The Pencil Drama!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teach'em, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 8, 2010

    So, I've seen several posts here about pencils and thought I would start another one.

    PENCILS cause some of the most problems in my classroom. I hate them. I hate sharpening them. I hate when kids tell me their pencil is broken, dull, or that they can't find it. I don't let kids sharpen their pencils during the day because the sound drives me nuts, and some use it as an excuse to get up and not do their work. So, I use "sharp" and "dull" pencil jars. I can sharpen 30 pencils one morning and they are all gone by mid-afternoon. UGH!

    How have you gotten rid of the pencil drama?
     
  2.  
  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 8, 2010

    I never got rid of the pencil drama, but, if you need a few hundred pencils sharpened, I have an 8 year old that will do it for you for a small fee!
     
  4. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 8, 2010

    LOL, mmswm! I saw your post! I currently have 20 8 year olds who would love the job, but only the last few at the end of the day end up sharpening them.

    Just ask him to come up with a pencil that never needs sharpening and/or does not require loose lead! :thumb:
     
  5. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 8, 2010

    I have sharpened and needs sharpened boxes. I collected all the pencils at the beginning of the year. Each day, students pick up a sharp pencil and turn them in each night. If a pencil breaks, they can pick up a sharp one. Do they always show back up? No. But, it has definitely lessened the pencil drama for me.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 8, 2010

    I need to invent a pencil that would be the equivalent of Willie Wonka"s Everlasting Gobstopper. We would finally have peace and harmony in the classrooms.
     
  7. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,403
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 8, 2010

    Sharpie pencils? Don't need lead or sharpened? I dunno, haven't tried them yet.
     
  8. Chrissteeena

    Chrissteeena Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 8, 2010

    I hate when pencils go dull. I now only buy mechanical pencils. =) Solves the problem of having to sharpen them.
     
  9. SoReady2Teach

    SoReady2Teach Comrade

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 8, 2010

    I have one container of sharpened pencils and one of unsharpened pencils. I also give the job of a pencil sharpener every week. The rule in our classroom is the only two people ever allowed to touch the pencil sharpener are me and whoever has the job that week. So far it's worked well. *fingers crossed*
    When I come in the room in the morning, one of the first things I do is to restock the unsharpened pencils if necessary so we don't run out during the day. The pencil sharpener person is supposed to sharpen pencils in the morning and once again sometime in the afternoon.
     
  10. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    5

    Sep 8, 2010

    I haven't done this myself, but I did some field work in a classroom where the teacher had a cup of those plastic pencils where you pull the dull end out and replace it on the other end and another tip pops up....it's not exactly a mechanical pencil, I'm not sure what it's called. I've seen them in the dollar section at Target.

    It seemed to work for her. No sharpener problems. I don't know how long the pencils lasted, though.
     
  11. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,785
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 8, 2010

    I do this also. I sharpened about 50 pencils before school started to refill. They can only change their pencils if I give them permission during the day. We don't have any problems. I have learned that the noise can be a big distraction and the sharpener can become an excuse to not get the work finished, so both problems are eliminated.
     
  12. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 8, 2010

    I splurged a couple of weeks ago & spend $4 on 2...yes 2...Sharpie pencils. I love the fact that you can click them like a pen. They're easy to erase, and the "ink" (for lack of a better word) looks just like a normal pencil. The only drawbacks so far have been that it takes a bit to get going & you have to press harder on your paper (not too hard, though) to make the ink look smoother. Overall, I think they would be great for older kids, but not younger ones. For the younger kids, I agree w/ a PP & suggest mechanical pencils. A coworker of mine got a pack of 10 for $1 not too long ago.
     
  13. renmew

    renmew Rookie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 8, 2010

    The OP could of been me so easily... I actually checked the name on top to be sure!! The last couple of years I have collected all pencils the first few days and doled them out as needed, pre-sharpened. I had the two cans. Still, pencils would disappear too quickly, because 2nd graders have those fancy desks that are bottomless pits... except for the EMPTY pencil boxes, while the rest is strewn about the inside of the desk. Those stackable lead pencils are 10 for $1 at the dollar store, and I was considering using those as prizes so that the well-behaved, responsible students would accumulate those and at least they would be out of the pencil sharpening drama.

