Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sharpity-sharp! The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener


I'm excited to finally get out my review for The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener.  My students and I had a lot of fun this week talking about the pros and cons of the sharpener as we learned about opinion writing.  Since I used my review as a writing model, it's a little long, so I've included a summary below if you're not interested in the long version.

Quick Review:
The fact that this sharpener is still standing in November makes it the best sharpener I've had in eleven years of teaching.  My classroom pencils are sharp, I don't have to listen to the horrid noises emitted from the electric sharpener variety, and the kids love using it.  If you can put up with some pencil shavings and smudges on your classroom counters, this could be a great classroom Christmas present!
Greensharpenermainalpha.png
When I received The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener I trotted it around during professional development days and showed if off to all my teacher friends.  I even asked some of their kids to try it out.  When school started, my 29 students seemed excited to use this new tool, so much so that some even pretended not to notice the pre-sharpened pencils in the "sharp" cup just so they could try out the new sharpener.  Now that it's November (almost December!), the newness has worn off and my students and I have had enough time to form some opinions about The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener.

There are lots of great things about this little guy!  It sharpens new pencils quickly and makes them super sharp.  The pencils are so sharp in fact, that my (male) teammate decided to throw a newly sharpened pencil onto the cork-like ceiling tiles to see if it would stick.  It did.  The sharpener is definitely quiet, not like those annoying electric ones.  It is fairly easy to use, although a few of my students did say it took a few tries to master using the sharpener.  They also liked that once the pencil is locked in, you don't have to hold it anymore and are free to hold the sharpener while you turn the crank with the other.  I love that the sharpener comes in many colors and hasn't yet broken.  So far it's ahead of any other sharpener I've had in the survival department.

As great as the sharpener is, it does have a few downfalls.  The big one for me is that it's messy.  It always ends up with shavings around it and leaves black smudges wherever it sits.  I've attempted to fix this by putting large art paper under the sharpener area, but the shavings still have a way of making it onto the table.  My students seem most concerned that the sharpener doesn't do well with colored pencils.  Twice I have needed to rescue a colored pencil tip using a paper clip tip while my students shouted, "It's broken!"  When I asked my students for pros and cons as I prepared this review they wanted to make sure prospective buyers knew that the sharpener will not sharpen small pencils.  It really bothers third graders that they can't sharpen their one-inch long pencils.  I, as a teacher however, love this feature.  I highly dislike those nasty nubby pencils and strongly believe that a writing utensil under two inches should be thrown in a trash can as quickly as possible!

Overall, considering pencil sharpening has been  an issue I've yet to solve, I would recommend The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener to teachers old and new.  Although somewhat messy, it gets the job done quickly and quietly and is relatively inexpensive compared to some of the electric sharpeners I've seen ($80 to $100 - yikes!) I also love that these are sold by a teacher!  Overall, the Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener has been a great addition to our classroom.

Now I want a red one!  
Firehouse Red

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