Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pencil Management and a Giveaway!

First things first.

Today I had a heart to heart with my firsties.  If you are 10 days away from summer vacation (like me!!) you probably know all about our heart to heart.

Today, I experienced humanity at its finest.

You can't play with us!
We're in a secret club and you can't join!
Go play by yourself!
I AM NOT BEING MEAN! (yelling)

SHE DID TOO GET ON THE COMPUTER ALREADY! (ten students yelling this simultaneously)
The list could go on and on just based on today's events (inside recess and EOY testing to name a few).

At the end of the day, we all sat in a circle (much like we do at the start of the day for our family meeting).
I brought up the issue of being hurtful to others and put it out on the table on the caterpillar carpet.
I asked my students one simple question to get them started:
Do you want to spend the last nine days being hurtful or helpful?

They all answered helpful and we were on our way to recovery from the end of the year crazies.

By the end of our time together, I heard one student apologizing to the student that was left out in the above conversation.

In other news, if you have not entered the Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener Giveaway, join in today!

Since I wrote the pencil review and I asked giveaway entries to tell me how they manage and organize their classroom pencils, I realized I never really told you how I manage my pencils.

If you are a visual learner, you are in luck!  I remembered to take some pictures for you.

Let's get started, shall we?
I've got a husband waiting to watch a movie with me!

Each student has their own pencil box with school supplies.
I have used this since day one of teaching.
I am a true believer of teaching responsibility through a school supply box.

Inside the pencil box, students keep at least two sharp pencils.
I write their classroom number on their pencil with a sharpie.

We use classroom numbers for just about everything.  My students all know each others numbers by heart because we practiced this at the beginning of the year.

I write their number on their name tag for the beginning of the year.

Sorry its sideways!  You get the idea.

When their pencil breaks or becomes dull, students are allowed to put it in the RED cup to be sharpened at the end of the day.

The red cup is found in our table baskets, along with markers and scissors.

Pencil sharpener is one of our classroom jobs.  
When it is the end of the day, they walk to each of the tables, grabs the red cup, and heads to the sharpener.  

Once the pencils are sharp, they place them in the GREEN cup.  The green cup is the "delivery" cup.  The next morning, students check the green cup to get their numbered pencil and put it back in their box.

The BLUE cup pencils are "teacher" pencils.  We use these during enrichment (when I don't have my own students with their own pencil boxes).  
Students may borrow these pencils if they have no sharpened pencils in their box.  

This has cut down on ALL of the "I don't have a pencil" and "My pencil isn't sharp" and "Can I borrow a pencil?"  and "I'd rather crawl around on the floor searching for my pencil than do my work." talk.

Does this even make sense?

This management system has developed over the course of the last three years.  

My first year I had a "sharp" and "dull" cup.  
I couldn't keep track of students trading a dull for a sharp, and students didn't care less if they lost a pencil.  We were ALWAYS sharpening pencils and then loosing them.
I also noticed a pattern of faking a dull pencil in order to get up out of their seats and walk around the room to talk to my friends.

Problems solved. 

What do you do for pencil management?

Well, I'm off to watch that movie with the husband!  
Enjoy your hump day!  
It's all downhill from here :)

-The Frizz

PS I have 9 days of school left!  SINGLE DIGITS!!


  1. Your conversation sounds like the one that I have been having daily with my own class! We have 11 days left, so I guess I will be having that conversation for 11 more times!!!! We will definitely be going out with a BANG!

    An Apple a Day in First Grade

  2. We had a come to Jesus talk today too!!!!!!!!!! They are CRAZY!!! They aren't even that wild with me, but they just can not get along. Breakin my heart! My sweet little friends will be together until 5th grade, too!

  3. I absolutely love the way you do your pencil sharpening system!! I'm not a stickler about a TON of things... but pencils is one! My kids are NOT allowed to sharpen their own pencils, I have one bucket for sharp and one for dull... I can't fathom spending $60 a year on a sharpener for them to ruin!

    Surviving the Little People

  4. My students keep one pencil in their desk. When they need a new one, I trade their pencil with a new sharpened one. I sharpen the pencils during down time or after school.

    Crystal Shepherd
    The lamppost in 1st grade math

  5. The pencils drive me crazy! I would LOVE this sharpener!

  6. I keep lots of pencils sharpened so no wasted time at the pencil sharpener!