Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener 

So, I’ve heard a lot of talk about this cool and quiet pencil sharpener that everyone is using from Classroom Friendly Supplies. I finally just had to break down and try it for myself and I am loving it! It truly is the quietest pencil sharpener I’ve ever had. And don’t you just love the cool, retro look?! I ordered mine in pink, of course, but there are several colors to choose from.

I loved seeing the look on my students’ faces when they saw how sharp their pencils were after using this pencil sharpener. They could not believe how sharp it made their pencils! And of course, they love the way it looks.

Now, I teach first grade, so I have trained one responsible and trustworthy student to use my pencil sharpeners. Using my electric pencil sharpener, the student and I sharpen pencils before and after school only, mainly because hearing the sound of an electric pencil sharpener during the school day makes me want to pull my hair out. And if I let every student use the sharpener, it would be destroyed (again, I teach first grade- they can’t help but destroy things). But, now that I have the quietest pencil sharpener, my responsible student and I can use it during the day, if needed, because it doesn’t make a sound. No disruptions, no driving everyone crazy with the loud noise, and extremely better sharpened pencils. It’s a win-win for everyone!

How to use:

Pull the silver face forward until it locks in place.


Pinch the 2 black knobs together and put your pencil into the sharpener. Release the knobs and they will hold the pencil in place.

Put one hand on the pencil sharpener and use the other to turn the handle to sharpen  the pencil.

And ta-da! You have a beautifully, sharpened pencil!

The sharpener also comes with a wall mount, so it can be mounted to the wall.

This sharpener is definitely a must have, in my opinion. Hurry and order yours today! Click here to go to the site. There is also a link below on our page that will take you there!

Happy Friday and happy early Thanksgiving!

~Ashley

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Friday Freebies

Happy Friday!! I wanted to share a few items that were freebies from Teachers Pay Teachers that I use in my classroom and love!

First are my Classroom Hand Signal Posters from Jessica Travis (Wild About Firsties). Oh the joys of being right in the middle of a lesson and one of your sweet little students raises their hand (or blurts out) saying they need to go to the restroom, or they need a pencil. Or you are in the middle of teaching small group and a sweetie comes to you asking the same thing or a question about the work they are doing. Well, I’ve always had my students use hand signals and sign language for these types of questions, but what better way to enforce it than to display these hand signal posters so that the students never forget what each sign means. I love using hand signals for things such as this because it cuts down on interruptions, and we all hate those because it causes you and the students to get off track, which we all know could be a disaster if not handled properly.

I LOVE these picture directions from A Cupcake for the Teacher!  For students, especially first graders, remembering what to do for center work, daily work, etc. can be hard without anything to go by to help you stay on track. These picture directions are perfect for my first graders. I have them numbered and posted on my board to help my students remember what they need to do to complete their center work. This also helps cut down questions from students about their work. My students know not to come to  my teacher table unless it’s an emergency or they have a hand signal ready anyway, but they are really helpful and not to mention super cute which is a huge plus in my book.

I needed some cute, large numbers to go on my wall. I ran across these Bright, Scrappy Numbers from Graphics From the Pond. Cutting them all out wasn’t fun, but I think they make a bright contribution to my wall, and my students are always looking at them to help solve math problems. If it helps my students, I am all for it.

My last freebie are my Through the Year Calendar Headers by Maria Manore Gavin. I needed a set of months to display on my wall for students to see and these were perfect. I have a cute calendar set that I ordered and have it up on one of my bulletin boards, but I couldn’t fit all of the months on the board. I can only display the actual month we are in. Now, my students know what month we are in by looking at our calendar, and they can also always see all of the months of the year as well.

What are some good freebies that you have found lately?!

~Ashley

Pretty, Proficient Planners: Plum Paper

I am very particular about my planners. I had a great Martha Stewart planner from Staples then my world ended when they quit carrying them. It came with monthly calendars and there were weekly spreads big enough to write my lesson plans. But, the best part had to be that it was built to hold all the pages as inserts so I didn’t have to buy the binding each year.

Sure, I tried other planners, but they just weren’t like Martha’s. All of the planners I saw had weekly spreads that you could fit a paragraph on for each day. That just doesn’t cut it for me. Until one day, Ashley notified me about Plum Paper planners. Cue the singing angels. They are everything I had been looking for and more. There are a variety of cover designs you can choose from plus you can customize it. I chose the pink stripes with my name in grey.

