Pencil Sorting

When I restocked my own pencil tins today I was reminded of a fun little routine that you can do with your students at the end of each week.

It is great for helping your little learners with color names and 1:1 correspondence. Most importantly though, it helps you manage the classroom with the help of your students. It helps them understand how to sort fairly and puts an end to the 'pencil squabbles'.

If you use shared pencil tins, no doubt you have found that somehow or another one or two tins end up with a trillion colors (particularly the popular ones) and the rest have the dregs by the end of the week. 

Print a Pencil Sorting Mat for each student (or pair of students, depending on ho you sort your tins) and distribute them as a regular time each week - Friday afternoon works well. These can be used over and over.

Your little ones can take the pencils from the tin on their desk and lay them on the pictures on the sorting mat to match each color. This way, they are identifying that they indeed have one of each color in their tin. 

The leftovers are returned to a central location, and missing pencils are retrieved to even out the tins. 

No fuss. Fair distribution of pencils and the kiddos love it!

 I recommend introducing this routine in a very structured way - some little friends take longer than others to understand the 1:1 and purpose of the activity. Say 'everybody take a red pencil from their tin and place it on your sorting mat over the red pencil picture - if there are extra red pencils in your tin, hold them in the air now and I will come and collect them'. Do this, and then ask if anyone is missing a red for their mat - distribute those and then move on to the next color. 

This will save you from sorting the tins on the weekend and in just a few weeks your students will be able to do it all by themselves with little help from you, and eventually without the sorting mat! 

Head over to TpT if you would like this free file. 

While you are there, take advantage of my store wide sale and grab 20% off your purchases today!

Have a lovely day, thanks so much for stopping by 

- Mel x