How to Make Pencils Last ALL YEAR in the Classroom!

Looking for a fool-proof way to have pencils last you the ENTIRE year?!?!?  Yes, I am not kidding!  Since I have implemented this concept 5 years ago I actually have a huge box of pencils that have NOT been used at the end of EVERY year!  What’s my secret?  PENCIL POUCHES!!!

So…. pencil pouches are really nothing new. Students have always kept their pencils in a pouch, right?  Or maybe a pencil box?  Have you ever added a reward to entice students to keep track of their pencils? 

That’s what I did! Nothing fancy!  I use Dojo points in the classroom and they literally received 5 points at the end of the week.   Let me explain…

How to Set Up and Explain:

Set up is as basic as you can get.  I like to use the pouches because they do not take up a lot of space in a student’s desk.  I print out their names on labels and stick them on the pouches so everyone can keep track of their pouches.
Every Monday the students would receive 7 pencils sharpened and ready to go!  It was their responsibility to keep track of these 7 pencils the entire week.  If they did, they received 5 Dojo points at the end of the week!   That’s it!!!

Here’s what I like best about this: 

1.  There’s ZERO sharpening throughout the school day.  Win-win for the teacher!  No complaining and no loud noise disruptions!

2.  Students keep the same pencils pretty much every week which keeps them from chewing on them and eating off the erasers.  OR, if they do do this, they are stuck with them.  When they don’t get new pencils, you’ll be surprised how well they take care of the ones they have.

3.  Students are scrambling on the floors at the end of the day to find any pencils to make sure they have their seven.  Let’s face it, students WILL lose pencils.  BUT…when this happens, students will look on the floor at the end of the day to see if there are any pencils unclaimed. If so, they add them to their bag so they are sure to have seven for the reward.  Makes clean-up a bit easier!

On Fridays the students turn in their pouches to a table.  I go through them, count them up and sharpen any pencils that need to be sharpened.  If all seven are there, I give them their reward.  If they are missing some pencils, they get any additional pencils sharpened to make seven again and the pouch goes back on their desk with no reward.
I PROMISE you this will work for you!  Whatever reward system you use in your class, tie it into this method.  Share below how you will incorporate this.  I’d love to hear from you!


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