils, or oil pastels. Those can't be erased. I don't see a lot of frustration with drawing mistakes, but if they do "mess up", they flip the paper to the back side.
     
  5. preteach

    preteach Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2009

    I do not see the problem with having erasers but I would think they will just end up scratching out the parts they don't like or starting over anyway. I guess I'm not sure why that would be any different than erasing it.
     
  6. EDUK8_ME

    EDUK8_ME Cohort

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    Aug 20, 2009

    We use broken crayons for writing so erasing is not an option any way. When pencils are put out to use as the children choose, I don't see much if any erasing. They usually start again or turn the paper over.
     
  7. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Aug 21, 2009

    I don't see much crossing out when erasers are not present, but there is a lot of erasing when erasers are there.
     
  8. mdith4him

    mdith4him Companion

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    Aug 21, 2009

    My school did the same thing! I hated it! Teach them how to use erasers properly at an early age and the problems that occur later shouldn't happen. Kids need to know that they will make mistakes and it's OK to erase!!
     
  9. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Aug 21, 2009

    I think this is one more example of adults overthinking things.
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 21, 2009

    Me too.

    Personally I think children should be allowed to change their minds. It doesn't mean they made a mistake but rather they chose to "revise." Now if YOU ask them to erase to fix their mistake, I can see the point but not when THEY decided they made a mistake or just plain changed their mind.
     
  11. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Aug 21, 2009

    I appreciate everyone's comments. I can see why they would think that this might be a good idea. I see the point of not being able to erase markers and crayons. But I still feel that when they are working with pencils, they should have the option to erase if they choose. Like I said earlier, I certainly don't ask any child to erase anything but when creating their "masterpieces", they should be able to make changes as they see fit. Perhaps I will put out pencils with erasers and those without and let the children choose. I have searched high and low on the internet looking for any research relating to this topic but have found none. If anyone knows of any, please let me know. Thanks
     
  12. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Aug 21, 2009

    Pre-K children begin writing with successful approximations not perfectly formed letters. They don't write a letter correctly the first time or every time. It takes practice and fine motor muscle control. Some children are not happy with an approximation and will erase again and again. They become frustrated because they can't write the letter correctly, and they can't write it correctly because they are erasing instead of practicing. It's a vicious circle.
     
  13. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Aug 21, 2009

    I don't think it is a big deal. If they have erasers they will erase, if they don't, they will scratch it out or start over somewhere else on the page. One other perspective is that if they can't erase they might be more careful the first time. After we practice writing names a little, I give the kids colored pencils and make a big deal about them not having erasers and how careful they will have to be when they write their names. They always remember to slow down again and write neatly. Of course I always have back-up paper and don't make a big deal of it if they do make a mistake!

    Also, if it does bother you, I would get the cap erasers and put them on all the pencils ;)
     
  14. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I've used pencils with and without erasers. I vote no erasers. I have had children that get so into every line having to be perfect and spending way too much time erasing, which makes a mess of the table and their paper. Then there's the holes in the paper and the upset that causes. If drawing, they mostly use crayons or markers & as others have said, turn the paper over if they aren't satisfied with something. If it's a writing paper or journal I ask them to put an X on it if they're not happy with it and try again. I tell them that will help me see what they're doing so I can show them the correct way again. If they erase, I can't see what they did wrong to begin with. This takes pressure off of them because now they're "helping" me.
     
  15. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I don't allow my kids to erase, even if they accidentally grab a pencil with an eraser. Has nothing to do with the pyschology of making an error, but with the ability to erase neatly. They can't. They just scratch huge holes in the paper and it's worse than the "mistake" that they made originally.

    And, I agree. They don't often cross out or start again...they work through their mistakes this way. But when they use erasers, they often erase (and tear up their papers) just for the sake of using the erasers.
    Kim
     

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