Saturday, March 21, 2015

Teacher Tip #2: Pencil Pals

It's Saturday again which means that it is time for the next post in my teacher tips series.  Last Saturday, I shared how you can use your laminator to make pockets for games, centers, and even storage. Today, I am sharing a tip that has helped me so much this year in my classroom.

Over the summer as I was planning and preparing for a new school year, I found an interesting product at my local Walmart.
Tops Pen Pal"! Pen Holder TOPPENPALC75 
{It's actually called a pen pal, but since my students only use pencils, I automatically call them pencil pals. You can also find them on Amazon.}  Of course, the Walmart I was shopping at only had one package of three pen pals.  This obviously was not going to be enough for my classroom.  I kept looking every time I went near a school supply section of any store.  Finally I found a Walmart that had enough for all my desks!!

The pen pals came in packs of 3 with one green, red, and blue in each pack.  They have a peel off sticker underneath {similar to a command strip} which allows the pen pal to stay firmly in place on the desk.  I honestly expected them to start falling off about half way through the year.  However, it is almost the end of March, and I still haven't had to replace or fix even one of them. 

I put a pen pal on every desk right above the name tags.  Each student has a neon colored pencil that stays in the pen pal at all time unless they are writing with it.  Every day after school, my son sharpens all the pencils and puts them back in the pen pals.  

I can't tell you how much I enjoy not having to wait while one or two students struggle to find a pencil in their messy desks.  For that reason alone, these useful tools have been a lifesaver in my classroom this year!

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