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Write Now: When Rehearsing, Keep A Pencil Handy

Found in almost every classroom, the ubiquitous pencil can be used as more than just a paperweight.

Yes, it’s used as writing utensil, but sometimes gets shoved aside when its cousin, the almighty pen makes his entrance. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but for education, artistic, architectural, construction, and everyday purposes, the pencil holds its weight. There are also a variety of colors.

The best feature, unlike the pen, is when you need to mark something that won’t be permanent.

And that’s where the pencil is king.

For argument’s sake, say you are in a music class. It doesn’t matter if it is a vocal, instrumental, history or theory class, if there is sheet music used, then a pencil will be needed.

For instance, when playing in a jazz band, and you are playing any chart (a chart is another term for a song that is written out or charted in musical notation) and the conductor stops and tells the band to mark measure 52 as fortississimo (fff) instead of mezzo-forte (mf). You need to remember that direction and since sheet music is expensive, and is not yours, you have to make a note about that new fff direction. You can’t use a pen because that would leave a permanent mark, and the conductor may change his mind, so you would have to be able to erase your handwritten note at measure 52.

It’s easy with a pencil.

The same holds true in English Language Arts Class. Sometimes when reading a novel that is assigned for class, a student may want to remember an important passage on a page. Unless the student owns his copy of the book, using a pen or highlighter is a no-no, but underlining lightly with a pencil is OK.

The reason for no pen or highlighter is because the books are turned back in when done reading and if there are any new marks in the text, the student may be held responsible for them. With an eraser, the student can get rid of the lines.

Another great use in ELA class is for editing. When students peer edit, they can use different colored pencils to show editing marks on their papers. Sometimes red pen marks may look too harsh on a student’s writing project. With a pencil, the marks may not look so harsh.

After all, editing is part of the writing process, but after seeing heavy red pen marks, a student may get discouraged from future writing projects because he doesn’t want to see the red blotches, and he may think that his writing may not be good enough.

A pencil may be a great alternative for making editing and punctuation suggestions.

So if you use a pencil make sure to keep it sharp by carrying a sharpener, and an eraser for any mistakes you may want to fix.

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