Monday, August 27, 2012

Dull Pencils are Pointless!

(pun intended)

So last week was not only exciting because it was the first week of school, but it was also the christening of my brand new pencil sharpener.  You may wonder why I am so excited over a pencil sharpener... but actually, if you do, you may not be a teacher.

I have actually written letters to my pencil sharpener (PS) during journaling time (closer to hate mail really) about how it was totally distracting a whole community of writers from the task at hand.  Old PS was loud, always broken, and would completely eat a brand new pencil down to almost nothing before doing its job.

New PS is a complete redesign from Classroom Friendly Supplies.  Troy and the good people at CFS have retooled the old sharpener in a way that is quiet, effective, easy, and fun for students to use.  (Watch the video here to see it in action.)

Check out that point!  And it stays for a really long time.

This is the clip the sharpener comes with to hold it in place.  We're having moderate success getting it to stay.  I wrote an email to Troy at CFS and he personally responded (talk about customer service!) with the recommendation to use hot glue to more permanently affix my new friend.
It's positioned only a few inches from old PS who hangs on the wall.  No one seems to visit him at all this year and pencil sharpening disractions have been almost nonexistent this year. 
It's a little messy after a few days in action, but the students love it.  One students came up to me today and suggested adding a little piece of tape to hold the clear shavings tray in place and I think we'll try that to minimize a little of the mess.
I asked my students to rate our new pencil sharpener and they all gave it two thumbs up!

*End of the year update: our new PS was a hit! Students would actually walk across the hall to use it because it is so much more efficient than the other ones on our walls.  And it held up beautifully allllll year! 

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