Pencil Problems

If you’re like me, you struggle to keep up with pencil demand.  And I’ve tried everything:

Pencil pouches
The “sharp cup” and “unsharp cup” trading system
The “You can sharpen your pencil anytime unless I’m talking,” system
Personal sharpeners
Assigning a student to the pencil sharpener job

Five years later and I’m still having pencil problems. We’ve been in 5th grade for eight days now, and we’ve been through FOUR boxes of pencils in our class supply basket. This does NOT include students’ personal pencils, mechanical pencils, or diverse writing tools.

Something’s gotta give. We’re in 5th grade now.

Enter the July Pencil Challenge.

Untitled presentation    Pencil ChallengePencil Challenge2






There is one week of July left, and on Monday our challenge begins.  Students will receive one specially marked pencil.  They may not trade or replace their pencil at all throughout the week. If they lose their specially marked pencil they are disqualified. On Friday we will measure our pencils and the winner of “the longest pencil” and “the best eraser” will get to choose from our Reward menu.

If all goes well we’ll repeat the challenge when we track back in in August.

Cheers to not only saving pencils, but also trees, money, and my sanity!

Our July Pencil Challenge went great! I did not have to add any additional pencils to the class pencil cup.  Everyone turned in their original pencils on Friday and they were in GREAT shape!  The only issue we ran into was if someone was absent a day during the competition.  We decided that it wasn’t fair if they were eligible to win due to going a whole day without using the pencil.  We had quite a few folks out during the week so we are going to have another challenge when we return from track out.  This time we will do it for TWO weeks!
On another note– my students are so kind hearted.  If they found a pencil on the floor they brought it to me and I told them that they had to choose if they wanted to return it to the owner or turn it in to be disqualified.  Every time they chose to return it.  They chose kindness over winning– which I think is a great quality to have. I’m one proud teacher!

(Borders, clipart and backgrounds courtesy of
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