Teaching in Spanglish

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Let's fix this Pencil Problem, Shall we?

*Mic check* Hello? Anyone there?! Lol.
So it's been two years since my last post! Wow... I'm so sorry. My life is chaos with two kids. To the person that said "One child is a pet, two is a zoo": You could not be more correct! Lol.

Anywho, a few changes have happened since I last posted:

  1. I switched schools- BEST. DECISION. EVER.
  2. When I made that switch, I went back to teaching 1st grade bilingual (LOVE!)
  3. This year, I'm teaching 2nd grade.... monolingual! Interestingly enough though, I teach in a very large latino area, so the Spanglish still stands. =) Yay!

This year, has been pretty rough- I have 34 students! Yikes!
(You don't even want to know what my guided reading looks like... it's basically a juggling act [with chainsaws! LOL!])

With 34 students, you can imagine how many pencils one would usually go through in a day- the beginning of the school year had me wondering if student were seriously eating their pencils; needless to say, it was a mess INTERESTING to say the least!

After all the BOY (Beginning Of Year) transfers, I was FINALLY able to sort it all out! I assigned all my students a number (this is their number for the entire school year), collected ALL THE PENCILS, and got to work!

First I placed all the pencils in a plastic shoe bin similar to this one.

(Actual Picture)

Then, I got these bad boys out and numbered them 1-34.

(Actual picture)

I placed the dot labels on each pencil and then layered them with scotch tape (so that kiddos didn't take their number off).

Here's what happens afterward:

  • Give each child their assigned pencil.
  • Explain, to students that when they find a missing pencil, they need to either find its owner OR give it to the teacher.
  • You can do one of two things:
    1. Give them pencils every two weeks (yes! I swear they will not lose them!)
    2. Exchange their pencils for a new one when the old one no longer fits in your classroom sharpener.
Easy Peasy, Right?

It's kind of tedious at first, but I promise you that you'll have a bin full of pencils!

Here is an actual pic of my current pencil bin (keep in mind that I have 34 students!)... I took the picture 5 minutes before I wrote this post!

Try it out and let me know if it works for you, too!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! If you try it out, please let me know if it works for you as well! =)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! It definitely stopped my pencil problem. =)

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