Monday, January 13, 2014

Your Art Room's a Mess: Pencils.

Here is another excerpt from  "Your Art Room's a Mess" available on ITunes.

What is this used for?
  • Used almost every class period for writing names on papers or drawing.
How should this supply be stored?
  • In a centrally accessible area, sharpened and ready for students at the beginning of class.

How should this supply be distributed?
  • Students come and retrieve, or they are passed out after directions.

What is the student going to do with this supply?
  • Tap on the table like a drumstick, roll across the table, blow it across the table or break the tip.

Are there any special concerns with this supply?
  • Keep several sharpened pencils on hand so that if a pencil breaks, the student can just exchange it for a sharp one.
  • Do not let students sharpen their pencils and keep sharpeners out of sight.

One supply your students will probably use every single week will be a pencil. Having students bringing them sounds like the most ideal.  Even having pencils on the tables as students enter, or passed out at the very top of class seems to make the most sense.  But, some students play with their pencils constantly at their table while you are giving directions.  Rolling it to the kid across from them, blowing it back and forth, tapping it like a drumstick, tossing it, biting it, this is why it is not a good idea to have students bring a pencil with them, or pass them out while you are trying to teach.  If it is one child being disruptive with the pencil, a hand on the shoulder or a look, or taking the pencil away for 5 minutes is a quick fix….when it got to be all 23 first graders tapping and rolling…I thought, “I need new strategy!”

I have a really good electric pencil sharpener that only I use.  I can usually sharpen about 40 pencils in 2 minutes.  I am in the habit of sharpening a whole pencil case full of pencils once per day.  If  I know I will not have time, I ask a student to sharpen them at the end of their class.  When it is time to write our names on our papers, I give each student a sharp pencil and their own pink eraser.  None of the pencils have erasers on them anymore, they’ve been quickly used up or broken off!  If in the course of the hour the student’s pencil breaks they bring it up to the pencil 

case and trade it for a sharp one.  I have tried cute things like a red cup for dull pencils, and a green cup for sharp ones which sometimes works.  No one is allowed to sharpen pencils.  My nice sharpeners are hidden from view.  They are covered with a decorative box.  There is already so much action and activity in the art room the pencil sharpener often became another distraction.  Even if a child didn’t need to sharpen their pencil a line would form and much time would be wasted.  I even tried telling the kids I would sharpen their pencils for them but then I was simply walking around sharpening pencils for an hour or exhaustedly telling them they didn’t need sharpening.  When we are using colored pencils for a project I open the pencil sharpeners and allow students to use them during studio time.  I lay down the guidelines and only have them open for short amounts of time.

If you like what you've read here, check out other free chapters:
Management Plan
Behavior Plan
Student Area
Teacher Storage Area

Or download the whole book on iTunes or TeachersPayTeachers

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