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An Easy Solution to the Pencil Problem

Have you been stumped by the "pencil dilemma"? You know - trying to figure out how on earth to ensure your students have pencils without spending half your salary supplying them?

Be stumped no more. We've found an amazing (and simple) solution. And we share it in this video here:

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  • By this time of the year, all my pencils are short and missing erasers. I tell my students to think and write like a scientist/engineering. They do not erase their work! So, if you believe you have written something incorrectly and want to erase (and can’t), simply cross out your mistake with one single line. This is also thinking like an author. What you THOUGHT was a mistake could actually be the solution to a problem or worded in a way that you actually like when you return to your work.

  • Hi, I think that´s a good idea. In my case, I have a lost and found box full of school supplies, so when a student doesn´t have a pencil, an eraser or sharpener they can take ne and work, but they lose everything, they break my eraser, lose all my stuff and even if they take new pencils and some of them take 5 pencils a day, they lose them, then find them, but it´s a continuous struggle. I talk to them a lot about it, no matter what, they lose everything, I think it´s an issue from home because some of my kids don´t even come with a pencil case and they don´t even ask for a pencil, they just don´t work, and when I check on them and they´re not doing anything, they just answer “I have no pencil teacher, how can I work?” and I feel realy frustrated, this happens every single day Do you have any suggestion for me?

    • It depends on the age of your students, but I’d definitely be constantly reinforcing to them the importance of working during class. Make it a classroom policy that if you don’t have a pencil, you ask for one. (Maybe keep the box in your desk if students are taking 5 a day – make them ask you for one.) It takes time to change your classroom culture, but keep working at it.

  • For goodness sake, call home! Once parents are notified, my students always show up with a pencil. When I am notifying the parents, I also remind them that their child needs a back-up pencil as well. Be sure to explain that pencil “surgery” is also not allowed in your classroom as that seems to be an issue in middle school classrooms.

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