Pencils

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by 773 Miles Away, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2008

    Oh my god these pencils will be the death of me. If they weren't so expensive I would buy all my kids durable mechanical pencils so they would never have to sharpen them again... but that's out of my budget.

    Anywho... how do you deal with the pencils and sharpening?? I just spent close to an hour sharpening enough pencils so they all have 4 fresh sharpened ones on their desk for tomorrow morning. But for day to day use... what do you do to minimize the distraction of sharpening pencils and not wasting time.

    Any ideas would be appreciated!
     
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  3. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2008

    I'm an art teacher who's students use pencils pretty much all day long. Regular pencils get dull fast. I buy Laddie pencils by Ticonderoga... because they are thicker and the lead is thicker, the point stays longer and breaks less. In the morning (or at the end of the day) I will sharpen about 30 pencils, and most of the time there is no further shapening needed until the next day. I also invested in a really good high quality pencil sharpener, so it only takes about a min or two to sharpen all the pencils.
     
  4. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Sep 14, 2008

    My students are responsible for sharpening two pencils when they get in each morning. They place these on their desks. They can stay in at a recess to sharpen more or borrow one from a friend.
     
  5. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2008

    I really like that idea (reminds me of the Tools for Teaching technique where you simply require two pencils ready at the beginning of the day)... however...

    Doesn't that cause for a hectic start in the day? What is your morning routine like?

    My class all walks to their lockers from the playground together and then they get in our room and we only have about 5-10 minutes to take attendance and put away our things before we have to switch to the class next door for reading & writing. All I can picture is 15 kids standing in a line by the pencil sharpener and then rushing to switch.

    Suggestions?
     
  6. Vievers

    Vievers Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2008

    I have two cans next to the pencil sharpener: Sharpened and Dull. If a student finds they are in need of a sharpened pencil during the day they take their pencils (they are supposed to have two) and drop them in the dull can and pick up 2 sharpened ones. Then at the end of the day as part of our afternoon going home routine the student who is responsible for supplies that week sharpens as many of the dull pencils as they can.
     
  7. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

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    Sep 14, 2008

    I tell my kids to have a personal hand-sharpener at their desk. If I'm teaching and they need to sharpen, they use that. If it's "work time", then they can use the community sharpener.
     
  8. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Sep 14, 2008

    After putting their backpacks and home-school folders away, my students need to go to the bathroom, fill their water bottle, sharpet two pencils and start their morning work. This all needs to be done within 5 minutes. It is a rather hectic 5 minutes, but it gets things done for the rest of the day.

    Another thing I have done- only one student in a row/table can be in line for sharpening pencils. The rest are doing morning work. When one comes back, the next one can get up to sharpen pencils.
     
  9. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2008

    I also use the sharpened and dull cans.

    It is their responsibility to have two sharpened pencils at the start of class (out of my can or sharpen their own)
    I have three sets of students so each class has to do this

    I also try to get the kids I have during lunch (we eat in our room) to sharpen pencils then and again get kids to do it at ens of day.

    Electric pencil sharpeners are a must have! One for the kids to use and one that is mine and noone touches it except me!
     
  10. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2008

    Good idea! I think I might try the sharp and dull containers...

    Now I need to start looking for a good quality sharpener... suggestions on what to buy??
     
  11. iteachm123

    iteachm123 Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2008

    One of my classroom jobs is "pencil technician." That person is responsible at the end of the day to collect the pencils from the unsharpened jar, sharpen them, and put them in the sharpened jar. If that person leaves early, I always have someone volunteering to do that job for them. I make sure I have plenty of pencils to start with so that we don't run out.
     
  12. BB0211

    BB0211 Companion

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    Sep 17, 2008

    I teach 4th grade and I started using caddies again. It sounds pretty primary, but it WORKS!

    I section the students into groups of 5. Each group has a caddy leader who gets the caddy each morning and puts it back at the end of the day. There are 5 pencils in the caddy along with a hand-held NO NOISE pencil sharpener. The caddy leader makes sure tehre are pencils in the caddy. Whenever a pencil breaks, a student can just reach into their caddy and sharpen.

    For the first week I would say the caddies were a bit distracting. (students playing with things, moving it around, etc.) but once they got used to it I and they dont even notice theyre there. Also, in the first month I have not had ONE complaint about not having a pencil. They just quietly sharpen it when they need.

    P.S. I also have extra sharpened pencils ready to go for backup.
     
  13. Green_eyed_gal

    Green_eyed_gal Comrade

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    Sep 18, 2008

    I have a container for sharpened pencils and dull pencils. Classroom helpers are responsible for sharpening pencils at the beginning of each day.
     
  14. Luv2Learn

    Luv2Learn Companion

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    Oct 3, 2008

    Great idea!
     
  15. Iris228

    Iris228 Rookie

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    Nov 1, 2008

    I do exactly this with my first graders. It works well especially since first graders break pencils about 50 million times a day! I do not let them sharpen during the day at all.

