Classroom Supplies: Sharp & Dull Pencils FREEBIE

I am so happy to hear that so many of you liked my classroom supplies labels in a variety of sizes (available on TpT HERE) for everything from pencils to glue to paints :)


I have been busy cutting them out and placing them here and there to find the perfect spots to allow my kids to access them when needed, but not take up too much space in the meantime.

One thing I was talking to my friend about, who is also switching from desks to tables next year, is how we will manage sharp and dull pencils. I have seen a variety of management posts about this and I like the idea of creating an area in class for the dull pencils to live, to be resharpened at a later *and more convenient* time. There would also be a place next to this bin for sharp pencils- or I could just use the "pencil" label that I currently have in my class.

I am mulling this idea over in my head for a few reasons:
  1. Nothing irks me more than hearing the pencil sharpener in the middle of a minilesson- even though there is a class rule preventing this, it still happens :(
  2. Although we have two pencil sharpeners in our class, they always have a long waiting line at the beginning of math and writing- this steals valuable time and kills the momentum we were building after the minilesson
  3. Kids tend to sharpen their pencils down to the bitter, bitter (and metallic!) end- this has killed many a sharpener, so hopefully this system will keep mine alive next year
Do you use this dull/sharp system in your class? I made some labels (in just one size- but they match my TpT labels) for you to try out- If you use them, I would love to hear how it goes! Click on the picture or HERE to take you to my TpT Store for this FREE download :)

Have fun with these!



11 comments

  1. I used this system this year it did help to cut down on kids having to get up and sharpen their pencil, but there were still some that would get up and sharpen them. Overall I like the system. (You just have to make sure you remember to sharpen the pencils haha)

    Heidi
    My (Not So) Elementary Life

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    1. It's good to know that it will at least cut down on the trips to the sharpener! And I totally know what you mean about remembering to sharpen them- I am hoping to add this responsibility to my classroom jobs so they can help out :)

      Thanks so much!

      ~Stephanie

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    2. I was the ONLY one who was allowed to use the pencil sharpener! I would sharpen then every morning. I always had more than kids in the room. It worked for me and the noise in the room...even though it was work for me! I also had a separate cheap sharpener for colored pencils only.

      Tonya
      Tonya’s Treats for Teachers

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  2. I have a couple helpers sharpen pencils for my sharp pencil container at the end of each day. The only time kids can use the sharpeners is first thing in the morning. Otherwise during the day they just switch for a sharp pencil. I also have a small container with mini personal sized crayon/pencil sharpeners that can be used anytime. They tend not to over sharpen when it takes an effort!
    Erika
    2B Honey Bunch
    Honey Bunch Blog Design

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    Replies
    1. Hi Erika,

      I liked your note about the personal sharpeners- I had originally planned on having some at their table for the kids who like pencils super-sharp (like me!), but then wasn't sure. Now, I think I'll stick with that plan :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      ~Stephanie

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  3. What a terrific freebie!
    Thank you for sharing this at TBA and linking up!
    ~Fern
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith’s Pinterest Boards!

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  4. I've used this system in all grades I've taught (1st, 4th, and 5th). It works great! I instruct the kids that they are to check to see that they have 2 "good" pencils in their desks during our arrival/unpack/get ready time. If those should need to be replaced, they put a dull one in and take a sharpened pencil. I go through way less pencils (and electric sharpeners) than my co-workers using this system.

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    1. Hi Mikaela,

      I love the morning check-in piece! Thanks for the advice, I appreciate your help :)

      ~Stephanie

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  5. I use this system, but I have color coded pails from Target. Green means "Good to go!" and blue means "Bring it back!" Each morning I call table groups and they can get their pencils sharpened by me, but the rest of the day they may only trade their pencils. So far so good because the same sharpener has lasted for 5 years now! :-)

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  6. Could you please share what font you used on you labels... It is so cute?

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Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie

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