Pencils. There is nothing I love more in my classroom than a freshly sharpened pencil. A pencil means that you can erase mistakes. A pencil means you can try again. We could use the pencil as a metaphor for life all day long- but let’s be real. When a pencil breaks the fun is over. In a teacher’s world, when 10 pencils belonging to 10 students all choose to break simultaneously it can be your. worst. nightmare. (Cue horror music)
This year I implemented a “pencil policy” that has saved me time, gray hair and my sanity. Need some ideas on how to manage pencils? Here is what you need-
- Pencil Police (trusted student/s that can sort and sharpen pencils)
- 2 buckets (one labeled “dull” and one labeled “sharp”)
- The BEST pencil sharpener in the universe aka the Classroom Friendly Supplies Sharpener
The Policy in a nutshell
Every child in my classroom is encouraged to have 2 sharp pencils at their desk at all times. This way if one breaks they have another that they can quickly get to without interrupting instruction and can worry with making a trade at the end of the day or that next morning. If BOTH pencils break (which is rare) they hold a pencil above their head. That way I can simply nod and allow them to go to the trading station to drop the broken pencil into the “dull” bucket and grab one from the “sharp” bucket. My Pencil Police (who take much pride in their job title, btw) monitor when the dull bucket gets full/ throw out short pencils etc.
They then sharpen the pencils- and the Classroom Friendly Supplies Sharpener is a game changer.
Last year I went through 3 electric sharpeners. That’s right- three. And they were not the cheapy kind either. They typically would eat the pencils and make them super short, take forever to sharpen- or my fave sharpener death was when that one semi- wacky pencil was entered to be sharpened and broke off into the blade. Dead. I know what you’re thinking- why would she allow her students to use the sharpener?? I didn’t- I killed all those sharpeners myself people. Over the summer I was determined to find a solution to my pencil probz and came across the Classroom Friendly Supplies Sharpener. Life has never been the same for a pencil in Mrs.Whitney’s class!
What I love about it
- It’s quiet. So quiet that my pencil police could quickly sharpen a pencil without disturbing students in a big way if necessary.
- It’s simple to use. My second graders can use it with ease.
- It’s CUTE! Mine is pink and I want one in every stinkin’ color.
- It seriously gives the PERFECT sharpen every. single. time. I have not sharpened one pencil this year that has not turned out perfect. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brand new pencil or a dull one- perfect every time. Did I say perfect?
- It has a crank. At first I thought this was a negative but it’s actually a positive. I’ve spent way more time sticking the same pencil into an automatic sharpener with poor results than I have rotating the crank a couple times for a ready to use pencil!
- It’s made by a teacher so you KNOW she knows what she’s talking about. It’s like the TPT of pencil probz.
- I no longer have to oversee the pencils in the room. I can trust my few students to handle it and I can trust my sharpener to produce the right results when they try.
- My blade is still sharp/ going strong (from August to November). When I need a new blade I can grab a new one from their online store and replace it easily.
Bottom line- you need one. You want one. You will love it so much that you will hug it and thank it for its great contribution to your classroom. They are reasonably priced and it ships straight to your door. I will never buy another brand of sharpener again!
So- make a few clicks and stop thinking about pencils and start thinking about the new Gilmore Girls comeback.