    The only thing I have noticed is that my sharpener broke after only 2 months of school. It was a decent sharpener from Staples, nothing to expensive but not a cheap one either. I think the culprit is the "fancy" pencils with the decorative plastic around the outside. I'm no longer letting the children use these in the sharpener. I too am looking for a sharpener that is a little more durable, but not too expensive.
     
  16. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Nov 1, 2008

    I should go for the caddies because I've realized in any grade, students encounter issues with this.
     
  17. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Nov 1, 2008

    My new rule when I sub is NO ONE but myself uses the electric sharpener. I have seen too many students break there teachers sharpener. I will not do that to another teacher. I tell them at the begging of the day that I will line them up one table or row at a time to sharpen them. I do it and hand it to them. We do this like twice during the day or I will do it for them if they ask. They love to put a pencil that is -- <----long in there. That is an excageration but you get my point.
     
  18. bina1357

    bina1357 Companion

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    Nov 8, 2008

    To those who have sharpen & dull pencil cans, do you hand out pencils to the students/ Or do they bring in pencils from home? If they bring in their own, how do you handle kids whose pencils "disappear" from the dull can by the end of the day? Or kids who claim that the pencil is theirs?

    I am just imagining I have sharpened all the "dull" pencils, when it's time to hand them back out, kids are claiming the pencil is theirs when it's not.
    Does that make sense? I've always wondered this.

    Tina
     
  19. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Nov 9, 2008

    I am not a certified teacher but I think I can clear this up. The teachers do not put them in the needs to be sharpened can and then redistribute them. Let's say that the teacher is teaching well that is not the time to sharpen pencils. They go to the can and get a fresh sharp one. They put there old one in the needs sharpened can. The kids do not go into the can looking for "their" pencil. They just grab one. It is a community can the kids understand and won't say hey thats mine. If they did I would tell them get over it these are for all to share. I never understood that whole this is mine thing because when I was in school I shared. That is part of your job as a teacher to teach children that we share so that we all have some. Not the we share and then we have none thinking.
     
  20. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Nov 9, 2008

    I make my kids sharpen 3 for morning work. If they ask me to sharpen during the day they lose 5 mins of recess. It works well for the most part, but I think I need to be more strict (hey, every teachers their peeves, right?:)) I think I'm going to start putting the sharpener away at the morning bell. If students need a sharp pencil they can borrow one or sharpen at recess. I love that idea!!
     
  21. just-n-educator

    just-n-educator Companion

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    Nov 9, 2008

    I have a sharpened/dull pencil container. I did the same thing last year. I allowed the children to have their own sharpeners in their pencil cases...what a bad Idea!!!! All they do now is sharpen each others pencils when they should be working. On my supply list I asked for 3 packs of pencils =36 pencils!!!! My children loose their pencils like it was a needle!!!! I am so fustrated that I am not sure what I should do! I am going to try a few of the ideas that were given here! If you have other ideas please let me know!
     
  22. just-n-educator

    just-n-educator Companion

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    Nov 9, 2008

    I have caddies and even then the children are losing pencils or keeping them in their desks. I didnt have caddies last year and I feel it was better. I am not really sure if its helped!
     
  23. Rissarai

    Rissarai New Member

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    Nov 18, 2008

    I require the students to come to class with at least 3 sharpened pencils. They are not allowed to sharpen pencils in my class. It may sound mean, but I have carpet and after years of frustration at the state of the floor I started this new policy. It works really well.
     
  24. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Nov 18, 2008

    Last summer I bought a good electric sharpener with school money, 700 pencils (8 per pack) from the Staples 1 cent sale, about 200 eraser tops from the 1 cent sale, and individual sharpeners from the 1 cent sale. I covered two cans with laminated scrapbook paper and labeled them sharp and dull.

    My kids aren't allowed to use the electric sharpener. I sharpen fresh pencils in the morning and put them in the sharp container. If the students need one they go get one and put the dull in the dull can. They don't use their own sharpeners much because it is easy to go get a sharp pencil. Once the sharp pencils are gone for the day, they must borrow or use their own sharpeners. It works out great for my class. I also don't have a lot of kids who have fancy pencils so that makes it easy.

    If I see them playing with their sharpener I take it. Yesterday, one of my active boys took his to the sink in the hall and filled it with water. I took it and he later got it off my desk. Now, I have it until January.

    As far as the eraser tops, I have some kids that can handle those and some who can't. If they need one, I hand them one but if they start picking them apart, I no longer give them any.
     
  25. mclaugcr

    mclaugcr Companion

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    Nov 21, 2008

    I think that after winter break, I'm going to implement the sharp and dull cans in my room. My students nearly broke my electric sharpener (one of the really nice ones made for school use) that I bought with my own money! :mad::mad::mad: Fortunately, I was able to fix it after school, but the kids still think it's broken (and I will continue to let them think that! :p). It just made me so mad because I have told them and told them to be careful with it because it can break. For now, they will have to deal with the old crank sharpener that they all hate or their own hand held sharpeners. I'm tired of it. :dizzy:
     

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