    I feel your pain.
     
  14. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,256
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 8, 2010

    I still have pencil drama and it drives me nuts! Tuesday, every student at sharpened pencils in their pencil boxes. Wed. afternoon (12:30pm) I'm being told "Ms ______ my pencils are dull!" um......I JUST gave you pencils! gah!!!! My students are pressing down very hard when they write, I've observed. I am trying to tell them to relax and lighten up.

    I will not do mechanical pencils because all day long these kids would play with them, lose the lead and complain. That would be more of a headache.

    Good idea on trading in a pencil at the end of each day! That's something to consider!
     
  15. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    377

    Sep 9, 2010

    Did you know that the 'Sharp' electronics corporation got it's name originally because it invented the eversharp mechanical pencil!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp_Corporation

    When we come over to the US in a few weeks we are bringing loads of pencils to hand out as small gifts to students. They all have an England flag on them. One of the good things about England getting knocked out of the Soccer world cup early was that we could buy all the souvenirs for pennies (the pencils cost 1p each (1.5c))
     
  16. Starista

    Starista Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 9, 2010

    Pencils cause my blood to boil. ;)

    Okay I only have 14 kids so my pencil drama is considerably less than what most you experience.

    My kids learned quickly that unless it's seriously broken, you're using what you've got.

    Every week a classroom job is "pencil person." He or she, at a time designated by me, sits at the Pencil Person Throne and calls kids up in number order to sharpen up to 3 pencils.

    Not a perfect solution as they still drive me up the wall.

    What about transitioning to mechanical pencils or pens? In my old school, 3rd grade graduated to pens for all subjects but math after the holiday break in december... just an idea. :)
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 9, 2010

    Tell me again why they can't just use a pen?
     
  18. stevesgirl

    stevesgirl Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2010

    Our team switched to pen only except for math about two years ago and it was the best decision we ever made. We only hear the sharpener during our math period. We use erasable pen to make sure papers are still neat.
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 9, 2010

    I'm fine with kids using a pen in my math class. If they make a mistake, they can cross it out with a single line.

    In fact, sometimes it's better-- I can see the errors they've made.
     
  20. Starista

    Starista Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 9, 2010

    School's policy.. Not sure why it's in place. It's my first year at the new school so I am not sure why they made it a rule.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Sep 9, 2010

    I think it's an incredibly common rule, but I've never understood it.
     
  22. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2010

    i use thick Laddie pencils by Ticonderoga... the points almost never break and because it's thicker they can use it longer in between sharpenings. Each table has four kids at it with a basket in the middle. I put four pencils and an eraser in the basket. I have a super fast sharpener which I use to sharpen all the pencils in the morning. If we used the pencils a lot during the day i'll sharpen them all again at lunch (takes all of 1 1/2 minutes), but usually they are good for a full day. It's quick to pick up the 6 pencil baskets and do the sharpening in the morning. I keep a few back up pencils ready to go if one magically disappears or the tip breaks. No drama.


     
  23. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2010

    I have high school, and if they don't bring a pencil, they can use one of my pens. :)
     
  24. Bonnie gr. 2

    Bonnie gr. 2 Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2010

    a few thoughts

    Pencil in lower grades instead of pen because the younger kids smudge it more. I don't like mechanical pencils because the younger kids tend to play with the lead and lose it. The pop a point pencils (the ones that have the little pieces that you take off and put into the top when they are dull) also become toys. Kids sit and play with the pieces.
     
  25. Falcon Flyer

    Falcon Flyer Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 9, 2010

    I like to let my kids keep their own pencils. I let them keep three pencils in their desk and the rest are stored in an overdoor shoe organizer under their name. When those three pencils get too short, they can get one out of the organizer. I also write their initials on each pencil, so it's easy to tell whose is whose. In the morning, before the day really gets going, I call for kids who need their pencils sharpened. The sharpener is off limits for the rest of the day. I think that since the pencils are their personal property, as designated by their initials, they actually take better care of them. It also solves the problem of the pencil-chewers so everyone else doesn't have to touch the chewed-on pencil. It takes a teeny bit more work to write initials on pencils, but this system has worked great for me.
     
