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    pencils
    By Lynn H.

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    I taught second grade last year and tried a new pencil policy, which worked great. At a central location in my room, I have two pencil boxes -- one labeled "broken pencils" and one labeled "sharp pencils." I had four sharpened pencils in each table bucket (four students sit at each table in my room) on Monday morning. If someone's pencil broke, they simply got up and put it in the broken pencil box and got a sharp pencil out of the other box (which was filled with pencils.) I warned the kids that I only sharpen pencils once a week (I'm sure you could give the job to a kid, too), which really cut down on the number of "accidentally" broken pencils. I tried to make the Monday morning pencils fun (bright colors, cool designs) so the kids would rather use those than the yellow pencils in the sharp pencil box.
    As for the arguing over pencils, erasers, etc, I solved that by having a rotating weekly table captain who passed out materials as needed however he/she saw fit. Whenever an arguement started, all I had to say was, "When it's your week, you can do it differently." Everyone seemed to respect that. Good luck. Second grade is a blast!


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