How to Make a Pencil Rental System in Your Classroom


It is very common for students to be constantly losing pencils every single day in a classroom. The best way to prevent this is to have a system in place to keep track of the classroom pencils and the students that are borrowing them. A pencil borrowing station needs to be clearly labeled with simple instructions on a large sign. You can number each pencil, and display them in a stand, a container, or a dispenser. A sign-out sheet can be used for students to sign their name when they borrow and when they return the pencils. A dry erase board can be used instead of a sign out sheet if your pencil lending station is like a bulletin board that is right in your whiteboard. See examples of these below. 

I love to find awesome classroom organization ideas. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a commission for purchases using my links. Learn more. The ideas and paid links below are based on Amazon finds that are great for solving the problem of disappearing pencils. 

How to Make a Pencil Rental System in Your Classroom

  • Make a pencil lending station on your whiteboard: The middle school teacher that made this pen lending bulletin board station lets her students sign out for the pens on the magnetic whiteboard. She made it into a bulletin board in order to make it visible to her and the students. She used these magnetic clips (#ad) to hold the pens. When a student takes a pen to use, they put their name where the pen was and erase their name when they put it back. The clips are strong enough to not slide on the board and to hold the pens securely so they do not fall. Another option is to use magnetic rings that you slide onto the pencils to make them stay up on your whiteboard. A third option is to use magnetic pen holder clips. The magnets on them are very strong and not easily removed. To get around that 'issue', put the assembly over a weaker magnet, such as a flat circle magnet, (as shown in the picture above) so they are easier to pry off the whiteboard.

  • Make a wall hanging pencil rental station: On a classroom wall or partition board, have pencils on display for students to rent them. In the picture, the pencils are hung on two-prong wall hooks (#ad).

  • Use a pencil pocket chart: This pocket chart was created for teachers to track the rentable classroom pencils and it is cheaper than its wooden alternative (#ad). You would first have to number each pencil to match your students' pre-assigned numbers. Any child can borrow that a pencil if needed. At the end of class, you will be able to tell by a glance who hasn't returned theirs. Each week, you can use stickers or a point system to reward the students who have kept their pencils. Get tiny number stickers for your pencils here.

  • Have a 'Need A Pencil?' poster and sign out sheet: I found these free posters and sign out sheets on TpT for a classroom pencil rental system. They are created by different teacher authors and you can pick the ones that you like.

  • Use a pencil dispenser: Pencil dispensers can come in stainless steel or plastic. You can decorate them with large letter cut outs of the word 'PENCILS' or other cut-outs to match your classroom theme.

  • Some straw dispensers work for pencils: Some straw dispensers, particularly the ones that accidentally give out two straws and a time, are better suited for pencils. Dress them up with vinyl decals or a cute label.

  • Display pencils in a drumstick holder: These drumstick holders have holes or slots on the sides for drumsticks to be stored in them. The layout of these are perfect for storing pens or pencils if you need to have them clearly displayed. There are two types that vary in design and color. The black one hangs on a wall and the clear one is a standing rack for a tabletop. However, they are both pricey. I found a much cheaper alternative that is made for pens and pencils here.

  • Use a vertical pen stand: Pens and pencils can be displayed in this clear stand. They are clear and come in packs of four.

  • Have separate pencils for clipboards: Use pen-pal clips to hold pencils on student clipboards and desks. Aside from clipboards, all types of sign out sheets should have a pen or pencil attached nearby for convenience. You can use self adhesive clips for keeping designated pens or pencils at the sign-in station.

For more classroom stationery storage ideas, you can check out these blog posts:

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