  26. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2010

    I really don't have that problem (yet) as I have my students grouped and each group has a bunch of pencils to pick from their group supply cup every day.
     
  27. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2010

    I have a special pencil/pen cup. Student can take a pen or pencil if needed. I usually always have 3 pens or pencils left per day in my class , so far the cup doesn't need much replenishing. I only allow pencil sharpening before class on the electrical sharpener. They need a hand held sharpener if they want to sharpen during class. You find a time you want the kids to sharpen pencils (before the first bell, after lunch) so they don't drive you crazy with all their sharpening.
     
  28. ecl

    ecl Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2010

    The only reason you have pencil drama is because you feel the need to relieve children of this simple responsibility.

    Children can be responsible for bringing pencils into school, and for taking care of them. You can step out of the dance altogether by not providing pencils.

    I tell students that in order to be prepared for my class they need to bring 4 sharpened pencils. If they come unprepared, they need to borrow from a friend, or I will provide them with a dull crayon. They hate writing with the dull crayons. I've given out maybe 5 crayons for students to use in 7 years of teaching.

    I don't buy pencils, I don't sharpen them, and students know they can only sharpen at the beginning of the period.

    No drama here. I work in an urban school, by the way. It is one of the poorest schools in the city.
     
  29. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 9, 2010

    I let them use pens. There are plenty around. I have one container for lost pencils or pens. I stick any that I find in there. I don't bother sharpening them. Pencils can be sharpened in the morning before class only.

    The thing is....I don't want to deal with the problem. So find something that writes and let's get going.
     
  30. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 10, 2010

    I'm with Alice. I never use pencils lol I don't even know where to find one on my desk.
     
  31. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 11, 2010

    Okay, so I still have the two bins (dull and sharp) and now have a student walk around with the "dull" bin each afternoon for students to put pencils that need sharpening for the next day. I then have a late bus student sharpen the pencils. This is working pretty well. I also gave students a pen to write in their journal with...somehow no one has lost their pen, but constantly lose pencils...hmm...guess it's all in what they take pride in... :lol:
     
  32. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    Sep 11, 2010

    I get rid of pencil drama by refusing to deal with it. I told the students that there are no pencil sharpeners in my classroom:
    1. It's too loud (I have no carpets and there's a "hole" between my classroom and the next (there are bookshelves dividing the classrooms) )
    2. Students do not keep it clean and sorry, I'm not cleaning up after them.
    3. It is their responsibility to come prepared-- sharpen it in homeroom and bring a few of them.
    4. It allows them to help one another out and to respectfully ask one another if they have an extra pencil if they don't bring one.

    And I'm just not going to change it--- if a student has to sit through my class and not take notes/get data down, he/she will have to get it from a student later on. Some might think this is harsh (and of course, if I knew the student was having a bad day or came from a family who might not be able to afford having a few pencils, then I would help them out), but in life you will be expected to be prepared for anything. :)
     
  33. Ladybug Teacher

    Ladybug Teacher Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 11, 2010

    I don't think I'll truly solve the problem, but I did find something that helps keep track of them this year. I bought some of those skinny drawer containers (like this http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/MFzd9sIgPbMAVMZ4riX7q5vmgIUkrPfTIkK9x5byczE365HAKNhsmhchfabGvul88H-ACP5FoPZPwnS9vqbX2Ri9pEkOh2sjwPOXjHpgA6L9NDGl2pjwMF3KvTbngXAS0FE0UgL8mU6bCbhRfw but the cheap Walmart version) and the kids HAVE to keep them in their white pencil boxes. We haven't lost any pencils yet this year and it's led to less sharpening, since they have a few in their basket.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. ready2learn,
  2. jjoyce,
  3. Backroads
Total: 340 (members: 4, guests: 317, robots: 19)
test