5 for Five & THAT Pencil Sharpener

Hi there!

It's Monday, so you know what that means... Fantastically Average's 5 for Five Link Up! w00t!

If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out Jessica's post here to find out more.


Below are my goals from last week. The one's that I reached are in green, the one's I did not are in red.

1. Book our fave photo booth for our wedding! I planned SO many things this week for our wedding, how did this one slip my mind?!
2. Complete my presentation for one of my classes! Nope again. It is due February 4th, but it would have been nice to have this completed. Oh well...
3. Create a Virtual 5K on Blogger! YAY! I got one! One of my New Years Resolution is to sign up (and run) a race each month of the year....and I have not been able to find one for the last couple weeks of January! So I've decided to create my own! See my Race for a Resolution Virtual 5k Link Up post here, and check out my previous post on NYR for my other goals. So far it is just me in the race...which is alright with me! At least I am achieving my NYR!
4. Finish my Valentine's Math and Literacy Pack for TpT! Huzzah! I am not only happy I achieved this goal, but am SUPER excited for this pack to be available. Make sure you check it out here and let me know what you think :)
5. Exercise 4 times this week! I exercised exactly 4 times this week, which is fine with me :)

3/5 -- 60%....passing. I can improve. I've been at this average for a couple of weeks now, so I'd like to break through this wall and get at least 80%! Let's see what next week has in store...

1. Run my Virtual 5k! How embarrassing if I can't even do the 5k that I created...
2. Write my IEP by Wednesday evening. This one will be a hit or miss early in the week...no time to mess around.
3. Book that Photo Booth! I can do it...I have to!
4. Block out hotel rooms for the wedding! I have to do this too, or I risk not having the spaces available!
5. Figure out a homework incentive for the classroom! I have not found a system that works for everyone to motivate my students to complete their homework. I'm not into punishment, so I would like to devise a way to encourage kids to complete their homework and earn things. So far, nothing I've done is motivating enough. I'm open to suggestions!

I have faith that this will be the week I can call myself proficient in goal achievement. We'll see..

If you are interested in linking up with 5 for Five this week, do so here.

And now...on to THAT pencil sharpener....

I emailed Troy of Classroom Friendly Supplies, because I wanted to do a review for his product. I have seen it all over the internet: Blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, you name it! I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

After ensuring I was a good candidate for such a review, he sent me my choice of pencil sharpener (blue,  naturally). It all happened so fast! I came home on Saturday morning after a facial with one of my bridesmaids, and there it was... a small, square box outside my door. I knew immediately what it was and couldn't WAIT to rip the sucker open.

This is what I found inside the little brown box:

To my surprise, I did not find any instructions. I figured, well duh...It's a pencil sharpener...how hard could it be. After poking and prodding for about 3 minutes, I decided to swallow my pride, and find out how to use the contraption by going to Classroom Friendly Supplies' website. I watched the nifty 50 second video and it gave me all the answers I needed.

After I cracked the code for the initial step for how to use the sharpener, it was cake. All I needed was that initial instruction, and I was sharpening away!
All the materials I need...plus pencils!

To crack the secret of the pencil sharpener: Squeeze the little black knobs at the top, and pull, to reveal a long silver rod. Once it sticks, your pencil sharpener is open for business. Pinch the little black knobs again and slide the pencil through the hole until you feel resistance (it's back as far as it can go). Then, crank away for just a few seconds and BAM, nice sharp pencil. It's a teacher's dream!

The sharpener also came with an anchor to put on a shelf. I tested it out on my dining room table first.
Nice and secure...

However, the real test was when I brought it into the classroom today...

First, I put "pencil sharpener" on the agenda for our morning meeting. The kids were very intrigued. I told them that I have a very special pencil sharpener that is only able to be used once you learn how to use it. This intrigued the kids even more, and they certainly wanted to privilege to use the mysterious blue pencil sharpener!

I walked through the process step by step with the kids. Then, they came up one at a time to practice. Some took to it immediately, others needed gentle reminders not to cram the pencil in like a normal sharpener. Those kids practiced a few more times until they mastered it! The pencil sharpener was free to use!

Just some pics of my kids practicing to use our new pencil sharpener. All were very excited for the new gadget!

I do not have open shelves that I can attach the pencil sharpener to, so I had to leave it free-standing for today. I'm going to brainstorm how to fasten it to a surface. For today, it was just fine the way it was.

Here are my pencil bins...as you can see, we are in desperate need of a quality pencil sharpener! I need to fill up that sharpened pencil bin! I promised one of my kiddos that she could be my pencil helper tomorrow (she won the bid, out of nearly ALL of my students for the job).

After a detailed analysis of the product, I have some pros and cons. I also have a final review of the product below.

  • Easy to use
  • Quiet!
  • Extra sharp pencils
  • Decorative
  • Comes in 4 fun colors
  • Very quick
  • Inexpensive (for such great quality!)
  • Fun

  • Takes some practice (not a huge con though...)
  • Does not accommodate thick pencils (think OT pencils, or pencils for small, developing hands)

My final review of the product: I would definitely recommend this pencil sharpener to any teacher! This is by far the best one I have found, manual or electric. If suggestions are encouraged, I would suggest to the designers of the sharpener to create an add-on or additional piece to the sharpener to accommodate wider pencils. 
I am planning on purchasing one of these for my home (yes...I use pencils ALL the time at home too) and a second for my classroom (especially since it is such a hit).

I encourage all of you to purchase this product. Click the button above to take you to the website for more information. You won't regret it :)




  1. Some where on Pinterest I saw an idea for homework bingo. You have a bingo board somewhere in your classroom (or hundreds chart or whatever chart you want to use). For every homework assignment a student completes, they fill in a box. Daily, weekly, monthly (whatever you decide), you draw one of the numbers/squares. If someone is on that spot, they win. The more spots they have filled in, the more chances they have to win:-D

    I'm still hoping to do the 5K! I'd love to link up:)

    We are ALL Special!

  2. I love my sharpener! I am glad to hear that I wasn't the only one who had a hard time figuring it out at first too! My hubby figured it out and showed me.

  3. I am LOVING the pencil sharpener! So happy to meet you today! I just linked up with the FABULOUS giveaway and it led me here! I am your newest follower! Drop By!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe


Thanks for the comments! I look forward to reading them :)

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