Pencil sharpening

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Schuyler, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Schuyler

    Schuyler Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    I will be teaching first grade. I'd like to set up a system with a "sharp pencils" container and a "dull pencils" container. Students simply put in the dull pencils and take a sharp one. I like this idea for two reasons: it cuts down on the noise of sharpening in the class (I or a student will sharpen at the end of the day), and it cuts down on wear and tear on my electric sharpener.

    My concern is with students who bring in fancy pencils. If they are putting them in a "dull pencils" container, they may not get it back. I don't want to prohibit them from bringing in fun pencils.

    Should I have them sharpen two in the morning, and then use the bins throughout the day if both of their pencils break? Thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2.  
  3. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,409
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 12, 2007

    I do the same system and all pencils go in no matter what. They eventually get them back. I have also given my kiddos small handheld sharpeners they can keep at their desks so if they want to keep their pencils, they can.

    Mine sharpen 2 in morning and get a "freebie" after lunch for 1/2 hour. I have a student who sharpens the pencils at end of day. Sometimes I feel like my kids eat the pencils because it's hard to keep our sharpened bin full....
     
  4. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    7,507
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 12, 2007

    I've been thinking of telling everyone from the beginning that we have community pencils. That way it doesn't matter who takes what pencil from the bin. I haven't decided about the fancy pencils though...I usually give those out during the year, but i will probably just give class sets out and not to individual students.
     
  5. Eliza

    Eliza Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    Oh my gosh!! That is SO true. Drives me crazy!!
     
  6. ruralneteach

    ruralneteach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    I'm actually considering banning the "fancy" pencils. So many of them have plastic coverings that are murder on the electric sharpeners.

    Last year we did the sharp/dull system and I thought that two pencils per student would be adequate. I think we finally ended up with four per student for the day. I agree that they eat them.
     
  7. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    Why dont you have the kids label their fancy pencils with perm marker at the end. Then the rule will be "only use fancy pencils that belong to you."
     
  8. MrsPatten

    MrsPatten Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    I had several student last year who would take our school pencils home to do homework! I actually had one parent call me up and chew me out because her child never had a pencil to do her homework with!!!! I'm thinking "umm, go down to Dollar General and buy her some!"

    As for fancy pencils, I would sharpen one for them in the morning and if it broke they could get one of the yellow ones out of the basket. I didn't make them put their fancy pencil in the basket and I made sure that they knew that they might see another student with their pencil if they did. It was kinda difficult at first but after just a little while it worked VERY well!
     
  9. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    7,507
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 12, 2007

    Thanks for the ideas for the fancy pencil problem:) I think that will work with my kiddos!
     
  10. Thom'n'Sarahmom

    Thom'n'Sarahmom Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    I totally agree - they EAT them -- maybe we could talk to cafeteria to make breakfast and lunch more nutritious... heeeeheee
     
  11. Thom'n'Sarahmom

    Thom'n'Sarahmom Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    Fancy pencils..

    In class we pretty much use yellow #2s all day...
    Children with 'fancy' pencils are encouraged to leave them at home to use for homework. This way I don't have to contend with loss or other ppl using them...
    I award students from time to time with fancy~ish pencils - but those too go home for homework....
     
  12. Thom'n'Sarahmom

    Thom'n'Sarahmom Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

     
  13. MrsPatten

    MrsPatten Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    That's such a good idea. I wish we asked for enough supplies to do that! I ended up buying supplies out of my own pocket just get by at the end of the year.
     
  14. Jenny G

    Jenny G Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    I also have a take a pencil/leave a pencil system. I'm going to tell them that if they don't want to leave a fancy pencil, then they need to have a plain yellow one in their box to put in its place. Sharpen two each morning - a yellow one and a fancy one. Then if the fancy one breaks, use the yellow one, it breaks, swap it out.
     
  15. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,916
    Likes Received:
    121

    Jul 12, 2007

    Fancy pencils are a nuisance.
    They're horrible at sharpening.
    The paper peels off.
    None the less,
    I allow them to sharpen their fancy pencils in the hand turning sharpener and only at the end of the day. If the lead breaks, they can go to borrow a sharpened one in the container and return it to the dull one. A student has the job of sharpening pencils at the end of the day in the electric sharpener. The system works fine!
     
