Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Do missing pencils make you crazy?

I never knew that a small problem such as missing pencils could drive a teacher crazy!  You have students who constantly lose pencils.  Of course, there are students who intentionally break pencils.  There are pencil-chewers.  There are students who have plenty of pencils, but the erasers are all ripped off.  Then, there's the over-sharpening, which results in pencils that are an inch long!  It was always so frustrating when I would ask students to begin an assignment and someone would frantically blurt, "I DON'T HAVE A PENCIL!" Last year, I happened to find a wonderful solution.  The "Wise Owl Teacher" shared a freebie in her TPT store. You can get it here.  It was amazing.  All of my students had pencils.  For every assignment!  All the time! For the entire school year! I couldn't believe it.  The system works pretty simply.  Every student starts off the week with 8 sharpened pencils.  On Friday, students turn in their pencil boxes. Checking the boxes on Friday took a few minutes, but it was SO worth it.  If a student had 8 pencils in good condition, he or she would recieve a "friend of pencils" card and a small prize.  If a student did NOT have 8 pencils, he or she would get an "oops" card.  That student would start the new week with 8 pencils, but no prize.

Walmart had some great prizes in the office section: tiny clothespins, spiral paper clips, post-it flags, and colorful pencils.  Target often has tiny seasonal erasers and felt stickers in their dollar section.  Most of the time, the prize was a simple sticker.  I would throw in something more exciting on occasion to keep the students interested.  I'm usually not a fan of tangible rewards, but I will be using this system again next year. It was fantastically effective!




  

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