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Monday, July 8, 2013

DIY Pencil Organizer

So, ask my students, and they will tell you that I have a thing about "Pencil Thievery."  Since I work in a unique situation where students come in and out of my room all day long, I have to supply pencils for most of them.  Last year, I don't know how many pencils walked right out of my room, despite my best efforts.  This year, I'm prepared, and I'm kind of excited about it!

Still on my mission to use Washi Tape, I picked some patterned tape up to make little flags for my pencils (like these babies).  Then I remembered what a challenge it was to get the students to put the pencils back into their container when they did remember to leave them.  I had pencils on the floor, on the tables, in the recycle bin(?), etc.  As I was perusing Michaels, I came across these unfinished photo frame boxes for $4.99.  Of course, I didn't take a picture of the unfinished box.  Shucks.

So, I pulled out my paint and made my own pencil holders with inspirational quotes on the sides...and Washi Tape that matches the color of tape on the pencils.  Now, I really don't CARE if they stay in the correct boxes, but maybe it will encourage the kids to put them back into the box if they have that little incentive to match the tape.  Maybe, just maybe?  We shall see!

This whole project took me about about an hour and a half when all was said and done.

For a classroom teacher, I think this would be GREAT for keeping supplies in a center, or if you need to keep a stash of pencils at your literacy table.  I might even make one for my desk with little flags so that I can always keep my own little stash.


  1. Girl, you totally read my mind! I'm going to have three different groups of students this fall, and I am planning on doing something similar. I bought some duct tape in fun colors instead of washi tape, but I think it'll have the same outcome. However, I hadn't thought of the containers. Love it!

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  3. pencils are a HUGE pet peeve of mine. Please tell me how they can break a pencil in less than 30 seconds??? And please tell me where the eraser goes?? How much can one kid erase in the 5 minutes they were working??? Don't even get me started on the pencil-eating desks. LOVE this.

    I am having a giveaway, stop by!
    Diary of a First Year Teacher

  4. Great idea! The pencil issue drives me nuts. I know that our Specials (p.e., music and art) teachers ask for tissue box donations from the classroom teachers. Can you do this for pencils?
    I was just at Michaels and picked up some Washi tape! Love that stuff!
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun

  5. Adorable!!!!!!!!! I am trying the pencil flag thing too... but for different reasons. I teach first and the pencil rolls of their desk and they cant find it and don't care to look. They just go get another. In 5 minutes my 30 students have gone through 175 pencils..... KILL ME NOW! I plan to write their names on the pencil flag, so should one end up one the floor we can find the owner easily.

    Good luck and keep us posted. A tiny idea you might like is having a student stand at the door and a returned pencil is your ticket out the door. Just a thought.

    Teacher to the Core ~ Teaching Tips, Tricks, and Mommy Magic

  6. These are SUPER cute!! I think I'm going to have to make them! Not sure if you know (although I'm sure you do because as teachers we have to try to save money in every way possible lol), BUT you do get 15% off your purchases at Michael's when you show them your staff ID! Every little bit helps! :-)

    The Very Busy Resource Teacher

  7. I'm convinced my kiddos eat the pencils! They disappear so quickly!

    Also stopping by to say I LOVE your visualizing task cards and rave about them (and link to your blog) on my blog--

    Hope you have a chance to stop on by!

    Thank you!

  8. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post... nice! I love your blog. more information visit:- Australian Apprenticeships.

  9. Great Idea! I go through about 400 pencils a year! Think I will also do something similar with my red pens!

  10. So cute! I love it! I love your blog! :)


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