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Home : 2001 : Jun : 20

    sharpening pencils and losing pencils
    By Cathy-Dee

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    Sometimes I think they actually must eat the pencils. I had a couple of boys this year who couldn't keep a pencil in their hands or desks for more than one class. It almost drove me crazy! I did have to get tough on them and constantly have them put their pencils on my desk after every class so we'd know where to find them.

    I bought a ton of extra pencils this year. Next year I am asking parents to send along 2 extras to be put into a community container - these I'll keep sharpened and they will be for the kids who lose their pencils or break their pencils. I don't mind picking up a few extra pencils - but I'm sure over the course of the year I ended up giving out over 80 pencils or more. And probably 60 of them to those two boys

    Something I have used (don't know where I got the idea from), is a stop sign. I made a large circle - one side red and the other green. When the sign is green (and only I can turn it around), the sharpener is open. When it is red, no one can use the sharpener. This does help reduce the amount of sharpening and pencils may last longer (I didn't use it this past year - my big mistake).

    I also keep an electric pencil sharper by my desk - only I can use it. They don't break as often and it's great especially at the beginning of the year.

    I also have kids borrow pencils if necessary - especially this time of year. I also do reward stickers on charts - so I added the pencil to the rewards. If the students were ready first thing in the morning, pencil sharpened, books out, they got a sticker on their chart. 10 stickers they get to go to the prize box. This helped a few of my kids become more organized.

    If after all this I still have a few who just can't seem to get organized and have their pencils ready - then I get really tough for a couple of days. I close the sharpener and let the class know that if they were not ready, the sharpener will reopen at recess. So if they don't have a pencil they can listen to the lesson, then read a book and do their "pencil" work at recess. I've only had to do this once or twice during the year to get those few much more motivated. And no borrowing of pencils during this time either.



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