Sparking Student Motivation: Pencil Challenge - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Sparking Student Motivation: Pencil Challenge

Raise your hand if you are certain a pencil burglar comes in your room when you aren't there and steals all the pencils you just sharpened? Or maybe, you have pencil eaters in your room...? Yup. I agree. SOMETHING is happening to the HUNDREDS of pencils I have sharpened this year, and I do mean HUNDREDS, and I can't figure out what. I actually had my kids do the math the other day- a box holds 20 pencils, and I, or another student, sharpens 3 or 4 boxes a week... and we just finished week TEN. 600-800 pencils have been sharpened this year, yet I still have students who "don't have a pencil."

Soooo, I want to link up with my BBB Joanne to share with you how I motivated my students this week to KEEP their pencil!
I sharpened ONE pencil for each student with my AMAZING Classroom Friendly Supplies pencil sharpener.
I also put a piece of duct tape at the top and wrote their number on it.
Then, I challenged them to KEEP that pencil all week. Most of them have hand-held pencil sharpeners in their desk, so I told them they weren't even allowed to USE the class pencil sharpener. (I know, I'm SO MEAN. LOL) I told them they would get a prize on Friday if they still had it.

And guess what?? 24 out of 25 of my students were all able to get a piece of candy from my "candy stash" on Friday because they KEPT THE SAME PENCIL!! I think I will make this a weekly event. Yes, it is a little work to put duct tape on the pencil, but it's so worth it! :o)

Make sure to check out the other motivator's on Joanne's linky!

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  1. Pencils and the pencil sharpener are an ongoing battle in my room. I've finally gotten them trained not to sharpen pencils while I'm teaching. Perhaps I should try this pencil challenge as well!


  2. Genius. I am all over this. Tomorrow - me, my pencils, my pencil-swiping 5th graders. :)

    The Brown-Bag Teacher

  3. This is a great idea. I'm going to try it next week.

  4. Love the tape and number idea! I have two classes so that my work if I use different colored tape! My pencil problem isn't as bad this year...but erasers are! They literally lose the erasers off the top of pencils! The whole metal piece and everything! What's up with that? Must be the same pencil burglar!!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  5. This is such a great idea! I was thinking the other day about putting some tape on the ends of the pencils - but that would only show they belong to my students. What a great idea to add their numbers. Thanks for sharing!!
    Are We There Yet?

  6. I tried this last year and I had students who kept their pencils in their lockers until Friday, so I made them show me when they came to class every day. Don't try to pull one over on me ;)


  7. 24/25??!!! Wow! That's awesome! I think there's a conspiracy! Those same pencil thieves come to my classroom at night too! We really should check Ebay and see how much our pencils are going for! I have to try this or I will go insane with the pencil madness!
    Thanks for sharing and linking up!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. OMG!! The pencil situation is driving me INSANE because I have three classes of ELA throughout the day. I keep a can of sharpened pencils and they keep disappearing because two of the classes do not have desks in my room (they are in another homeroom) so they take the pencils with them!! I just started this past week having students leave their shoe by the pencil can if they borrow one to give them a reminder to return it. I love the idea of a pencil challenge and will be working that in for sure! Thanks:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  9. Love this idea! That's one thing I'm grateful that I don't have to deal with as much, although my kids go through pencils quickly in my room alone.

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
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