The past two months of school my partner teacher and I started noticing an increase of missing, broken and extremely short pencils floating around the classroom. This phenomenon is an all too common classroom conundrum and though I have dealt with this in the past, I have never had a group of students lose, break, forget their pencils…and BTW, I want to put all of those words in quotation marks because #letsbehonest, we all know that these pencil are not being stolen by a desk troll. It seems like I just happen to have a class full of 28 students who don’t know how to respect a pencil. That being said… I have vowed to stop passing out new pencils in an effort to try and hold our students accountable for being responsible- which hasn’t really solved the problem. I have even considered doing the amazing Pencil Challenge that I read about from one of my favorite bloggers, Lady Bug Teacher Files. I have seen several teachers post cute pencil caddies and other displays to help motivate their class with a little friendly competition of who can keep their pencil the longest and who ever makes it to the end of the month gets a special reward. This is all fun and good, and I have heard positive results from people who have done this, however I thought of a cute way to combat this pesky pencil problem that includes writing and reading!
I absolutely adore these two books about the crayons who have been misused by Duncan and their letters to him sharing their side of the story. Every time I read it to my kids, there is always something new to chuckle about. I love using this book as a mini lesson to reinforce author’s voice or persuasion. There are so many fun ways to use this book inside the classroom. As I was reading this book to my daughter over Winter Break, I had an A-Ha! moment. Instead of crayons…why not pencils?
Shortly there after this fun little product sprung straight from my imagination and onto paper. Included in this set are a few mini lessons but the main activity is that the students are assigned a role as one of the neglected classroom pencils, and they need to write from the disgruntled pencil’s perspective. I have created 20 roles for the pencils including: The way too short pencil that you hide from the teacher, the lead pencil without any lead and the pencil with bite marks on it. I cannot wait to hear what silly things my students come up with when writing from their pencil’s perspective.
I really think that once we read these two books, do the mini lessons and create our own little book about The Day the Pencils Quit, that I will see a difference in the way the students take care of them. I plan on gluing each student’s pencil letter inside one of those cute blank books from the Target Dollar Spot to share with next year’s kiddos or two read to our first grade buddies!
As a little added treat, I included a little pencils topper tag to reward the students who have changed their poor pencil habits. Grab this amazingly engaging set, The Day the Pencils Quit, here at my TpT store now, and be sure to tag me on Instagram when your students use it!