Pencil I.D. & Storage: No More Lost Pencils!

Pencil I.D. & Storage: No More Lost Pencils!

As a child, I remember constantly losing my pencil in the classroom. It didn't matter how many cool and cute pencil holders or bags my mom got me, I just couldn't keep track of my writing utensils. (Did I just date myself by using that phrase? Are pens and pencils still called writing utensils?) I remember one year, my mom went so far as to superglue obnoxiously large cartoon character erasers on the top of my pencils so that I would easily be able to find them, but the deep dark hole where pencils wander off to always seemed to swallow them. But finally, there's a fix! Using our Pencil Caps SureCut die, some embellishments for your kiddos to decorate with, and a cutely wrapped box, pencils will no longer wander away! It's so fun, and way easy!

(For those unable to watch this video, the transcription is below.)

Hi, I'm Sandi Genovese, and welcome to this episode of the Ellison Education Video Series.

How many times a day do you hear this: "I don't have a pencil"? I know when I was teaching, I can't even count on two hands how often I would hear that daily. So we're going to look today at how easy it is to make something that will allow the kids to label their pencil and then a place for it to be stored.

And I'll bring this over and show you it's a nice, snug fit. Every one of the pencils in here have been labeled with a pencil cap, and all I've done is just write the student's name. What is really fun is for the kids to decorate their own, and so it has all their own individuality on each of the pencil caps.

And then, this is simply a cardboard box that's been wrapped in gift wrap in order to give a nice place for the pencils to sit. When the kids go home, the pencil stays in class. And that is part of the key to keeping them from getting lost.

You need to start first with a cardboard box. So, here is a cardboard box that I started with. And you want to make sure that when you put your pencil all the way down, you still have plenty of room for it to sit above when it's all the way seated all the way to the bottom.

You also need to make sure that it's large enough that when you have the pencil caps decorated and attached to each pencil, that there's room for them to sit on the cardboard box. So first, you'll want to take this and wrap it in gift wrap. So just pick whatever gift wrap you like, and this is wrapped just exactly the way you would wrap a present. Nothing fancy, but it works.

Once you have it gift wrapped, then you need to measure. And if your students are old enough and you're studying measurement, this is a good thing for them to try. Basically, you need to figure out how many pencils you're going to store. If you have less than 30 kids in your class, well, lucky you. I don't know that I ever did.

So, my holder is going to hold 30. That means that I have six rows going across and five rows going up and down. So I've used a piece of paper that's a little bit smaller, just a little smaller than my actual cardboard box. And then with a ruler and a pencil, I've divided it up so that I have basically 30 intersections of those lines. Because, as I said, six rows going this way, five rows going this way.

Once you have that, you're going to place it on the box. And then just with a pushpin, and keeping this in place, I'm going to poke a hole in the cardboard box at the intersection of every one of the lines on the grid.

And now I've gone ahead and I've punched all 30 of the holes. And when I take this off...I don't know how easy it is for you to see, but this is going to be where I'm going to go back later, and I'm going to actually punch with the pencil itself to create the bigger-size hole.

First, I think it's easiest to decorate it. So if you look at the table, you can see that the pencil cap die, it actually cuts two. And if you have five sheets of construction paper, that means you're cutting 10 at a time, which is just quick.

Once you have them cut in all the colors, I like to have the kids decorate them. But in this example, I've just gone back with a white pen, and I've written the students' names.

What you want to do is fold on the perforations, so I'm going to fold this up. And then take your pencil, push it through. It's a nice, snug fit, so I'm going to just slide it through. And then bring the bottom of both sides so that the holes align. Like I said, it's a nice, snug fit.

You're going to do this with all of the different pencil caps. When they're all slid onto the pencils, then all you need to do, the pencil itself is all you're going to need in order to make this a pencil-size hole. So using the pencil lead to match with that hole, I'm going to just now push and slide this all the way down, like so.

There you go. And I'm going to just continue to do the same thing. If I bring this back and show you, surprisingly, it looks like this. To me, when I finish that, it looks like it's really difficult and time-consuming. It's not. If you want to really cut down on lost pencils in your classroom, consider labeling and storing them.

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