I recently discovered a way to get students to become more responsible. Or at least more resourceful. It wasn’t intentional, it just sort of happened. A student showed up to class without a pen or pencil. Shortly after the assignment was given I heard, “Can I borrow a pencil?”
The only one I had available was a stubby, eraser-less pencil with teeth marks (not mine) all over it that I had picked up off the floor a few days ago. I said, “Don’t put it in your mouth, somebody else has already been chewing on it.” The student was, of course, grossed out and refused to use it. So I said, “Time to find out who your real friends are.” In other words, hopefully you can find someone nice enough to let you use one.
So, if you’re getting tired of the question, “Can I borrow a pencil?”, you know what to do. And…just for fun, you may want to put the teeth marks on the pencils while your class watches and say, “From now on, anyone wishing to borrow a pencil from me will need to use one of these.”