Saturday, August 6, 2016

The best pencil sharpener EVER!

Well.  Am I ever a happy camper!

A couple of years ago, I solved the pencil problem in my classroom.  No more kids sharpening their pencils all day long.  No more kids saying they didn't have a pencil, or an eraser, or they couldn't find their whiteboard marker . . . nope, all those problems solved.

Well, mostly. ;)

Because they still had colored pencils to sharpen sometimes.

And I still had to sharpen all of their regular pencils at the end of each week with my noisy, messy electric sharpener.  And the bigger the class, the longer that took.  Since I'm looking at having TWO groups of students this year, a morning class of 25 and an afternoon group of 18, that's a LOT of sharpening time for me.  

And then, voila, a solution arrived in the mail.

Classroom Friendly Supplies sent me this pencil sharpener:

So cute!!

I bought some cheap pencils (hey, if we're going to test a new tool, let's make it a REAL test - no Ticonderoga pencils here!):

And I sharpened.  The pencil gets clamped in (so the SHARPENER is holding the pencil, not me - or the students - which means the pencil is getting pressed against the blades with just the right amount of force AND no one is holding onto that sharp metal eraser-holder end and getting cut) and then you just turn the crank:

And whoa.

I mean, WHOA.

First of all, talk about a perfect point:

Second, the pencil sharpener doesn't take off ANY extra lead.  You know how you sharpen half of your new pencils, stack them up again with the unsharpened pencils, and they're shorter?  Not anymore.  Note that the erasers are aligned and so are the tips:

This is the same photo as above - I didn't move the pencils between shots.
The erasers are still aligned and, as you can see, the tips are the same length as the unsharpened pencils!

Third, and this didn't hit me until the second pencil that I sharpened, I realized I was doing something reflexively that didn't need to be done with this sharpener: blowing the dust off the freshly sharpened pencil.

Because there was no dust.

These pencils came out perfectly clean.  

That just doesn't happen, people.  How do you sharpen a pencil and NOT have sawdust shavings or little lead flakes?  I have NEVER taken a pencil out of a sharpener that was perfectly clean.  In the picture above, I blew on one of the pencils (habit!) and didn't blow on the rest - I just took them out of the sharpener, squealed happily, and lined them up with the others.  Betcha can't tell which one got special treatment, because I can't!

So now I have this wonderful tool and a new classroom job: PENCIL SHARPENER.  I removed that job when I instituted the pencil pouches a couple of years ago, but now that I'm going to have 43 pouches to sharpen each week, I'm going to make it a student job.  

And now the students have the perfect tool with which to do their job: my happy new pencil sharpener.

I plan to buy more of these and let children share this job.  I want to get a 3-pack of sharpeners for about 30% off, which is kind of like buy two, get one free - then I'll have four in my classroom, which would be perfect for my class sizes (and my new helpers!) this year.  I'm thrilled!

You can check out Classroom Friendly Supplies and get one or more for your home or classroom, too.  I promise you will LOVE this pencil sharpener!

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