Thursday, August 30, 2012

Still Alive.. and Sharpening!

For those of you who are interested, I managed to make it through the rest of this week with no other injuries! Phew!

This week has gone so well. Like, unbelievably well. Of course, students are testing the behavior waters, but my friend & I have already hit our stride with team teaching. We are so confidant and totally up for the challenge that we've been given this year! Excited to see where the rest of the year takes us.

So, the day we came back as a staff, we found out that our school switched from Reading Counts to AR. I know what AR is and everything, but does anyone have any secrets or tricks that I should know about? I'd love to know these things up front instead of learning the hard way, if at all possible! =)

Can't wait to get back into the swing of things and post about what we've been up to. Hopefully, I'll remember my camera. If not, you'll get some lovely cellphone pictures!

In other news, this came into my life last week...

Let me start out by saying, pencil sharpeners [of all varieties] are the bane of my existence. I went through three electric ones last year. The boys shoved who knows what into them, and they were never treated gently. And the handheld, personal ones? Don't get me started. They mysterious fell out of desks 12 times a day, and those same boys decided to try to sharpen their mini carrots. Yeah, that happened. So I banned those.

See? I hate pencil sharpeners. When I saw this product from Classroom Friendly Supplies floating around blog land, I knew I had to give it a shot. The worst that could happen would be another deceased or banned pencil sharpener.

Here's my honest assessment.

I opened the box, and it was already put together. I just had to attach it to a surface. I ended up just leaving it free though so it can travel with me around the room. At the moment, it has only been used by teachers!

Now, it does make noise, but it only makes about a tenth of the noise an electric sharpener does. Awesome! I don't let students sharpen pencils during instruction anyway [they trade their dull one for a sharp one], but it will definitely help to cut down on noise during morning work when they are allowed to sharpen.

This puppy is fast! I was really surprised how quick it sharpened a new pencil. I feel like an electric sharpener takes forever now! Less wasted time. Love it. And don't get me started with the perfect point. It sharpens a pencil to PERFECTION! It drives me nuts when my electric sharpener makes a point that you can't write with. Ya with me? With this sharpener, you get a perfect point every time.

The verdict? I'm sold. Totally worth it. And, like I've heard others say, I love that it is made for classrooms by a classroom teacher.

I'm going to introduce it to the kids next week, now that we are getting settled in. I will have to show them, step by step, how to use it. I might even show the video from the website. I'm sure that it'll survive. I'm hoping it'll last the whole school year! Here's the button to Troy's site if you're interested in learning more. I suggest at least checking it out!


  1. I have three of those sharpeners in my classroom, I got them at the end of last year. I love how quiet they are and how they sharpen every pencil, every time! The only downer is the mess they leave underneath. I am constantly having to wipe down my table, and still there is a gray/black graphite mess everywhere. Have you experienced that too?

    1. The girls that have them in their rooms never mentioned that...hmm...curious! :/ I will ask about that. :)

  2. Meg...those pencil sharpeners are the TRUTH, girl! :) Last year, I was on the PTO board and we tried to get one for each teacher for teacher apprech' week...but they busted the budget. :( I'm going to see about getting one myself....lots of girls at my school have them and they are GLORIOUS! :) Thanks for reminding me of yet another thing I need to get for my room! :) With first graders, we go through pencils like water some days...they are still learning not to press so hard. :) Love your blog! :) I'm your newest follower! :)

  3. I am so glad I found another Delaware girl and one that teaches third grade too!!! We do AR at our school and I LOVE it. I feel that it has really motivated my kids to read. The parents love it and expect their children to meet their goals. If you need any help with starting AR please let me know :)