Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pencils!!! Help!!!!

Hey y'all!

How in the world do you manage pencils???

I never had a problem with pencils in kindergarten, mainly because I had tables and I kept the big fat kind of pencils in a basket in the middle of the table. I loved those big fat pencils because they only had to sharpened once a year month or so.
This past year in 1st grade, the kids had desks and brought their own cutesy dutesy pencils and I feel my educational assistant or I were sharpening all the time. I can't do that again, especially with 27 little buzzers or more that are currently on my list!

So, help a sista out and tell me how to run my pencil system this year and every year after!!

Thank you!!!


  1. Pencils are a pain, but here's how I do it. I tell the kids we're sharing ALL the pencils. They need to give me all the standard yellow ones (they keep the cute ones, but I don't ever sharpen those.) Then I put 6 to 8 pencils in a tub on each table (of 4 kids). Once a week my special helper of the day sharpens them with a friend, during recess. Sometimes it needs to be done twice a week. The kids love sharpening and they're always really careful about it. Oh, when the pencils are dull, they just pop 'em back in the table tub and take a sharp one. It works really well for me. Good luck.

    And check out my new blog :))

    Grade ONEderful

  2. I only allow students to sharpen pencils at a certain time of the day, either first thing in the morning or at the end of the day . If they do not have a sharpened pencil of their own, then they must use one of the sharpened pencils I have in a little bucket on my table. =)

  3. I kind of Poo Poo cute pencils . . . not out loud or anything but somehow my kids seem to get the picture that to sharpen a cute pencil might not happen. Yikes - it makes me sound mean but my kids know I can't stand the sound of the pencil sharpener. It drives me crazy. LITERALLY. I have two cans that I designed with "sharp" and "not sharp" words on them, as well as clip art for the non-readers at the beginning of the year. They "trade" their not sharp pencils for sharp ones. I have upper grade helpers come in while the kids are at recess to sharpen all of the pencils. One year, my partner had a parent volunteer designated to this task but they did it AT HOME. They were required to bring newly sharpened pencils every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I can't remember the quota but she loved it. :) Good luck!!! I feel your pain!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  4. Last year I purchased 6 silent pencil sharpeners from and placed one at each table. Honestly, it was the answer to all my frustrations. The kids were able to sharpen their own pencils whenever they needed pencils and the sharpening was indeed quiet. Here is a youtube video to watch how the pencil sharpener works.

    The silent pencil sharpener is just awesome, as it automatically draws the pencil in with each turn of the handle. It's made for first graders who do not have the motor skills for normal wall sharpeners. I also encourage the use of automatic pencils as a way for first graders to practice writing with less pressure. They are great too. I stopped using pencils as community supplies for health concerns, so every child maintains their own pencils, sharpening, etc.
    Last year was a breeze with pencils.

  5. I'm with Kristin on the cutesy pencil thing. I generally don't allow them. The kiddos know if they bring them, they'll most likely have to take them home to get them sharpened.

    I have the kids put their pencils in the "dull" can every day after school. My own children are in charge of sharpening pencils each morning before school starts. When my little monkeys come in the morning, they take TWO sharp pencils out of the pencil box and put them in their desks. They occasionally need to exchange pencils during the day, but as a general rule, the 2 sharp from the morning last all day.

    As a bonus, in January-ish, depending on the maturity of the class, I'll offer mechanical pencils for the kids that score 100% on a spelling test. It takes just a few weeks till every student has a mechanical pencil. Then their handwriting is neater and there is no community germ sharing. :)

    Oh My Little Classity Class