Student Contributor: L. Witmer
A community pencil dispenser is just one of many individual components of community supplies. Making writing implements readily available to all students helps relieve some of the stress students may face when they are unable to provide their own materials, or even if they’ve simply forgotten to bring something with them on a given day.
A community pencil dispenser is a wonderful opportunity to repurpose materials from outside the classroom. Because they are designed to fit long, skinny sticklike objects, recycled straw dispensers are actually perfectly suited for pencils. All you have to do is decorate your dispenser as much (or as little) as you like and load it with pencils instead of straws. Additionally, if you are also interested in providing extra erasers for students, a gumball machine can be easily adapted for use as an eraser dispenser. These dispensers can be placed strategically in locations that can be easily accessed by students without disrupting the flow of traffic in the classroom. Students could be encouraged to bring contributions to the community stash at the beginning of the school year to ensure that there are enough pencils/erasers to load the dispensers. This extra stock of supplies helps insure that students have a positive experience at school because it removes the stress that comes with expecting all students to always come with everything they need. If they know that it is okay to use the community materials, it is less likely that they cause disruptions due to not having what is necessary.
I chose to categorize the Community Pencil Dispenser as a Supportive Phase tool because community supplies in general fall under this category. It can help reduce the issues that arise when students from diverse backgrounds are attempting to provide all of their own materials. Some children may not be able to consistently access everything they need at home, or can only afford poor quality items, so providing everyone with the opportunity to utilize community supplies is essential to supporting students in learning. Additionally, having pencil/eraser dispensers available for students will decrease the distraction and panic that occurs when students are asked to ready their materials. The smoother the preparing of materials, the less time there is for students to require redirection. This tool could relate to the Preventative Phase, as you would be creating and setting up the dispensers before the learning started and likely teaching students the appropriate procedures for utilizing community supplies at the beginning of the year. I feel that Community Pencil Dispensers could fit into all theories of influence, but especially collaborative, as it works best when the teacher and students are working together to ensure that there are adequate supplies for all learners to use.
More Information –
Tool Source: I found this idea on Pinterest; the below website has the most ideas for designing a Community Pencil Dispenser.