The Need to Sharpen Pencils

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by sophie1, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. sophie1

    sophie1 Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2008

    Do you have a pencil system? Either my students sharpen them all day or the little sharpener containers they use empty all over the floor. I have some ideas but would like to hear what works well for others. Thanks!
     
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  3. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jul 15, 2008

    My MT (Kinder/1st) had the kids put pencils in a "Needs Sharpened" coffee can, and then had a volunteer or aide sharpen them and put them in a "Sharpened" coffee can. The kids didn't use the electric sharpener and didn't have personal ones.

    I'll have 2nd/3rd this fall and I'm thinking of what to do, so I'll be watching your thread!
     
  4. Mr Flamingo

    Mr Flamingo Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    I've also done the "needs to be sharpened" & "sharpened" pencil thing. It worked ok, but I still had students who would get up even if their pencil was fine, just to get up. Maybe putting a small container/basket at each group with sharpened pencils might help. That way they are at their group and will not need to get up. You could put a bucnh in there, and then just sharpen them at the end of the day or something. I don't like the "personal" sharpeners because they make a mess on the floor or in their desks. Hope that helps.
     
  5. amyd

    amyd Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    I'm just a student teacher but when I get my own class I plan on doing what Shelly said. I will have the kids come in the morning and pick up 2 pencils for the day and then at the end of the day have them put them in the need sharpened can for the next day or so...depending on how many pencils I have.
     
  6. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    My students can sharpen their own pencils before school, and during individual work time. If they have a "pencil emergency" during teaching time, I have a jar of extras on my desk. They can quietly get up, put their dull one in the broken/dull pencil jar and take a replacement out of the can of sharpened pencils. I have a few kids each year who lose the privilege of sharpening their own pencils, and I tell them individually that they need to always replace their pencils with ones from the jar until they can behave at the pencil sharpener.

    I like this system, because kids who really want to take care of their own pencils can sharpen enough at then beginning of the day and during appropriate times, that they shouldn't have to replace theirs with any of mine. But at the same time, my replacements are there so that kids who break a pencil during class can take care of it without disrupting the whole class.

    Also, i really hate those individual ones too, but I know that they need to have access to them for colored pencils. I have a few of those next to the electric pencil sharpeners. Students can use them there, and if they do drop open, all the mess is contained to that one spot.
     
  7. amyt682

    amyt682 Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2008

    i was just thinking about this last night when i couldn't sleep...i'm going to have sharpened pencils on my desk and they can just trade me if they need a new one...i hate waiting for a kid to sharpen, cause then it's a big ordeal...i need mine sharpened too mrs. thompson, me too- so then there's like 5 kids waiting to sharpen...last year i put on my wish list a little hand held dust pan and brush so scoop up the shaving that always landed on the floor, i would have asked for a hand held vacuum if we were in a carpeted room
     
  8. seemoreglass

    seemoreglass Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    this was one of those little things that drove me crazy my first year

    that and the kids used to hum and sing while they worked, all 25 of em singing something different... ekk

    Anyway, I found something unique that has worked pretty well..

    My first time ever substitute teaching, I fell victim to this whole pencil sharpening fiasco. I was just letting kids go whenever they asked (1st grade). Pretty soon I look over and half the class is over sharpening their pencils and being naive and inexperience I thought, "how odd they all have to sharpen their pencil." It wasn't until the very end of the day that a little girl informed me the kids were breaking their pencils on purpose just to go to the pencil sharpener. The thought had never occurred to me.

    So I share this story with my 3rd graders. And I tell them that's why it really upsets me if someone is sharpening their pencil that doesn't have to. Most of the time, if I think a kid is spending a little too much time at the sharpener, all I have to do is give them the fuzzy eyeball, but humanizing the problem seems to help.

    I did something similar with the singing and don't have a problem with it either.
     
  9. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2008

    I simply didn't allow any sharpening at all during class. They had time to use the sharpener before class and during recess and were required to begin class with two sharp pencils every day. If they managed to break both (we did not have such long class periods and didn't do much writing, so that's not something that should be a problem) then they had to "rent" one from me paying with their class points (which could be redeemed for pizza or other rewards if saved up).

    At one point I got so tired of the sharpening situation that I gave each of them a mechanical pencil. It was probably the most worthy investment of the year! However, I then had the issue of kids playing with their pencils in place of the sharpening problem...
     
  10. sophie1

    sophie1 Comrade

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    Jul 15, 2008

    Very good ideas! So good, I now need to pick which one to use. Thanks a bunch!
     
  11. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 15, 2008

    This is what I do too.
     
  12. ArizonaTchr72

    ArizonaTchr72 Companion

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    Jul 15, 2008

    Someone on the board gave me the idea of putting my pencil sharpener on a timer. It will only be available for sharpening before and after school. Other than that, they will have to borrrow from the sharpened cups. One problem I had last year was students wanting to sharpen "their" pencils rather than borrow from the sharpened cup so I am going to try putting the sharpener on a timer this year.
     
  13. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 15, 2008

    I have kids sharpen 3 pencils during morning work. By the time announcements start, I literally unplug it and have a student put it in my desk.

    I keep sharpened pencils in 1 container and dull pencils in another. Every few days, a student sharpens the dull ones. I use 2 Folgers coffee containers because their decaf coffee is green, and their caffeinated coffee is red. So, sharp pencils in the green one, and dull pencils in the red. I mix decaf and reg coffee, so the empty containers were handy :)
     
  14. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    I teach 4 classes of 5th grade math. I give each student a pencil with their name on it. When they enter the classroom then they get their pencil. If it breaks in the middle of class then the kids will raise their hand and I will simply give them a new one. I don't allow them to go to the pencil sharperner because most of the kids are disruptive. When they leave class they must give me a pencil, or they can not leave. This cuts down of "missing" pencils that magically get lost in 70 minutes.
     
  15. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 15, 2008

    I will probably teach 1st grade this year. I will sharpen all pencils each evening. They will all be given out (2 at a time) and turned in daily. I've seen too many pencil sharpeners bite the dust!
     
  16. lteach2

    lteach2 Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2008

    I don't allow any sharpening during class either. The kids know they need to sharpen all their pencils first thing in the morning. I have one bucket that says "Trade-ins." If they are out of sharpened pencils, they have about 5 seconds to go "trade" it for a new one. You do, however, have to teach them that if you sharpened 3 pencils this morning and 1 broke, that does not mean you have to trade. If they are w/o a sharpened pencil they just know to hold their pencil up and I will nod at them if it is ok to go. They get the hang of it pretty quickly and don't abuse it. I keep lots of pencils in the container, so I just resharpen every few days.
     

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