Pencil Problem

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

  1. LCFMOM

    LCFMOM Rookie

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    Mar 21, 2008

    I will loan a pencil or pen to any student and the student must give me a shoe. This is an item that they never forget to collect from me, and then I get my pencil back. It is also a bit embarrassing to have to take off your shoe and give it to the teacher, so I have had fewer forgotten pencils.
     
  2. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Mar 21, 2008

    If I did an upper grade, instead of primary, I think I'd do this too. I've heard from so many teachers that it works.

    With the little ones, it would be just my luck the fire alarm would go off, and they wouldn't be able to get the shoe on and tie it fast enough. (Laughing at the thought of a child hopping on one foot out the door for the fire drill.) :)
     
  3. Writer02

    Writer02 Companion

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    Mar 22, 2008

    Elementary solutions are different from Middle, I think. I never had this problem in elementary school. In middle, they come to me for an hour, so when pencils walk off, they are gone into oblivion. In elementary school, you can set times to sharpen first thing and then everyone's OK for a while. The sharpener didn't bother me so much until this year now that I'm in the world of middle schoolers. They come for an hour and a third of them are unprepared in some way.
    I would not have tried the shoe in exchange for pencil in elementary school, even upper grades. They are borrowing a pencil for all day long in those grades, so it would be inappropriate since they'd have to get the shoe back for lunch, recess, etc. In middle or high, there is less chance they'll need the shoe back during class (hope we don't have a fire drill, too).

    I've never been a big fan of the personal sharpeners, either, but my pencil sharpener in my classroom is always breaking and getting jammed. Then, no one can seem to function anymore. Guess we just have to make it through a few more months 'til summer.
     
  4. JustT

    JustT Comrade

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    Mar 22, 2008

    :lol::lol::lol:

    This year, pencils are an issue as well as a pet peeve for me. This is what I found worked the best for teaching responsible pencil keepers:

    1) I tape a bright sticker near the pencil tip with a few layers of scotch tape. (if a student goes through the effort of pulling off the tape -- no big deal, they can keep it) These get returned to the -- forgot pencil today can.

    2) I ocassionally show the students the chewed marks and wierd markings on the shared pencils (about once a month) and explain the way the flu/colds travel. I highly encourage them to keep track of their own pencils.

    Students can get 2 new pencils on Monday mornings. The pencils are theirs to begin with since I took them up the begining of the school year from their supplies.

    I'm trying to now prevent straggler pencils... these are pencils which end up in other classrooms. LOL Since I'm picking my battles, I'll attack this issue after they shelf books in the right book book bin.... they love books and I need a better system since they are catagorized by levels, genre, author, and series.
     
  5. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    Apr 1, 2008

    I got some unique & inexpensive mechanical pencils from a teacher store on the internet and gave one to each of my students. (I only have about 40) I have random "pencil checks" and each student who has the pencil I gave them gets a few bonus points on a homework assignment. You would be amazed how many kids always have a pencil now!
     
  6. liztheturtle

    liztheturtle Rookie

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    Apr 1, 2008

    Here is another thought...

    If you are able to invest in a few of them, you should buy a couple of those overlarge pencils. You know, the ones that are almost as long as your arm and very big and awkward to hold. Then, not only does it make the day they forgot a pencil memorable, probably encouraging them to not forget a pencil when it ends up being a pain to write but then they also have a hard time smuggling them out.

    The only bad thing about this is that the kids might think these are cool and accidentally-purposefully forget their pencils...
     
  7. em26stj

    em26stj Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2008

    hernadoreading, what is the website address where you found the inexpensive mechanical pencils? My kids always forget pencils but they like the mechanical pencils and I never have them because they are so expensive.
     
  8. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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  9. KCTeacher

    KCTeacher Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2008

    I used to give my students pencils if they didn't have one all the time. Then I learned that I will never see those pencils again and I constantly would have to get new ones. I finally stopped giving them pencils and told them to ask a friend in class for one. Sometimes I'll just make a quick announcement (just to help them out) "does anyone have a pencil for "so and so" to borrow" but then i jut continue with my lesson as to not waste any time. I have seen teachers use the collateral method and it seemed to really work. They would take the students wallets, house keys, or anything of importance to them and hold them for the class. They would give that stuff back when they got their pencil back. The students of course would need their wallet/ house keys back so they would always return the pencil.
     
