In twenty years of teaching I think that I must have tried twenty thousand different ways to protect my pencil stash. Once I even bought pencils that said "Stolen from Mrs. King". My high school kids took it as a challenge. I've never lost pencils faster than I did that year!
I supply my own pencils because as a music specialist, it can sometimes be a hassle to have students bring a pencil to class. They forget or I forget to remind them. Sometimes when they remember they bring an entire pencil box full of everything but the kitchen sink. It is just easier for me to have my own stash. That being said, the pencils come out of my grocery budget so I always want to keep them as long as possible.
One of the solutions I loved the most was to turn the pencils into classroom decorations. It isn't the perfect solution, but it might be the prettiest! When turning the pencils into flowers you give up the ability to use the eraser. This actually works really well because the erasers usually only last about two weeks anyway. (If I am lucky!) I always have a small tub of erasers that students can use if they need them.
With the flower pot pencils, Once they are sharpened to the green, I retire them from the flower pot and put in a pencil can. About mid-year (or whenever all my flowers have been used up) I'll whip out the can of used pencils that magically have FULL erasers! With this can of pencils and a hope and a prayer I can coast right into summer!
So, let me introduce you to an old project to introduce you to my newest project.
A few years ago I painted several flower pots with a keyboard theme. I stuffed them with flowers and put them on a shelf in the teacher corner of my classroom. They made me smile each time I saw them! After a couple of years, I decided to retire them. Now, they hold my bloomin' pencils.
For this project, you'll need a flower pot (painted or not), some fake flowers a pack of dried beans, green masking tape or floral tape and pencils.
The green floral tape works really well, but for this batch I only had green masking tape, so that is what I used. I snipped the individual flowers from the bundle and using the masking tape adhered them to the pencils.
Put a couple of pieces of tape over the hole in the bottom of the flower pot and fill with dried beans.
The beans hold the pencils up so that they look like a bouquet of flowers and they are gentle on the lead so that it doesn't break each time a pencil is replaced.
If you look closely in the picture above, you'll notice that a few pieces of the masking tape are starting to curl up a bit. This happens with the floral tape too. I secure them with a piece of clear, Scotch tape and they stay put.
This finished product is a bright and cheery addition to your classroom and a solution for your pencil problem! Eventually I moved the flower pots to several places around my classroom. This made it easier for students working at workstations to have supplies close to them. It also looked pretty!