Pencil Problem

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by KatieC, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. KatieC

    KatieC Rookie

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    Jan 5, 2008

    I was hoping for some ideas on how to handle students "borrowing" pencils in class. During first semester I handed out pencils to any needy student, as I felt it was less disruptive than him or her asking a friend for one or leaving class to retrieve one from a locker. Needless to say, I have already gone through MANY pencils.

    Does anyone have a good method for these "needy" students (including the repeat offenders and the "A" student who is just having a rough day). I have heard of teachers requiring collateral or even charging for them. I'm open to trying something new when school starts on Monday, but I need something that will not disrupt those students who ARE prepared for class!!

    Thanks and Happy New Year to all!
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I typically give a pencil to a student who asks for one. If he or she asks for a second one later in the year, I charge 10 cents. Otherwise, they need to borrow a pencil from a classmate.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    After the caretakers sweep everything from the classrooms into the halls, I take a stroll down the hall and retrieve all of the pencils. I put them in a basket in my room and the students who don't have a pencil can take one from there. (I usually pick up 6-10 every night just down my hall).
     
  5. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    This sounds like an option for me as long as I tell students in my class that any un-claimed pencils will go to the "class pencil basket" but I dont think i would feel comfortable knowing that I'm taking pencils that other students in other classess have dropped. Just my :2cents:. otherwise I think its a great suggestion to recycle perfectly good pencils throughout the classroom, and it keeps your cost down.


    Although, I guess technically those pencils would go into the garbage anyway...
     
  6. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    forteachersonly.com sells personalized pencils for .89 for packs of 3 (you do have to order a minimum of $25). There may be cheaper places since they will all have the same name on them. I would order a bunch of pencils with your name on them and have the students sign something when they take a pencil. They should be able to handle signing a notebook with a date on it without too much trouble and you will know for sure who has your pencils!
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Once the kids have left and the pencils are swept into the hall, they will go into the garbage unless they are "rescued" first. In my room, I make sure that all of the pencils, rulers, erasers, etc. are picked up before the kids leave; it is unfortunate that everyone else isn't as diligent.
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I like the pencils that have Teacher's Pencil stamped on them.
     
  9. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    As a mother, my son is the world's worst about this. I have boxes of pencils in his room. He owns pencils, but everyday he returns home with one he borrows. If he teachers took things from him that mattered, he would take one of those boxes to school. I would also provide a few boxes to his teachers if they asked.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I also "rescue" pencils, but, I work in a very low income school, and most of my students legitimately don't have the money (or thier parents just don't care enough to buy them) for basic school supplies. I spend a lot of money on pencils, erasers, and paper to keep my desk supply fully stocked, but I can get a lot of stuff for a little money by 1) shopping "loss leader" sales at office max and office depot, and 2) having the intestinal fortitude to introduce myself to the store managers at wal mart, target, kmart, office max and office depot, explain who I am and where I teach and the kinds of kids I teach and just plain ask if they could donate a few packs of pencils or a few packs of paper. A lot of the time they go in the back and retrieve stuff from their damaged goods boxes and just give them to me, and other times I've had managers literally pull boxes of stuff off the shelves to donate to the school as a whole, not just my classroom.
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oops, I forgot to add: I've had some luck recently getting my stuff back after months of subtle and not so subtle lectures about respect for ourselves, others and other people's belongings. I still don't get most of it back, but I at least get some of it.
     
  12. Ms. T

    Ms. T Rookie

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    I also "rescue" pencils and erasers from the trash pile before they end up in the trash can. I have a small basket that I use that students can borrow from. My students are expected to bring proper materials to class. If they do not have pencil or paper, they borrow from a neighbor before the tardy bell. If I notice a student having to borrow on more than one occasion, I send home a note to the parent stating that their child needs materials. The student is required to bring back the note signed and this usually takes care of the problem.
     
  13. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    I have a container of pencils & pens left by others & students borrow from. I also hand out the mini size golf pencils. I get most of them back b-c they don't have erasers. If I have to pass out a lot I will have a student collect them otherwise they're on their own to put them back. For me it's not worth the hastle to bother about getting them back. ;)
    (This topic has been on here before & others had creative ideas if you're interested. :D )
     
  14. ZphiBLady

    ZphiBLady Rookie

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    That's a great idea to charge them.....
     
  15. ITeach4Him

    ITeach4Him Comrade

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    I keep popcicle sticks with their names on them in the can with the pencils. When they borrow, they pull their stick out and set it beside the can. Then I know who has borrowed and who needs to return one.
     
  16. KatieC

    KatieC Rookie

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    Thank you to all for the suggestions. Today was our first day back after the break and I subtly "warned" my students of the new consequences when they are not prepared for class. I will be charging for pencils and sending notes home for the repeat offenders!
     
