TTT: The Pencil Challenge

Today’s Teacher Talk Tuesday is all about pencils. Yup, pencils… who knew one small cylinder shaped object, filled with lead could be such a pain in the behind. I actual marvel in the fact that we can put people on the moon but we can’t invent indestructible pencils, it’s actually so weird.  Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic, and yes I am very thankful that we have pencils for our students to write with, but every year there seems to be a pencil epidemic! They’re dull, broken, lost, chewed, broken, and probably even eaten, I kid you not.

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So last Friday I popped into my friend Jenn’s room who teaches grade 2 and happens to have quite a few of my last years students. She is that teacher who sees the cool classroom ideas on Pinterest and actually does them, you know?
Jenn has been doing the pencil challenge since the beginning of this school year and her class has only lost ONE pencil since…ONE. Considering she has my old class that is actually mind blowing! Those kids were amazing, but the pencil thing was always a struggle, so when she told me about The Pencil Challenge it was a no brainer, I had to try it!
Here’s how it works;

Each student gets their own pencil labelled with their classroom number.
*Side note, you can number your kids for everything in your room if you want. I know lots of teachers that do this so they can reuse their labels and stuff each year. It’s also great and super quick to see who is missing assignments, etc. I personally prefer to write their names, as some of mine are still working on recognizing their first and last name 🙂 But, for the pencil challenge each student gets a “fancy” pencil with a number on it. I just made a tag at the top out of masking tape.

The key is to buy “fancy pencils”- it makes them try so hard! Who wants to write with a regular old paper-mate when you can have a Halloween pencil… am I right?! (Dollar store has so many cute ones for cheap!)

So basically all the kids have to do is keep their pencil for the entire week.  If I find the pencil on the floor, I put it in my desk and they are out of the challenge for this week. They are welcome to try again next week but they are no longer eligible for the super amazing prize.  If their fancy pencil needs to be sharpened they can put it in the dull bucket, grab a regular pencil for the time being, and I will sharpen their fancy one when I get a moment.

Any students who have their pencil at the end of the day on Friday gets a prize!

SO simple!

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I started the great pencil challenge in my classroom TODAY… follow me on Snapchat for live updates! Wish me luck!

Have you tried the pencil challenge before?!