November 2, 2010

Tuesdays Tip: Erasures, Pencils, Sharpeners Oh My

I feel like a total hypocrite giving any tip today considering I just "lost" my wedding ring yesterday.

But here goes. . . My erasures always seem get lost finding their way home. This year I put an egg carton by the sharpener with one erasure in each spot. I have one erasure for each table to keep things simple. Now when the helper goes to pick them up she/hecan easily count and see if one's missing. I got this idea from somewhere. . . if you know where please write it in a comment so I can give credit.


BONUS TIP: Does the noise of a pencil sharpener drive you crazy. ME TOO! Really it does. . . that's why I am the way I am. Teaching 600 kids pencil sharpening rules is impossible so this CLOSED sign goes up anytime they can't use the sharpener (which is most of the time.) There is a green basket with sharpened pencils. If theirs breaks they put it in the "green broken pencil can" and get a new one or use one of the hand held sharpeners (they're the yellow ones.) 

                        
CLOSED
OPEN


HAVE ANY PENCIL TIPS? GET IT? OKAY, lame, BUT SERIOUSLY, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE SHARPENER WITHOUT GOING INSANE?

13 comments:

Mrs. Hahn said...

WOW... What a great idea! I hate the pencil sharpener. I have some hand held sharpeners in the tool boxes (the kids use them on the crayons and destroy them). I have two hand crank ones mounted on the wall (K's are less then successful at this). Two electric ones (did you know the best time to sharpen you pencil is durning instruction). AHHHHHH! I hate pencil sharpeners. However I love, love, love the open and closed idea! You are a genius!

Phyl said...

I also love the "closed" idea. We use a lot of little hand-held sharpeners. Especially with colored pencils, which get totally swallowed by the stationary sharpener anyhow. I wonder with your method if you have to spend a lot of time pre-sharpening the pencils though. With all our fancy technology, you'd think there's a better way...
One thing that really annoys me: a sharpener is installed on the corner of my desk, and when something is in the way, kids approach it from the wrong side, and of course the handle immediately comes off. ARRGGG!
My erasers pet peeve: the kids that stick pencils into their sides and draw on them. Maybe I need to try the egg carton?

Phyl said...

More important - did you find your ring? Mine has ended up in papier-mache goo or paper clay mash more than once.

Ms. Amy said...

Love the open/closed idea!

Janie B said...

I keep several more pencils than needed sharpened on each table in a caddy, and they still go sharpen instead of just trading. Drives me nuts!

Art Project Girl said...

I know the feeling! They will take the closed sign off the sharpener and try to use it. . . Do you try to break into Walmart when it's closed? A student showed me a trick. He takes the bottom off the sharpener a little and then it won't work. Apparently it was driving him crazy too.

Phyl YES we spend a lot of time presharpening! In the morning kids love to sharpen. Which is better than during the lesson.

Anonymous said...

Hello!

I don't let student sharpen during art class. I have two boxes for pencils, one marked "sharp" and the other "dull." Sometimes I sharpen the dull box when I don't have students in the room, or a 5th grade student will come in and help out. So far this system is working very well.

~Heidi

Barbarasthoughtoftheday said...

Wow, you weren't kidding about losing things. How did this happen? I sure hope you find your ring.
I love your open closed idea for the sharpener. But, our electric sharpener has been closed for three years now and I have no plans to re-open it any time soon. (The noise drives me crazy, too).
I buy a box of the cheapest hand held sharpeners that I can find, but only put out a couple at a time. Unless we're using colored pencils.
I got tired of pencils disappearing from the art room at about the same time I ran out of patience for sharpener noise, and began requiring kids to bring a pencil with them to art.
I provide pencils for K,1,2. Everyone else brings their own. (Usually). If they forget, no worries, I always end up with a surplus of pencils because kids frequently leave them behind.
My pencil worries are solved, but I still have kids who MUST poke pencils into the eraser. What is up with that?

Katie Lewandowski said...

My students don't sharpening their pencils during class and I think its an out of sight out of mind sort of thing. I see that you sharpener is right next to the erasers and pencils. When a student sees an electric pencil sharpener their first thought is to sharpen a pencil even if they don't need to. I suggest moving the sharpener to a different location in your room or just sharpen the pencils yourself once a week. If the students can not see it then they won't think about it.

sad44artroom said...

Ah, the art of pencil sharpening. I have come to accept that kids are going to have to sharpen pencils. If it happens at the start of class when I am giving instructions, I ask if there is anything to draw on with the pencils yet, there usually isn't and they just put the pencils back. A strong look of unhappiness usually does the trick. I think for me, it is a bigger problem for my littles(K-1), after the first year they know the expectations of when and how often to sharpen the pencils. What a great idea to have a container with sharpened pencils, I never thought of that! Oh, and it drives me crazy when they stab the erasers or draw on them. I threaten to charge them $ for the destroyed eraser if I catch them doing it. It helps but doesn't stop everyone!

Ed said...

I'm inspired to buy an electric pencil sharpener, they're fun! I think Katie has a very valid point with simply not having it accessible. If it's there, it's getting used - because it's FUN!

Phyl said...

Hi Erica, here's to much love and happiness with your new dog! I hope you find yourself back in blog world again after you all adjust - it won't be the same without you!!

Susan said...

Dear Erica, great blog! I hate the sound of the sharpener in the middle of my lessons. It drives me nuts. I have been teaching for over 15 years now and I have even thought of banning it from my classroom. Last year I tried the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener and I must say, it is amazing. It is not 100% silent, but at least it doesn't interrupt me while teaching. Here is the link if you are interested. www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com.