The first has been the pencil situation! I think we have gone through about 200 pencils in 5 weeks. I never have sharpeners at student desks because they tend to be distracting, but our grade level sets the list as a whole and I have yet figured out a way to rid the classroom of the sharpeners they love so much! We started the pencil game this week! Have you heard of it:? I read about it on a blog, but can't remember which one. I would be happy to give credit if anyone knows. The idea is that the kids have a pencil with their magic number on it. The last person to have their pencil wins the game and gets a prize. In my classroom, it is eating lunch in the classroom with a friend. This encourages them to be responsible for their pencil, make sure it is not left on the floor, and to not sharpen it into a mini-pencil (argh!) So far, my floor has been pencil free and I let the kids know that pencils on the floor or left on there desks will not be returned.
Now to figure out how to combat the messy desk syndrome!