Saturday, October 3, 2009

Idea Update: Pencil Plan 2009

Idea (See original post here):
  1. Write student names on pencils
  2. Keep pencils in table pencil boxes
  3. Put individual sharpeners in each box
  4. Have a classroom job of pencil sharpeners

Success Rating: Three Out of Five Stars


  1. No one has said, "He jacked mines" in regard to a pencil
  2. No problems with kids not having pencils or sharpened pencils this year


  1. I still don't have an electric pencil sharpener in my room (apparently, the one I ordered is still on back order), and it is very hard to have the kids sharpen pencils when I have to use the one next door
  2. It is hard for the kids to share individual sharpeners and sometimes they argue over them
  3. Sometimes they drop individual sharpeners and get stuff on the floor

Well, I still hate pencils more than anything else about teaching, but things are better. Hopefully, by the end of they year, I'll perfect my new system...


Anonymous said...

Hi There!

I went to a Dinah Zike workshop last week and one of her organization tips is to have two containers for that's labeled "sharpened" and one that's labeled "not sharpened". All the kids have to do is swap out the dull pencil for a "new" one.

ms.understood said...

I really like that idea. All of the other third grade teachers use that and it seems to be working for them.

luckeyfrog said...

The more I read, the more you sound like me.

In student teaching, my biggest frustration was pencils. I never would've expected it.

I ended up having a jar of "emergency pencils." Students were supposed to sharpen pencils in the morning, and if they ran out, come get the emergency pencil with their classroom number on it. (Sharpie labeled tape tags on special bright pencils that were easy for me to spot.) Students had to return them at the end of the day and I sharpened them.

This year the class I'm in uses sharpened and unsharpened pencil jars, and it works a lot better for the most part. They still eat pencils, but the frustration of constant sharpening is gone.