  17. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    Jan 13, 2008

    I decided that I didn't want to fight over pencils and pens. So, I keep a cup of odds and ends on my table. So far this year I have spent about $4 in pencils so it does not cost me too much. I also pick up pens/ pencils from floor and have been known to "rescue" those eraser-less/ too short pencils from the elem. teachers who toss them when they are not good for handwriting practice.
     
  18. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Jan 13, 2008

    Forteachersonly.com also sells misprinted pencils CHEAP (I think 144 is about $4.00). I get a bunch of these at the beginning of the year and just hand them out.

    When I've done summer school with middle schoolers, I have collected collateral (purses, textbooks, etc).
     
  19. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Jan 15, 2008

    I make repeatedly pencil-less offenders give me collateral for a writing utensil, i.e. a shoe, backpack, etc. This way, I get my pencil back, because they need their shoe back. However, if a student who is usually well prepared comes to class without a pencil, I will generally just let them borrow one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2008
  20. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    I also get collateral from students for pencils. Lunch cards work really well since if they don't have their lunch card they have to go to the back of the line at lunch. This ensures that I will get the pencil back.
     
  21. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Jan 18, 2008

    Boy, is this a topic near and dear to my heart! Like almost every teacher, I too have the "pencil" problem. I keep a bucket with 6-10 pencils in the back of the class along with a basket with paper. The more paper/pencils I supply, the more they disappear! I've tried the hints, the lectures, names on the pencil, flowers taped to the pencils, and they still walk. I find the flowers on the floor in the hall, pencils with my name on them broken on the floor. I wanted to charge for pencils but was told I can't. Recently, however, I stumbled upon a solution that is working so far. I've heard of teachers doing the collatoral thing, but the routine of leaving a shoe behind when a student borrows a pencil, struck me as simple and silly while still gettting the point across. I casually mentioned one day that I think the only way I can ensure that there are loaner pencils available for every class is to require students to leave a shoe when they borrow one and then get their shoe back when they return it. The very next day, a boy got up to get a pencil but was taking extra time in the back corner. I asked if he was having a problem and he said, "No, I'm just getting my shoe off like you asked." I said thank you and now the idea has spread through all my classes! So far, so good.
     
  22. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    pencil machine

    I have a pencil machine that requires 10 cents per pencil. I purchased it from an educator's supply catelog. My school has a supply closet with teaching materials including pencils. When my machine is running low, I just get more from the supply closet.
     
  23. Starbks Junkie

    Starbks Junkie Rookie

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    I LOVE THIS!!! I'm definitely doing this! I teach 10th & 11th graders and they are just as bad at confiscating my pencils/pens. I'm sure they will just love the idea of taking off their shoes! ;)
     
  24. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    This may sound so simple, but a teacher told me what she does, and it is so simple. She puts ten pencils in a can (no more than ten usually need pencils). The kids come up and take one. At the end of the period, I assign a student to count and collect the pencils. If I don't have all ten, the class doesn't leave. I started implementing it this week. So far, so good.
     
  25. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Wow - it is really nice to know that there are people and companies that care about education and are willing to help out. :) Good for you to have the gumption to ask :love:

    BTW - not that anyone asked, but we are no longer allowed to take shoes as collateral. We had a fire drill and about 10 students were outside with only one shoe on :lol:
     
  26. AF Mom

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    I have supply checks once a month. I require binders, paper, pen, pencils, agenda, and a book to read. I give them a daily grade starting at 100 and drops 10 points for everything they don't have. I know that doesn't add up, but most kids have the big items. Also, the other kids get tired of the same kids borrowing things over and over and they tell them to get their own pencils or whatever.
    I don't think there will ever be a good answer to that question. I guess just grin and bear it. :lol:
     
  27. palmiralove

    palmiralove New Member

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    Hey! have you figured out a way on pencils? Here is a quick idea Have a clip board anyone who signs the clip board means they are borrowing a pencil from you. 2 min. before the class rings have students that borrowed pencil sign pencil back in and hand you the pencil. Whoever's name is not on the list gets 2 points for the day. This really works it works for me.
    Your Pal
     
  28. Vegas Art Guy

    Vegas Art Guy Rookie

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    I charge 25¢ a pencil. Otherwise they borrow one from a classmate.
     
  29. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Two words:

    Golf pencils.

    Yeah, they don't have an eraser. Just tell them not to make any mistakes. Students hate them and will probably give them back. Even if they don't, golf pencils are really cheap.
     
  30. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Our art teacher duct tapes a plastic spoon to the end of each pencil. They are too big to fit in pockets or bookbags, and look ridiculous. Only a student who really needed one would bother to borrow one, and she always gets them back.
     
