Professional Development

July 19, 2014

Bright Ideas for Pencils for Little Learners

Hello there! Right now I am curled up in bed because it is COLD outside! Yes, cold.  It’s the middle of Summer in Texas and I am in pants and a light zip-up jacket.  Crazy! I digress…

Do you ever have this problem with your students’ work???

Or do you find yourself saying, “Where is your pencil so you can get busy?” a million times a day???

I wanted to share a with you a little something I do in my classroom to help speed things up during our pencil-paper work time, especially writing and that helps me keep my sanity!

I use colored tape and I tape over the erasers. GASP!!!!  Go ahead, I know you think I’m crazy…What? You don’t let them erase?? What about teaching them that mistakes are okay? Don’t fret–they see me mess up all the time. We just don’t waste time erasing unless we are publishing our writing.

Let me explain more…

The little tape flags serve several purposes.

1. They keep the little one’s from erasing allll dayyyy lonngggg.  You know what I’m talking about. Those times when 10 minutes has gone by and you realize that little Susie has done nothing but write, then erase. Write, then erase. Write, then erase.

2. It allows me to see their whole writing process and their thinking.  I teach them to just put a line through it and keep going.  When they mark through, with one neat line, their mess-ups, I am able to better guide them.  Often times when erasing I don’t ever see how they got to that spelling or that they even were aware that their sentence didn’t make sense.  I am able to praise them for “thinking like an author”.

3. The flags help us keep track of whose pencil is whose.  You won’t believe this, but each child only went through FOUR, yes 4, pencils last year.  This is typical.  The pencils are stored in the table bins and on the flags they have their initials.  They then know whose pencil is whose.  They are in charge of keeping up with it and getting it sharpened if it needs sharpened.

This little system has worked fabulously for me for the past 6 years! I have used this with both Kindergarten and First Graders. Are you brave enough to try it? I hope so!!

Using pencil flags in the classroom is helpful for several reasons. Find out why this classroom trick and make a huge difference in the writing process and how many pencils you use a year! #ClassroomOrganization #TeacherTipspin it

If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, please join me on FacebookTeachersPayTeachers, or Instagram for more fun!

For more fabulous Bright Ideas, check out any of the links below by clicking on a topic or grade level that interests you! Enjoy! Happy Summer!

Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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  1. Pingback: How to Solve the Problem of Disappearing Pencils | TheQuestWeb
  2. Pingback: 12 Clever Ways to Solve the Case of the Disappearing Pencils – Education Discussion

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