  10. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Apr 10, 2008

    HOBO PENCILS!!! That is what I called them - the pencils that I found on the playground or in the hallways.

    I would take a shoe for lending a pencil. Give back pencil, get back shoe!

    I also like the idea of using a quarter for collatarel but where I taught the kids didn't usually have change. Okay, let me re-phrase that - they didn't have change they wanted to use for pencils; they had change for the soda machine, though (when they were still in the building)!!

    Pencils have to be sharpened BEFORE the tardy bell (students were supposed to be "ready to work" by the time the bell rang). Sharpener was off-limits during class-time.

    One of my helpers was a pencil sharpener and they sharpened pencils at the end of class time on Fridays.
     
  11. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Apr 11, 2008

    Tape a hideous, large plastic flower to them?

    one m-n-m to whoever brings the pencil. You may be surprised what one piece of candy does.
     
  12. teacheratheart

    teacheratheart Companion

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    Apr 11, 2008

    Our teachers just had a pencil discussion at a meeting recently. Technically, the students education is supposed to be free and we can't charge them for a pencil, although I know a few teachers that do the collateral thing here at school.

    But I teach in a very poor district so when Staples had their penny sale at the beginning of the school year, I stocked up. I spent maybe fifty cents on pencils alone and I just give them out whenever somebody asks. Our school does provide pencils to the teachers but they are crappy and don't erase for anything. I feel bad for the kids that come to school in the same clothes everyday and have to ask for a pencil every single class they go to. Keeping track of my pencils isn't worth the effort expended.
     
  13. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    May 22, 2008

    Just an idea.... what if you taped a pencil to the desk. It just popped in my head and I haven't really thought through this, but if you tied the pencil to a yarn and tape that to the desk, then maybe that would help???????
     
  14. Writer02

    Writer02 Companion

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    May 23, 2008

    That's a neat idea, Peachyness. I have been trying the golf pencils. They last so much longer than the normal ones because kids actually return them at the end of the period. They ask "why doesn't it have an eraser?" to which I reply something to the effect of beggars can't be choosers. :)
     
  15. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    May 23, 2008

    I have gone down every route as far as lending, collateral, rescuing pencils goes. I finally settled on the "I don't give out pencils. Ask someone else." manner. It seems heartless, but I think its more important to teach a child to be responsible than to avoid a 7th grade math assignment done in crayon because that's all the student could find.

    If the student repeatedly does not have pencils, I will conference with them to try to find the solution. Some issues we've solved: bully was stealing his pencil, disorganization, disorganization, disorganization. I only had one student who truly could not afford to buy the pencils and all my students are econ. disadvantaged. That doesn't mean they cannot be resourceful and prioritize school supplies in their budget.
     
  16. Calliope

    Calliope Companion

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    May 23, 2008

    I make the child give me a shoe as collateral. It's the only collateral I will accept, as nobody forgets & walks out of the class without a shoe.
     
  17. Cyndi23

    Cyndi23 Companion

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    Jul 6, 2008

    I have to second the golf pencil idea!
    I bought 3 gross off of Ebay about 4 years ago. I'm only into my second box! The kids HATE them because they are small and have no eraser. Also, all the kids in the seventh grade knows that I give out the black golf pencils (another teacher has red ones, another white, etc) and they return them to me!
    Best $9 I ever spent!
     
  18. Tenured

    Tenured Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2008

    hit them in the pocketbook. .25 per pencil .50 per pen.

    Yes, it's expensive and if they don't like that, bring their own pencils.

    I put all monies collected into my booster account for the sport I coach

    I tell the kids that I have only 1 kid at that school that I am required to give school supplies to, and she has the same last name as I do.

    it's their grade, if they don't have a pencil is still no excuse for class disruption, so if they work their way through the discipline steps, so be it, they made that choice by not bringing a pencil
     
  19. Tenured

    Tenured Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2008

    and technically, I should not have to provide pencils with the expense coming from out of my pocket.

    [/quote]But I teach in a very poor district so when Staples had their penny sale at the beginning of the school year, I stocked up. I spent maybe fifty cents on pencils alone and I just give them out whenever somebody asks. Our school does provide pencils to the teachers but they are crappy and don't erase for anything. I feel bad for the kids that come to school in the same clothes everyday and have to ask for a pencil every single class they go to. Keeping track of my pencils isn't worth the effort expended.[/QUOTE]

    that's why I don't GIVE pencils out.
     

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