Tuesday Teacher Tips: Pencil Management

Are you looking for tips to control the chaos of your students and all their pencils? Or lack there of? Read on for one of my very favorite pencil management tip EVER! 
Tuesday Teacher Tips - Are you looking for tips to control the chaos of your students and all their pencils? Or lack there of? Read on for one of my very favorite pencil management tip EVER!
Tuesday Teacher Tips - Pencil Management

Pencils... five and a half years at FSU and not once did I learn about pencils! Let me tell you, they will make or break you... seriously, you can be Teacher of the Year for the entire United States, have lesson plans written in gold, but if you don't have a plan in place for pencils, your little darlings will EAT.YOU.ALIVE!

OK, I admit, new teachers are thinking, WHAT? But seasoned teachers and just smiling & nodding their head. It's true, students will need their pencils sharpened all day if you allow it, they will break their pencils just to stretch their legs and go to the pencil sharpener, they will chew it in half, just for the attention of getting the teacher to give them a new one... and the list goes on and on and on! Keep reading for one of my very favorite tips EVER!

Tuesday Teacher Tips: Pencil Management at Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas
Tuesday Teacher Tips - Pencil Management

At FSU, in the College of Education I learn all about "keeping students actively engaged" and "maximizing student time" but again, NO ONE told me about pencils. Then I interned and this amazing teacher I had would have the boys and girls line up each morning as they unpacked and she sharpened two pencils for each of them. At first, I thought what a waste of time....there has to be a better system. But it was amazing and I have done the same thing in every classroom since 1989! I have an electric pencil sharpener {bought with my own money, so only I can use it!} and as the children unpack, the morning routine was to get two pencils sharpened, then sit down to their morning work. 

You know how excited your students are every morning?  
They love you, they want to tell you about their dog, their homework, their little sister...sometimes they just want to tell you that they love you. By giving EACH and EVERY child those few seconds of attention while you sharpen their pencils, it makes your morning start calmly and your students feel like you love and listen to each and every single one of them. 

I have used this method from Kindergarten to 6th Grade, even the year I taught a 4th Grade Bilingual Reading Class in Texas. Children are children no matter the grade level and they will always crave a few uninterrupted moments with you. ♥ 
BONUS
While you're teaching, if their pencil breaks, they don't need to interrupt the lesson and get up to waste time at the pencil sharpener. They have a second pencil. If they break the second one, you keep teaching and say, "Who would like to loan Paul a pencil?" The rest of the class would just love to help you and there will be more pencils then ole' Paul will ever need! The next morning I like to slip a seasonal, decorated pencil to the student who gave Paul the extra pencil. 

The thank you costs me about five cents and that student thinks I'm terrific! That pencil and the show of appreciation does more to build your student / teacher relationship then all the tea in China! :)

I have also created a Welcome Back Pencil Topper freebie for your boys and girls too. You can have it on their desk for the first day of school, with their name on the back of the topper!

A Welcome Back Pencil Topper freebie for your boys and girls too. You can have it on their desk for the first day of school, with their name on the back of the topper! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
A Welcome Back Pencil Topper freebie for your boys and girls too. You can have it on their desk for the first day of school, with their name on the back of the topper! #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
Ten Recommended Back to School Resources


Don't Let Pencil Management Killing Your Small Group Instruction Time #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas
I wrote an additional post about keeping your pencils at your small group table to maximize the little amount of time you have with your students. 

Looking for More Tips?
Click on the picture below to go to my Classroom Ideas Pinterest Board

http://www.pinterest.com/fernsmith/fern-smiths-classroom-blog-posts/
This board is recommend by Pinterest to new subscribers, and you just might find a tip or two that you can use too!






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