Monday, October 26, 2015

Best Pencil Sharpener. Ever. Now Even Better!

Dear Readers, I hope you are all having a wonderful school year. We just started our second quarter and my 5th graders, who were already amazing, are showing so much more responsibility and initiative. They are working really hard to have a "silent day" as inspired by Paul Solarz in the Learn Like a Pirate book. This is a day in which students take complete control of the day and run the class as I would, but I have to remain silent. I'm loving their teamwork and blossoming leadership skills and I'm excited to see them continue to grow.

Alas, that is not the focus of this post. Rather, I am super excited to brag about something that I have been using in my classroom for sometime, and to help reveal the newest edition! Last year I fell in love with Classroom Friendly Supplies pencil sharpener. I'm sure you have all seen the odd looking, hand-crank, device on other blogs, social media, etc. If you haven't, prepare to be amazed! The sharpener is quiet (not completely silent, but so much quieter than other sharpeners) and ALWAYS has a perfect point. My students love ours, and take great care of it. We also have an electric sharpener in our classroom, but it rarely gets used, it is only for colored pencils (the lead is too soft for the CFS sharpener).

The sharpeners come in a variety of colors (black, blue, red, green, and pink), so I'm super excited to help Classroom Friendly Supplies introduce the newest color...Popular Purple!

I love all the colors, and have the pink and green myself, but when CFS offered purple in exchange for a review, I couldn't pass it up. This color is GORGEOUS! I know my students take good care of our sharpeners, but I seriously want to keep this one on my desk and all to myself!

Using the CFS sharpener the first time is a bit odd (just different from other sharpeners) and I have to give my kiddos a brief tutorial at the beginning of the year, but they get it right away, and their pencils are perfectly sharp every time. Because more lead is exposed I think the pencils take longer to get dull and there are fewer trips to the sharpener during class.

A couple of tips for using the sharpener...
* Keep the sharpener on a mat, or like us, on a large plastic lid (like those from Costco sized coffee cans). Some of the lead filings tend to collect near the sharpener, making a mess on the counter, but placing something underneath helps keep the counter clean!
* Avoid using colored pencils in the sharpener, the lead is too soft and often breaks in the sharpener. It's easy to get the lead out, but doesn't help the colored pencil. 
* I don't mount the sharpener. I find the students use one had to place and lock in the pencil with their dominant hand and then turn the sharpener the opposite direction so that they can use the crank with their dominant hand. Because it isn't mounted I wouldn't place it near a trash can that it could fall into (we lost one sharpener that way, RIP). 
* If the blade fails, don't worry, and don't throw your sharpener away! CFS has replacements! 

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