I took for granted that I required my high school art students to arrive with a pencil. It is now necessary to make sure I have sharp pencils for 28 students all day long. If you're like me, the constant sound of the electric sharpener is grating at best. It also starts a chain reaction of kids who want to walk. I tried handheld sharpeners at each table...for a week. Someone was constantly getting a tip broken off and trying to dig it out with scissors or (even better) their fingers. The solution is I sharpen them. I know I should be working smarter not harder, but this is a small price to pay. I put 2 extra pencils at each table. As pencils get dull or break the student takes a fresh one and puts the dull pencil on the end of their table. At the end of class a student helper grabs the green bucket of sharp pencils and swaps them out into the red "to be sharpened" bucket. It's working. I plan to make sharpening a helper job for a few responsible 4th graders who are usually done early.