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On the inside there are tabs for each month and each week is divided into classes! Plus, if you choose, you can have your classes actually printed onto the paper for weekly lesson plans.

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Love the colored tabs! This planner runs from August to July.

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Here is the weekly spread. I love this template, and it’s enough space to write what I’m doing in each class each day.

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Along the left side are the row boxes where you can have your classes printed.

There are also sections for class lists, contact information, and notes. The paper is also shiny and kind of feels luxurious compared to the usual lame paper my other planners had. I almost don’t want to write on it. The only thing about the planner that can’t touch Martha’s is that it isn’t reloadable. But, other than that, two thumbs up.

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They come in two different sizes, and I chose the large. I like my planners spacious enough to see everything.

I don’t even want to think what would happen if something happened to these planners. I can’t take another Staples debacle.

~Jess

Classroom BFF: The Quietest Pencil Sharpener

As I was planning what I would do for classroom management this year and how I would change it from last year, I couldn’t help but think about my students and how much they would sharpen their pencils. There were quite a few times last year when a student would go to the pencil sharpener (as I was speaking of course) to sharpen his or her “dull” pencil on either my mechanical or electric sharpener. Imagine me using air quotes around dull because, more often than not, the pencil did not need it. I think we all know what would happen then. The sharpener would be so loud I would have to pause as they sharpen so they could get a nice point to continue working. It was a big pet peeve of mine and I wanted none of it as I went into this new school year. This is when I heard about the “quietest classroom pencil sharpener” from my fellow teacher friend. I had to try it out.

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sharpener c/o Classroom Friendly Supplies

Every student who has tried the new pencil sharpener has loved it! They think it is so cool, because really it is. When you place the pencil in the sharpener, the metal holder actually comes out, and then as you crank the handle, the metal holder moves closer back in place until it is done sharpening. This is to prevent over sharpening done by nearly all students. If you are having trouble imagining this, watch this video!

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Once it is done, the pencil has the sharpest point my students and I have ever seen! They love it, and to clean it is simple. You just have to pull out the clear plastic disposable tray, dump it in the trash and replace.

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The pencil sharpener costs $24.99 and comes in a variety of colors. I love it because it has a retro look to it! There is also free shipping, and specials if you want to order more than one at a time.

This sharpener has definitely cut down on the noise in my room made by all of the previous sharpeners that are now in the past! Plus, it seems that my students have not needed to sharpen their pencils as often! Check out the website at Classroom Friendly Supplies.

To buy your own sharpener, click the link here!

Happy Teaching!

~Jess

 

New Adventures in First Grade

I’m so excited to start my new job teaching first grade! I will miss fourth grade very much, but I am ready for a fun and new opportunity! I wanted to share some pictures of my classroom and a few other fun things things.

I don’t have a theme, I just like anything bright and colorful!

LOVE my banners I found at Hobby Lobby!

I made my hula hoop chandelier a few years ago. One hula hoop and lots of ribbon and streamers! Thanks, Pinterest!

Love my writing center starter kit from  A Cupcake for the Teacher! You can get the super cute pencil for FREE from The Teacher Wife!

A sweet student brought in a few of my favorite things for me on open house 🙂   

One of the awesome teachers in my pod printed these out for us to use for our open house treats 🙂
  

Meet my new classroom pet…..Mr. Fish! He is without a name at the moment because we were so busy yesterday (our first day) that we didn’t get to name him! Hopefully we will get there today 🙂

I also wanted to share something new I am trying this year….Quiet Critters. I saw this on Relief Teaching Ideas. The Quiet Critters come out and sit on the students’ desks when they are working quietly. If the students get too loud, the Quiet Critters will leave. I tried mine out yesterday and the students loved them and the whole concept worked! I gave Class Dojo points to those students who still had a Quiet Critter on their desk when our quiet working time was over.

They are easy to make. All you need is the fuzzy pom poms, googly eyes, and foam heart stickers. 

I hot glued the eyes on the pom poms and the pom poms to the sticky hearts. Easy!
  

I got a cute jar from TJ Maxx to put them in.

I have them sitting on my desk. The students are already loving them 🙂

I also made a cute “First Day of 1st Grade” frame for all my sweet students. They were too cute in their pictures. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful year!

~Ashley