  16. Thom'n'Sarahmom

    Thom'n'Sarahmom Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007


    By christmas/new year I send out a list asking parents to help out with more supplies ...
    I DO though - especially at this time of the year when everything is on sale - spend a bit of my own money -- now is the time to stockpile.... ;)
     
  17. SittinInATree

    SittinInATree Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    My student teaching class did this and it is a pain when it comes to personal pencils. 1st graders love pencils as rewards so they won't be happy not using them. Also, we ended up with hardly any pencils right away because since the kids did not "own" them, they did not care about them. We would sharpen a bunch every morning and then by afternoon the cup was empty so we were still sharpening during the school day. All the pencils that kids brought in were gone by Thanksgiving. I think that idea can be a pain but I like your idea about each kid getting 2 per day in the morning.

    Also, an even bigger pain are those tiny pencil sharpeners that kids keep at their desk. My student teaching mentor banned them from her room because the kids constantly drop them (and it is loud!) and then the shavings go everywhere.
     
  18. BuLadybug

    BuLadybug Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    I have a dull and sharp can too. I have a "pencil technician" who sharpens pencils at the end of the day or in the morning. During the For fancy penciils I started to put a masking tape "flag" at the end near the eraser with the students initials on. This worked well especially when I handed out 100th day pencils, etc. If someone had a pencil with someone else's initials then they couldn't lie and say it was theirs. If they are not labeled sometimes the kids fight over who's pencil is who's. So I have the # 2's be community pencils and if you have a special pencil I put a flag on it.

    I usually have my pencil technician use the hand sharpener and only I use the electric - otherwise the pencil dwindles down to nothing.
     
  19. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    5,363
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 12, 2007

    I have my students keep a sharpener at their desks- and it works. I don't have an electric sharpener (the noise!!!). I hide mine in the middle room so I can utilize it before and after school as well as times they are out!

    I am having each kid keep most of their items in a plastic container or zipper pouch in a CUBBY this following year because of THEFT last year!!! :( Each group will have their own cubby. Students can keep a few pencils in their desk, but not the bulk of them.
     
  20. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    speaking of theft... does anyone have any suggestions for making sure kids don't hoard/take a ridiculous amount of school supplies? some kids would hide dozens of community pencils, erasers, etc!
     
  21. Thom'n'Sarahmom

    Thom'n'Sarahmom Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    I had that happen a couple of times - so I with-held new pencils from comimg out and asked the students to look for pencils in their group tubs and/or seat pockets* - and we had a HUGE pile of pencils coming out... Many were sort of just kept inadvertently - I'd like to think there was no mal-intent...
    *Seat pockets - are made of durable fabric like heavy duty denim or upholstery fabric - slip over back of chair with to pocket hanging down (a higher smaller one and a lower bigger one) for notebooks etc. to cut back on traffic to the cubbies - because our school has round tables instead of personal desks - therefore no storage directly at the table....
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,596
    Likes Received:
    2,702

    Jul 13, 2007

    I suppose one way would be to not provide students with a place to hoard them. Like, requiring that they fit all their materials into a see-through, plastic container the size of a shoebox.
     
  23. sayuri

    sayuri Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    i haven't had the dull pencil problem in 3rd grade (they remember to sharpen at recess or after school and they are more willing to share with another table member who doesn't have a sharpened pencil) but i remember having a difficult time in 2nd grade. one year, i turned over two empty egg cartons and punched holes in the bumps. i labeled each bump with the student name. when they needed to sharpen their pencil, they stuck it in their bump and borrowed a community pencil. after i sharpened their pencil, we traded back.
     
  24. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jul 13, 2007

    When I student taught we had a little bin with pencils at the front of the room. If their pencil broke, they could go get one and not disturb the class by sharpening it during class. The kids knew if they left their pencils on the ground when they left for the day-it was no longer theirs. So we always picked up the pencils off the ground, under the desks and everything-and we sharpened those before we left. A lot of days we ended up with about 20 pencils. I never heard anyone complain about their pencils being gone.
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,596
    Likes Received:
    2,702

    Jul 13, 2007

    This is what I'd probably do.
     
  26. forkids

    forkids Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    I simply didn't allow fancy pencils - I told them to use those at home.
     
  27. MollyT

    MollyT Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    Here in Australia (WA) we dont have electric pencil sharpeners in our classes. Each child has their own pencil sharpener (hand held) and they sharpen when needed.
     
