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Pencil Management 101

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Show Notes:

You know you’re a teacher when you can talk about pencil management for an entire podcast episode! Seriously though, this is the stuff they should have taught us in University, don't you think? As silly as it may sound, pencil management really is such an important topic for teachers, especially if you have students doing things like getting up and sharpening their pencil while you’re in the middle of a lesson. Maybe you even have students who are eating their pencils. Yes, that’s really a thing!

When I taught elementary school, I came up with a system for managing pencils inside my classroom. I always had a “dull” pencil bin and a “sharp” pencil bin. However, I have recently heard from many teachers in my private Facebook group that this particular system is not working for them for a variety of reasons.

So, in today’s episode I’m going to share other options for you to use that will help students not only learn to respect their pencils, but in many cases, not eat them! Besides being just gross, this is especially important as we face all the concerns with COVID. We want to ensure that kids are not sharing pencils and passing on germs to their peers.

As with any system or classroom routine, there are a couple of keys to success when implementing these ideas. First, we want to always model the expectations that we have for  students. Second, give your students plenty of opportunities to practice the new expectations and ask questions. These two things will result in a lot more student buy-in and overall success in the long run. 

After your hear these ideas for pencil management, think about how you want to do things in your classroom. Remember, nothing is set in stone. If you choose a strategy and it doesn’t work for you, you can always switch it up and try something new. These things just take a bit of time and experimentation. You're a new teacher, remember? So it's okay to put on your mad scientist hat, decide to have some fun with your classroom management, and keep experimenting with different strategies until you find the perfect combination that will work for you.

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • Creative and fun ways to manage pencils in your classroom.
  • The exact supplies you will need to implement pencil management systems.
  • How to incorporate classroom jobs into your pencil routines.
  • Simple ways to keep things engaging and motivating for your students.
  • Why creating friendly competition among students can be good for everyone.

Click the image below to grab your FREEBIE: How to Get Started with The Great Pencil Challenge.

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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