  31. Writer02

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    I love the golf pencils idea. Cheapest ones available, I'm guessing.

    On my team, we have told some kids' parents to provide a box of pencils and give it to their homeroom teacher. When that kid comes in without a pencil, we simply give him his own pencil. That way, he is more likely to have a pencil in his next classes because he secured one in first period.

    Unfortunately, my pencil sharpener seems to eat the pencils the kids do have. I keep telling them to get their own little sharpeners to carry around, but they can't seem to get that together, either. Good to know I'm not alone, and I like the duct taped spoon idea, too!
     
  32. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    My middle school child doesn't have money when he goes to school. I'm sure in high school he might.
     
  33. em26stj

    em26stj Rookie

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    I teach 6th grade math in Queens, NYC. My students come to school with the newest phones, the coolest sneakers, yet in a class on 33 students, 10 routinely do not have paper or a pencil. This is a daily occurence. I have given up fighting with them about pencils. I too bought a million pencils in the beginning and slowly my supply is decreasing. My students are so lazy and forgetful I usually just end up finding my own pencils on my floor. I think the bigger problem is how can we get our students to remember these things?

    I also have a new pencil dilemma. The are constantly asking to sharpen their pencils. I started off with a rule that says they need to sharpen them in the beginning of class, but is it fair to restrict access to sharpening their pencil? It is very distruptive to other students and takes away from class time.
     
  34. Writer02

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    It is fair to restrict access to the sharpener when it's becoming too disruptive to others. I've had days when I've just told them the sharpener is now closed. Bring 3 pencils to class every day, and then you will have a spare. It's too bad for the kids who don't abuse it, but there are too many who go to sharpen just for no reason but to get up and chat. I know another teacher who does not allow them to use her sharpener every single day. I think it's fair when you tell the class they've lost access because it has become too disruptive. They could also get a warning about this once, and then finally lose access, too.
     
  35. Vegas Art Guy

    Vegas Art Guy Rookie

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    If you can't sell pencils ask for a 25¢ deposit instead. If they give you the pencil back they get their quarter back.
     
  36. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I have golf pencils. They were walking away with those too. The kids who shout across class to ask their friend for a pencil really annoy me. Or the kid that walks up and down the aisle bothering everyone because they aren't prepared. Maybe next year I'll do preparation points. You start off with a certain number of points and every time you ask me or another student for a pencil, or book, or paper you lose a point.
     
  37. Historyteaching

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    I worked with a computer teacher in an elementary school who takes shoes for pencils. I thought it was corny, but it works. I supply pencils in a basket and I buy some every 3-4 wks. I'm pretty much tired of doing it. I'm considering announcing next year, any student that brings in pencils and/or supplies like erasers, markers, colored pencils/crayons will get bonus points. Perhaps 10 bonus points for each item, up to 30 points per 9 weeks.

    I do that with candy too..my high schoolers are like kindergarteners when it comes to candy.
     
  38. Writer02

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    The shoe method has worked for me. I don't like it, but if it works, I'm going to try it for the rest of this school year. I can't afford to supply a new pencil for so many kids every day. And, next fall, I'm starting off very strict about my pencil policy from day one. We were a brand new school this year, so pencils were the least of my worries in the first quarter. We were still stamping and counting books, etc. :lol:
     
  39. Writer02

    Writer02 Companion

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    Oh, and personal pencil sharpener is going on the supply list, too.
    They need to have one in their pencil pouches in their binders. Of course, everyone will come prepared in my perfect classes next year...:confused:
     
  40. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Personally, I hate the personal sharpeners. Some bring the ones without a shavings compartment (even though I say it MUST have one) and they leave the shavings in their desk, or on the floor. Either that, or they are running to the trash can every five minutes to make their pencil a little sharper.

    The ones with the shavings compartments constant fall to the floor, and break open. Again, more shavings on the floor. Also, one child will have one, another will have forgetten his, so there is talking (the boy asking to borrow one) then passing it, then dropping it, then the owner of the sharpener gets mad..etc etc etc.

    It is just too distracting!

    We sharpen once a day, and I keep a container of sharp pencils they can trade.

    I actually had a child come to school with a battery operated personal pencil sharpener this year! The first time he used it, I was in shock that any parent would think it was all right to send that noisy thing. I ended up having to take it away, because he'd try to put it in his desk and use it secretly (as if I wouldn't hear it!)
     
  41. MsTeacher98

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    Mar 21, 2008

    This makes a lot of sense! I think I will use this next year! We aren't allowed to have them use shoes as collateral or sell pencils, either.



    Rain, I think it's hilarious that the kid tried to keep the battery operated sharpener in his desk!
     

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