Pencils

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jen12, May 10, 2014.

  1. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    May 10, 2014

    I know there have been threads here about pencils before and there are many different strategies around them.

    I have two cans - one with sharpened pencils and pencils that need to be sharpened. It's worked out pretty well and most of the kids use the system responsibly. One of my first grade boys has decided it's a fun game to get a pencil and break the point so he can get up and get another one. I've made him start checking with me before he gets up, but then he just follows me around to show me the broken pencil. I've also tried giving him a pen to use, but then naturally the other kids all want to use pens also. Now another student has decided he's going to play the break-the-pencil game too. Twice this last week, it's gotten to the point where there have been no pencils left, including in my reserve, and I've had to sharpen more during class time.

    Someone suggested that I make him use crayon on all his assignments, but that's not going to be very helpful when it comes to handwriting.

    Has anyone faced this game before?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 10, 2014

    I'd give him one of those big fat kindergarten pencils...Not as easy to break.

    Or start giving points for free time to kids who have kept the same pencil all day.
     
  4. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    May 10, 2014

    Yup, the fat pencils are very hard to break! The point takes a lot longer to wear down as well....I switched over to those because it means less sharpening for me!

    The free time points could work, but pencils do break, I would feel bad not giving free time to a kid who's pencil broke and not on purpose. :2cents:
     
  5. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    May 10, 2014

    Don't allow him to get up for a new pencil. You bring it to him instead. Soon, it won't be funny for him anymore.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 10, 2014

    I was talking accumulated points for free time. Most kids don't break their pencil every day.
     
  7. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    May 10, 2014

    A couple of solutions I might try:

    1) If you break your pencil on purpose, you do not get another pencil. The work then must be completed during recess time. Have a big talk with the whole class beforehand so everyone knows the new rule. *Obviously you will need to make sure you know he is breaking the pencil on purpose... but that won't be too difficult.

    2) If a student is abusing the privilege, no longer allow them to get up for pencils. Like another poster said, the fun will be ruined when you give him the pencil instead.

    Personally I would not give him a fat pencil because I view that as giving in to him and giving him something special. If he was clumsy and breaking pencils by accident, sure. Not because he is being naughty.

    I have had several pencil issues in the past. The only way I have learned to resolve them is to be strict, strict, strict about pencils.
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    May 11, 2014

    Perhaps a mechanical pencil would prevent the issue?

    Actually, on second thought, that might just aggravate the issue - the student will just break off tiny pieces of the pencil lead and throw it around
     
  9. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    May 11, 2014

    I have a student who loooves this game. She will break pencil after pencil after pencil just to get a new one. Now I only let students who have the best behavior (blue on the behavior chart every day for a week) get out of their seats without asking permission, such as to sharpen their pencil. I've also started charging students some class dollars for new pencils/erasers. They've magically become better at taking care of them.
     
  10. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    May 11, 2014

    Yeah, the lead pencils can become huge distractions, especially if the kids already have a behavior problem.
     
  11. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    May 12, 2014

    Lead pencils are a problem unto themselves. The kids take them apart, then bring them to me to put back together, they go around asking each other for lead...I don't allow them anymore. They're just too much of a distraction.

    I like the fat pencil idea. I'm going to try to find a few of those.

    I also like the idea of charging for new ones, but I'm not sure a change in routine that big will work with six weeks left of school.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    May 12, 2014

    I like the fat pencil idea too. Except, chop them up and make them like 3 inches long. It will be IMPOSSIBLE to break.

    I use golf pencils but I think you can break even those if you try.
     
  13. cafekarma

    cafekarma Rookie

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    May 13, 2014

    Where I teach, every child brings his or her own pencils. They only use the fat ones, and they each have a small personal pencil sharpener. I initially didn't like this plan or the fat pencils, but it actually works very well. I never have to think about pencils anymore.
     

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