Pencils and Middle Schoolers
or When the Flowers Come Bob-Bob-Bobbing Along
From Jeannie Sandoval: Here's what I do - and it works for me. If I have to give out a pencil, then they get a "special pencil". I bought some of those cheap flower arrangement from Wal-Mart (or Amazon). I bought floral tape (there were three rolls in each package). I cut off the flowers and using the floral tape and a pencil I bind them together. I put them on my desk in a vase (so I have a pretty arrangement) and then when I need a pencil, I always can find one). My pencils don't get stolen since most kids are too embarrassed to have to write with a flower. I have used my flowers for over three years and still have them. One word of advise, don't wrap the floral tape all the way down the pencil, it will gum up your pencil sharpeners. When the flowers get short, I just pull out the flower stem and wrap it around a new pencil. I do wrap the tape around the eraser so it can't be used. In the bottom of the vase I bought some glass marbles (like you can put in a fish tank or melt in the kiln) for stability. I have used marbles, too.
Note from Jeannie: These "Flower Bouquets" also make great gifts for elementary teachers! Jeannie has two young ones in school now -- and another little one toddling around.
See all of the Getty Words of Wisdom on The Pencils - or lack of - in the Art Room. Scroll to big deal about pencils - and then on down to pencils and pencils and middle school:
http://www.getty.edu/education/teacherartexchange/archive/Jan04/ (now TeacherArtExchange). I had a lot of "words of wisdom" on this topic too - but most off list for Maggie's eye's only. I called my approach the "Good Witch of the North" -- because of all the work I did for the Witches and Wizards question. "Gandalf's" messages to me were all off list, too... so just ignore my fun post.
We (Getty Folks) are all having fun helping one teacher learn that teaching middle school kids can be SO MUCH FUN! I couldn't figure them out until my own son was in middle school. I sure learned all sorts of ways to have fun with them then! I remember having those "woe is me days" too... then after Matt was in sixth grade those days were gone... Matt was a normal kid - so what my students were doing was just normal kid behavior. Matt taught me a lot! I wish every teacher could have a gift like him (smile).