“Ummmm, I don’t have a pencil!” a student shouts in the middle of an activity.
It may be enough to drive a teacher crazy – especially in the middle of a lesson.
As educators, let’s make it really easy and have a seamless, easy plan in place to not lose valuable minutes – over pencils.
As you read this classroom strategy, remember to make it work for you and your students. Then, most importantly, take the time to explain your Pencil Station and expectations very early in the school year.
Last year, I am happy to share, that I rarely had to deal with a pencil issue – ever.
I started the year by explaining that every student must have two pencils sharpened and ready to go (when class begins) each day, but I also mention that we all have those days when we just have “one of those days…” Therefore, I have a Pencil Plan in place.
Then, I explain our Pencil Plan.
First line of defense for those without a pencil: I have a basket on the wall labeled, Found Pencils. I find plenty of pencils to add to the basket each day. In fact, just last week, at the end of the school day, I collected eleven to place into the Found Pencil Basket. (You can use anything. It doesn’t have to be a basket, but it has to be in a highly visible area for the students.)
Yet, it really is the second line of defense, the pencil box and poster (photos below) that has eliminated the pencil issue.
Now, the number of pencils in the pencil box dwindled last year (I think I used 40 total), but we ran out of pencils with a few weeks left of school. I saved countless minutes (and my sanity) having the “Pencil Station” in the classroom.
In reality, I would have given away many more pencils without this system in place.
(My “Pencils to Borrow” poster is free on teacherspayteachers.com on my account. Find me here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Sellers-Im-Following/Add/Royale-Walter.)
To set up your Pencil Station, you need:
- a pencil box
- some sharpened pencils that you can tell are for your classroom only (add pink duct tape)
- a notepad (Post Its notes are easy) so the students can write their names when they borrow a pencil (and cross it out when they put it back).
I’ll link the things you need here:
1. Pencil box https://amzn.to/2GBuaIm
(You could recycle and use a tin can, too.)
2. Unique Pencils or Ticonderoga Pencils https://amzn.to/2Cv6Isn with duct tape https://amzn.to/2AdLCgG.
3. Post It Notes https://amzn.to/2CvWIzb or an index card taped near the box.
4. Your “Pencils to Borrow” Sign – FREE on my teacherpayteachers. (Adding my link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Sellers-Im-Following/Add/Royale-Walter)
Also, to save time, be sure to read my previous post about the Scotch laminator! A must-have for teachers! https://royalechristine.com/2018/12/04/scotch-laminator/
Keep in mind that I may receive commissions when you click my links and make purchases; however, this does not impact my reviews and comparisons. I share links as an Amazon Associate, but these are real purchases. The small commissions received help to pay for this website.