I love my containers for sharpened and unsharpened pencils. They are so pretty. But most of the time, they are empty. Students are taking pencils instead of trading, and I'm burning through my stash. (On the bright side, I do get to use my new pencil sharpener often.) Since our fifth graders switch rooms for every class, they never seem to have their supplies with them. And then they wait until ten minutes into class to tell me that they don't have their supplies. Grr...
Then I turned to my tried-and-true classroom management strategy - bribery. For each student in every class, I wrapped a piece of brightly-colored duct tape around the end of his/her pencil, near the eraser. The next day, I took "pencil attendance" after taking regular attendance. Anyone who had their taped pencil got a small treat, ie. Dum-Dum sucker or Hershey's Kiss. Then whoever had their pencil every day for the week got a "check" to spend at our school PBIS store. This is so that they just don't stash their pencil in their lockers for the week. They have to actually bring it to class every day. Eventually, I'll just do the checks (since it won't cost me anything but is still highly-motivating), but I needed some immediate rewards to get them going.
If a student is using a pencil that is getting close to the end, they can trade in that taped pencil for a new taped pencil.
If a student lost his/her taped pencil, then I will tape another pencil that they provide on Mondays.
Update: I decided to duct tape any replacement pencils in yellow so I could see who still had their original. They may be eligible for extra prizes :)
Update #2: This worked really well this past week. Only a few students from each class lost their pencil during the week. They even reminded me to take pencil attendance :) And a tip - Not all duct tape is the same in quality. The yellow tape that I used kept peeling off. Make sure you use super-sticky tape! I'm also making this my Friday Flashback since it was pretty successful this week!