The War on Pencils

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by SleekTeach, Jun 26, 2014.

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  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Jun 26, 2014

    As most everyone knows, Wal-Mart holds after-the-holiday sales for their holiday stuff. Well, a little after Easter, I rummaged through TONS of Peeps. Easter grass, eggs, and chocolate bunnies and found about 50 packs of pencils (12 per pack) being sold at 75% off the regular price of $0.97 per pack. So, I grabbed them ALL and got about 600 pencils for around $12.00. So when the new school year starts and someone asks for a pencil, they will get an "Easter" pencil no matter what day of the year it is.

    Can't wait for Halloween and Christmas after-holiday sales! :lol:
     
  2. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 27, 2014

    What to do about pencils is a battle I have never chosen to fight. I order some with my supply budget and pick up cheap ones whenever I see them (love those misprinted golf pencils!). I pick up the ones that get swept up in the hall and throw them into a bin. If a student needs a pencil, they check the bin first, or try to borrow from a friend. If they can't find one, I give them one. The whole process is quite seamless and I can continue teaching.
     
  3. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    :lol::lol::lol:I just may need to get some of those!
     
  5. MrsRed

    MrsRed Rookie

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    This is awesome! Do you mind if I borrow it?
     
  6. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Jun 27, 2014

    Me too!

    I worked with a 1st grade teacher and what she did was buy those small baskets from Dollar Tree and since she had the desks arranged in fours she put 1 at each desk with some pencils and erasers...she would sharpen them before class each morning and there was no need for the kids to get up for a pencil or eraser.
     
  7. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jun 29, 2014

    My high school math teacher did something like this. If we didn't have a pencil to use she handed us a pencil and took either car keys or student ID cards until the pencils were returned. There were no other options.
     
  8. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    This sounds way to complicated and time consuming. I have two cans. Sharp pencils and dull pencils. At the end of the day one of the class jobs is to sharpen pencils from one can and put them in the other. If a student needs a pencil they can trade a dull one for a sharp one or borrow from a friend. Pencils I find on the ground at the end of the day go in the can ego I spend NO money on this. If the pencil cans run out or go empty, well, I guess it's time to practice problem solving skills because the sharpener is unplugged from 8:30- 15 minutes before dismissal.
     
  9. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jun 29, 2014

    My mentor teacher had a pretty good program that she used throughout the year. I plan to do the same. She did have the sharpened/need to be sharpened cups. The students were required to have 3 sharpened pencils every day.They could be a personal pencil or a class pencil from the cup- didn't really make a difference.

    Students were allowed to sharpen at any time during morning work, but not after. Usually, the students wouldn't use 3 pencils in a day. They would use one, or maybe two, so they would just have one left over for the next day that hadn't even been used yet. If they had to get up in the middle of class because they A) didn't have a pencil, or B) the only pencil they had needed to be sharpened, then they had to clip down. Simple as that. The students knew it was their responsibility in the morning to make sure that they had 3 pencils. They also had small sharpeners to keep at their desks if they wanted to use them. Pencil sharpening, and losing a pencil, was never really an issue, because they had three to begin with.
     
  10. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Oct 10, 2014

    The battle never ends, does it? I'm now teaching 6th grade, it's October, and it seems like pencils grow legs and walk.... I'm caught between having a tough stance (i.e., no more pencils to be borrowed EVER!) to a first-come-first-serve mentality not expecting pencils to ever be returned........

    I haven't done the duct tape method so that could be something I do next..... I wonder what goes through a kid's mind? Is it that they forgot that they borrowed a pencil? If so, then wouldn't just coming up with a reminder system work? But, then again, is that worth the cost of my time? Yes, I did pay $12.00 for 600 pencils so it was my personal money... But, is it worth the time trying to collect something I paid 2 cents for? :lol:
     
  11. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Oct 10, 2014

    I prefer that my students use pens, but they are super expensive to constantly supply and replace since most students don't return them or lead pencils. I don't have the time to swap things and trade for pencils so students are free to take from my pencil cup but many do not return what they've borrowed.

    I went through 3 packs of pencils just this week since students have run out of their school supplies already.
     
  12. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Oct 10, 2014

    I know it! They've asked for paper and pencils every day! Same kids in the same periods!
     
  13. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Oct 10, 2014

    Yeah, I can see pens and pencils being a bigger problema in upper grades. In 4th I have my students trapped with me in the same room, so losing them, while still an issue, is nothing like middle or high school.
     
  14. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Oct 10, 2014

    I have two tubs next to the turn-in box and lined paper box... one that has sharp pencils and one that has dull pencils. Each kid is supposed to have exactly two pencils at their desk, and whenever one is dull, to replace it with a sharp one. They have been pretty good about keeping it that way, and after school each day I take the 1-2 minutes to sharpen the dull pencils and place them back in the sharp box. I haven't added any new pencils in a couple weeks at least (and am trying not to, as the new ones with the new erasers always get used or there's potential hoarding of all the nice new ones), and that's with probably only an excess of 15-20 pencils (i.e. the extras, not the ones inside their desk). Or maybe it's just a pretty responsible class.

    I must say, though, the fact that these are all Ticonderoga pencils are making them last literally 3-4 times as long as the brand of pencils that I had last year during the maternity leave position...I was sharpening a few dozen a day since so many would break, compared to about a dozen a day now.
     
  15. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2014

    I found this on TPT for FREE this year and have been using it with my students since the beginning. THEY LOVE IT! I've had no issues with pencils this year for the FIRST time. I slightly modified, and have them place them in buckets I purchased from the $1 spot at Target. Each bucket has their number on it. I like this way as I can easily SEE the number of pencils in their buckets on Friday without having to go through a bag.

    I wish I'd started this years ago!
     
  16. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Oct 11, 2014

    I keep a pot of pencils at the front of my room that students who don't have a pencil can use. I don't pay for the pencils. Every couple of weeks I visit a local catalogue shop where they provide pencils so you can fill in the order forms and I pocket a few dozen of them! Another ploy is to walk into a local bookmakers where they also have large numbers of free pencils just laying around waiting to be picked up!
     
  17. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Oct 11, 2014

    I have worked with teachers who would take a shoe as ransom for a pen or pencil!
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I trade a cell phone for a pencil. Very rarely do I have to lend them out as a result. No one has had to borrow one this year.
     
  19. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Oct 12, 2014

    Next year I just want to request Ticonderoga pencils on my supply list. Staples brand is crap! Half of them end up getting thrown in the trash before ever being used other brands are just as bad or worse. I could ask for half as many pencils if everyone would just buy Ticonderoga.
     
  20. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Oct 14, 2014

    I have done this in the past. After I thought about it, I decided a shoe was not a good idea (in case there was a fire drill!) Then the ransom became pencil boxes or hand sanitizer, something they had I knew they would come after.
     
  21. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Oct 15, 2014

    We started putting a note along these lines on our supply list a few years ago. It is truly amazing the difference! And since our kids are in the same room all day, there is a lot less worry about pencils being lost, etc. My students who bring them go through probably at least 1/4 to 1/3 of the pencils that students with the cheap ones...
     
  22. tcfullersoccer

    tcfullersoccer Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2014

    At Staples, I bought a plastic box of 500 of those little golf pencils you get at Putt Putt...no erasers and they're all pre-sharpened. The kids can borrow one of those as they need. They don't really like them because they're short with no erasers, but they CAN use them and do work. Since they don't like them, they have tended to make sure to bring their own. This has worked out well for me.
     
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