  28. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    What about cheap mechanical pencils?
    the bic one's I used in school were great with 3 leads in each one. no sharpening, just a click and you got a nice sharp point.

    are they not available in the dollar stores like in Canada?

    I can get a set of 5 for a dollar, and at one particular dollar store, 50 .5 mm leads for a dollar!

    I use them for drawing class, when I teach art.

    besides the cost are they good or bad?

    and for primary can you use pencil grips to make the shafts more thick for little fingers to get control?

    random thoughts.

    Mr. Skinner :D
     
  29. nytwinbee

    nytwinbee Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    I bought a lot of the penny packs of pencils at Staples. My family and I have been sharpening them all week. I will keep those in my class, so when I need to replace the community pencils, my pencils are ready to go.

    I have a little pencil bucket at the front of the class, and the students know to take pencils from there, and at the end of the day, I have a pencil monitor collect them.

    I have so many sharpened pencils now, that I am even thinking of collecting the dull ones, and replacing them with sharpened ones every day, and then sharpening only once a week. I might try that out and see how it works.

    This way I don't have to worry about forgetting to sharpen them and then coming in and not having pencils ready.

    I have tried pencil monitors, but someone usually ends up messing up the pencil sharpener, putting crayons, or simply abusing them. I have gone through a few pencil sharpeners that way. I plan to keep the sharpener locked away.
     
  30. teacherece

    teacherece Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    504
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    I only allow sharpening in the morning (at least 2) and right after lunch before DEAR time. My rule with the fancy pencils, etc. is at the end of the day it is found on the floor and ends up in the pencil sharpening bin (dull) it's fair game. Once I instituted that last year, kids started picking their pencils up and not leaving them on the floor. It worked very well.

    I tried the mechanical pencils but my 2nd graders went through them in one day (all three leads).
     
  31. MissTexas

    MissTexas Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    It's a good thing this was brought up! I was wondering what you guys did as far as pencil sharpening goes. Im new to first grade and I think I'm going to implement the dull/sharpened pencil system. Then maybe at the end of the day, I will make my table monitors responsible for sharpening the pencils at their desks (in their baskets). I absolutely HATED sharpening all those pencils. I would have the 5th graders that I tutored go around and sharpen all the pencils!
     
  32. maroki

    maroki Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 13, 2007

    Each student has their own individual supply tub and they are responsible for making sure their pencils are sharpened. They are not allowed to use my pencil sharpener, but may bring their own hand-held if they wish. Otherwise, they know there are acceptable times during the day when I will sharpen pencils for them. One of those times is first thing in the morning during morning seat work, so I always tell them if they don't ask to have a pencil sharpened then, they should be ok for at least 1/2 the day. If they don't have a sharpened pencil, they borrow from a friend.

    I frequently give out pencils as rewards and on holidays in my class, so there is no shortage of pencils to be shared or borrowed.
     
  33. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,304
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 14, 2007

    I didn't read all of the posts so sorry if this was already said. I just have the students bring in plain yellow #2 pencils at the beginning of the year. We have community pencils so it doesn't matter which one you get. I have someone (either a parent, myself, or my son) sharpen pencils at the end of the day so they are ready to go. I don't allow the kids to use my pencil sharpener...it cost too much and I don't want to have to replace it.
     
  34. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 21, 2007

    My students are not allowed to sharpen their pencils after 9:15 (which gives them 15 minutes after the bell rings). One of our classroom jobs is to sharpen all the pencils in the bucket, so if a student breaks a pencil during the day, they can put the broken one in the bucket and take a sharpened one or borrow one from a neighbor.

    I do not allow handheld sharpeners because 9 times out of 10, the shavings end up on the floor or scattered throughout their desk.
     
  35. rubynator

    rubynator New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 21, 2007

    I have students sharpen 2-3 pencils as soon as they've put their folders in their desks in the morning. They show sharpened pencils (with erasers) to me and I check their names off for attendance and also mark the snack milk chart. This year we used a hands-free pencil sharpener (primary version) and it was so much quieter and easier.
     
  36. pamms

    pamms Comrade

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 21, 2007


    Do you work in a low income area? I work in an affluent area. Your posts made me think it would be GREAT to have my class 'adopt' a class somewhere and make those homework packs for them!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. heny1,
  2. Pi-R-Squared
Total: 273 (members: 3, guests: 246, robots: 24)
test