Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ultimate Pencil Swap {Tried it Tuesday}

Pencils were ruining my day. I started the morning out grumpy because no one had a pencil, so we were searching the floor, my desk, and book bags to come up with enough pencils to start the day. 

In the past I have tried the sharp and not sharp cups, spoons taped to the end of pencils, and even lead pencils without any success. 

About a month ago I was browsing office depot and saw these pencils. I've used the Staedtler pens, so I knew they would be high quality. I picked up a pack, but they were a little pricey and I didn't want them walking out my door. That's when the Ultimate Pencil Swap idea was born. 

I sharped those amazing pencils, put polka dot flags on them, and put them in a cup on my desk. 

In order to use one of my pencils I have to keep something of yours at my desk until the pencil is returned. Simple enough. It freaked them out at first. I really think they believed I was going to keep their stuff! It made not having a pencil fun as we joked about snacks I might eat or odd things kids swapped out. 

Now that we've been doing the swap about a month I don't even deal with pencils. It is the student's responsibility to swap and they know just what to do. It makes for one happy teacher. 

The best part: I still have the 9 original pencils I started with. First. Time. Ever. In the history of my teaching career have I kept 9 pencils that long!! 

I'm linking up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper

How do you deal with the no pencil syndrome? 


  1. I love this idea!! :) Thanks for sharing!! Pencils frustrate me, too!!

    Smiles from Second Grade

  2. The great pencil frustration of 2013-2014 has hit my classroom, too! I started making the kids leave me one of their shoes if they borrow one of my pencils. They drop the shoe on the floor right by my pencil cup and off they go. I always get my pencils back before recess!

  3. What a fun idea!! Such an easy way to keep them responsible!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  4. When I was in school my fifth grade teacher did this. Sometimes people would have to give her a shoe because they didn't have any other personal things to leave with her. I am thinking I need to start implementing this since I just can't keep pencils.

  5. I LOVE this idea. I can't tell you how many pencils I have gone through this year...and I don't even have a full classroom ( I am co-teaching so only about 6 kids are in my room at a time)... boxes and boxes and they all seem to go missing! I am definitely going to try this!

    Style Closet to Classroom

  6. I refuse to deal with pencils in my classroom...and then my kids end up getting out more. I try to hide the new ones, but they always find them. Now I have about 150 that are overflowing out of a cup and half are sharpened. It ALMOST makes me want to throw them all away and start over. Love the idea of a pencil swap. I'd have to find a bucket or something to store their "stuff" because I would probably end up eating their snacks. Lol!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  7. I might have to try this. Thank you.

  8. I have my handy pencil cups but they have been empty for a couple months! Students borrow pencils and never return them! I am SO trying this!! Thank you. :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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