Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Perfect Pencil... old school tech!

Quality Pencils for your Classroom

This summer, I received a variety of pencils from the company at Pencils.Com.  My daughter used them a lot over the summer, and they were great!  However, I didn't realize how truly wonderful they were until the other day.  

Anyone who knows me well understands my compulsive behavior towards pencils and sharpeners.  I feel like I've been burned too many times with poor pencils and sharpeners.  I also get annoyed by the sound of the sharpener during class.  Plus, they're a mess.  I could probably write an entire post about my pet peeves regarding pencils and the sharpening of pencils.  I aim to run the most independent classroom I can.  My students have a lot of ownership of their space and their learning; however, I'd say the only aspect I am not comfortable with is letting the kids sharpen their own pencils. I trust my students, but I don't trust the cheap pencils and poor sharpeners. 

Pencils can be an expensive material for the classroom.  I get outraged when they continue to break or the lead simply falls out.  To me, this is outrageous.  Then, when you try to sharpen them... they grind down to half the original size.  What really bothers me is the 'fake sharpened pencil.'  This is the one where it looks beautiful on one side, but the lead is not exposed at all on the other side.  It's hard to get an evenly sharpened pencil. 

During writer's workshop the other day, I had several students request to sharpen pencils.  They had already used the two spare pencils at their seat.  I realized it wasn't the children's fault.  The pencils were simply breaking.  I remembered the gift of pencils I received over the summer and decided to bring in a few for some of my students to try.  Amazing!

I use the Forest Choice #2 Graphite Pencils in my class now.  I had to find the exact ones online that the company sent me.  Here is the link: click here to see the pencils in a pack or 12 for $2.95 or click here to see the pencils in a pack of 144 for $22.95.  I also found them on Amazon (disclaimer: I am an affiliate).  I encourage you to try one box - you'll be hooked!

We do a lot of writing in my class. The students draft amazing stories in workshop, compose thoughtful reflections in reading, and show the details of their work in math, so it's essential that we maximize our time on task.  Every teacher knows that every minute counts.  I don't have time to waste on pencils issues.  Though this may sound silly to some... I guarantee teachers out their understand my crazy pencil pet peeves.  

Other fun products and pencils...

When I decided to write this post, I checked out the website.  At first, I was overwhelmed by the mass amounts of pencils.  What an industry!  Then I recalled the variety of leads I had to use in my drafting classes for interior design.  A good pencil is a necessity... the lead is even more important!

For the classroom, you can find fun scented pencils like Caramel Apple, Coconut, and Bubble Gum.  They even have amazing colored pencils that come pre-sharpened.  I also like the variety of themed pencils they offer for nearly any occasion.  How fun!  Simply click here to view the selection of school pencils. 

The site also has notebooks, journals, planners, rulers, sharpeners, erasers, gift sets for young artists and more!


  1. Too funny. I thought I was the only teacher whose peeve was the sharpener and pencils where the lead constantly falls out. So this year I tried the push point pencils. Nah that didn't solve my problem. I may have to try your recommendation.

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

  3. Here's a video to accompany your post:

  4. What bran has the bet colored peNcils?

  5. BraNd and iPad is being weird!

  6. Thank you...It's nice to know that I'm not alone when I want to scream about the pencil sharpener...and pencils breaking 5 minutes after being sharpened.


    A Time to Share & Create


    Fabulous 4th Grade

  7. We have been complaining about the pencils our district purchases for years. I will try your suggestion with what is left of my out-of-pocket money....

  8. THANK YOU as a homeschooling family it is amazing to me how much time is spent sharpening pencils that only write for a few minutes at best before breaking. I thought it was the sharpeners but different/better sharpeners has not changed the situation, so time to get BETTER pencils! Can't wait till they come in the mail!