Earlier in the school-year I bought a box of pencils and told students they may borrow one, just return it at the end of class.
Yeah, THAT plan failed.
This time, using packaging tape, I taped on a label reminding the student to return the pencil back to me.
In the morning I put 6 labeled pencils in the can and by the end of the day 6 labeled pencils were returned to me. Excellent. I understand a student can easily remove the label from the pencil, but I also hope that my a student would prefer to return it than put the effort into removing the label.
Because I have a limited number of pencils, I only made six available at a time. If I put out 10 or more pencils, this would look like a free-for-all (which is was not) and, for me, counting six pencils to be returned back to me seemed like a reasonable and quick number.
Now I have to find decent clicker pens so I can do the same with those.