I started something last year that I stole from Pinterest. Can’t remember from who or when but needless to say, my middle school students really needed structure surrounding how to manage and handle pencil use in my classroom. Non-educators, even some educators not in the essentials field, will say “what do you mean? are you serious?” And I am. Ever have the case of the missing pencil? Or the flying pencil? Or the holy eraser? I have. I can especially introduce my Pencil Hospital this fun because I now teach K-5 and my students definitely appreciate my humor a bit more. 🙂 So I wil l talk as if I am working with students – it’s more fun (and a little bit crazy) that way.
I introduce, my friends, the Pencil Hospital. When I encountered my first pencil hospital, it was the first of it’s kind and very simple – healthy, unhealthy, and eraser. But, with a little TLC and some small funding, I have extended the reach of Findley’s Pencil Hospital!
It’s a three story building dedicated to the health and safety of our friends, the pencil. This fantastic building has three lobbies.
First we have the top level (third floor), where pencils are released from their doctor and ready to see the world. They are sharp and as sturdy as they can be. Of course, every pencil is different, just like we are, so therefor we are accepting no matter what and always grab one quickly.
Then we have the middle level (second floor), where pencils go when they need some pick-me-ups. Some pencils need full-on surgery to repair their dull or broken heads, while others are snapped in half or won’t sharpen no matter what we do. Those need special attention from Miss J. We have plenty of doctors and physicians on hand to help these pencils become healthy throughout the year.
Our final level, the bottom or main floor, is our visitor center. This is where our dear friends, the eraser, hang out and support our pencils during their recovery.
As students at Findley, we all arrive with fully paid pencil insurance! This pencil insurance gives us full coverage with no charge! Which is so wonderful because insurance can be awfully costly, just ask parents! Our insurance allows us to use the healthy pencils whenever we need one, without permission. If our healthy pencil gets tired, worn out, dull or broken, we simply take it to the second floor and drop it off for some TLC. Before leaving, we are able to get a new pencil from the third floor.
Ocassionally, the hospital gets backed up and we run out of pencil hospitals. But the hospital, no worries, has a great program that allows students to become doctors and nurses for the day when they are short on help. If they get to the third floor and there are no pencils, take ten unhealthy pencils, sharpen them, and put them in the top drawer (third floor) for others to use.
If you ever need support for your pencil, like an eraser, help yourself. But remember, we don’t have an eraser hospital so it’s important to take good care of our erasers and return them when we are done!
But, just like real insurance, sometimes we can lose it. At Findley, if you throw your pencil or purposely harm it, you will lose your insurance for the day. If you lose your insurance more than once, we will have to meet and talk about putting you on a new insurance plan so that we can make sure the Findley pencils stay safe. It is our job to be respectful, responsible and caring with our materials. I would hate to have any students go without insurance! Let’s agree to keep our coverage, okay?
I have used this pencil hospital for two years and I love it. Students will get pencils when they need them rather than interrupt someone. And I rarely hear the pencil sharpener going off. K-5 has been fully entertained by the story and not even a full week into the school year, it’s already in effective use.