To many this is a Starbucks cup with pencils in it. To my students is the Cornucopia in the Hunger Games. Everyday it's a battle for pencils. You'd honestly think there was a competition to see who could use up the most pencils in a day.
My Pencil policy is this:
I sharpen about 20 or so pencils in the AM. The kids are welcome to trade out one of their not sharps for one of mine. If they don't have a pencil at all (often) they can take from another cup of sharp short pencils I freely give away. Multiple times during the day I sharpen the pencils in the cup so there are sharps for the dulls the kids have. The trades happen through out the day as the kids need a pencil.
Why do it like that, Whitaker?
- This keeps the kids from making a game out of killing my pencil sharpener.
- The personal sharpeners are a disaster! Pencil shavings are all over and they make the floor horrid!
- The kids don't have to fidget with the sharpener.
- The sharpener becomes a noise distraction as well as a movement issue. Sadly my students can't take the freedom of 1 person sharpening 1-2 pencils and sitting down. I'd have so many kids "needing" the sharpest pencil all day it would be craziness.
I thought this would quell the foolishness that I saw when I came into this class. But really it hasn't. Just new foolishness has arisen.
- I have the black market personal sharpeners. Shavings everywhere!
- Kids stealing my pencils. I give them for free just don't take 8!
- Kids not even trying to bring a pencil to school. "Whitaker will take care of that for me"
- Kids bringing 10 pencils and swapping all 10 out first thing in the morning, thus depleting my stash for the other students.
I know this seems so simple, but what do you all do to maintain Pencil sanity in the class?