Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Thursday Think Tank: Pencil Exchange

Classroom labels and procedures really help me out in the chaos of our art studio. One in particular that I want to share with you is our Pencil Exchange procedure.  If a students pencil breaks or is seriously dull this is what they do:

Go to drawer labeled pencil exchange.

Open it!

Look at what's inside!

Return the "bad" pencils to the correct place.

Take the good pencils back to your desk.
This is great for me because I don't have every student asking me "Can I sharpen my pencil?" I have my art club students sharpen pencils before school or after depending on the day so I never have to worry about doing it myself most of the time.

FYI: Before this year I didn't have drawers like this in my room, so I had a designated area with these baskets on the counter for the exchange to take place. I've seen some really creative ways to do this on pinterest as well so check it out!


  1. What a great idea! I can never seem to keep enough pencils sharpened. The pencils we use always roll on the floor and then it seems as if the lead inside breaks before they even get sharpened. This causes the leads to 'break' when they are sharpened. I plan to give this a try, I'm going to go all out and sharpen a ton of pencils and keep two baskets ready. :)

    1. Thanks! The first few years of teaching I always had kids interrupting me with "Can I sharpen my pencil?" I didn't know about the pencils falling into the floor and breaking the lead inside, I'm going to be more careful for sure! Let me know how it is working for you!