Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 26 Leadership is action, not position." ~Donald H. McGannon


  • More than 14 billion pencils are produced in the world every year - enough to circle the globe 62 times.
  • Pencils don't really contain lead. That gray matter is graphite and clay.
  • One pencil will draw a line 70 miles long.
  • Two billion pencils are made in the United States each year.
  • The pencil was invented more than 400 years ago, in 1565.
  • Famous novelists Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck used pencils to write their books.
  • Pencils didn't have erasers on them until 100 years ago because teachers felt they would encourage children to make mistakes.
  • It would cost $50 in labor and materials for a person to make a 10-cent pencil.
  • One million pencils are used annually on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
  • The average pencil can be sharpened 17 times, write 45,000 words, or draw a line 35 miles long.
  • A good-size tree will make about 300,000 pencils.
  • Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star Spangled Banner" in pencil.
  • An unpainted pencil inserted into the soil of a potted plant can eliminate mealy bugs on plants.
  • Plant growers mark their plant labels with pencil because it is one marking that won't fade in sunlight.
  • Dreaming that you are sharpening a pencil suggests that you need to be more flexible in your way of thinking.
  • Why are pencils yellow? Pencils have been painted yellow ever since the 1890s. And that bright color isn't just so you can find them on your desk more easily! During the 1800s, the best graphite in the world came from China. American pencil makers wanted a special way to tell people that their pencils contained Chinese graphite. In China, the color yellow is associated with royalty and respect. American pencil manufacturers began painting their pencils bright yellow to communicate this "regal" feeling and association with China. Today, 75% of the pencils sold in the United States are painted yellow! Source: 2000 Incense Cedar Institute
  • Say What? Have you ever seen a left-handed pencil? Left-handed pencils do exist. But it has nothing to do with the way it writes - it's all about the text printed on the pencil. On an ordinary pencil the text runs from the tip to the head so you can read it when you hold it. I just love trivia...

Kid Friendly Writing

Although many basic handwriting tasks, like making lists, can be done with printing, children still need to be able to read cursive. It also enables children to write faster and more efficiently, because the pencil/pen isn't lifted from the paper until the word is finished. If your child struggles with cursive writing, please provide a few minutes of practice time each day. ...Also, check your child's grasp - Make sure the thumb isn't tucked in or overlapping the other fingers. A poor grasp is usually too tight.

Source: Parents February 2001

Another late post...

Just to let you know--we're doing district writing prompts this week. My class will begin a research report project shortly that we'll work on in both Language Arts and Social Studies. (Fifth grade will have an alternate activity.) Also, we are back on track with Spelling, Vocabulary, and Grammar, Week 14.

I'll write more tomorrow...