One of the items I put on the requested supply list for my students each year is an individual pencil sharpener--the kind that catches the shavings. The sound of a pencil sharpener makes me nuts, as does having students ask to get up to sharpen pencils in the midst of any sort of work period. I work hard at the start of the year to get my workshops up and running smoothly, and the rule that you do not get up unless you need to go to the hospital is a major one for me. Having a personal pencil sharpener eliminates all of that, and is one of my favorite tools in the bag of classroom management tricks I employ.
However, there is still a need for my "pencil police" to sharpen community pencils. From cans of colored pencils, to a container of pencils available to those who need a new one or have lost theirs, it's a necessary evil. I have to have one, and the electric one I have I only allow students to use during snack or before morning announcements. It's like nails on a chalkboard to me, really it is. This is why I was fascinated by the idea of "The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener" from Classroom Friendly Supplies:
The number one, bottom line pro is that this sharpener will sharpen your pencils to the sharpest point you can imagine, without doing that wood pulling away from the lead thing that other sharpeners do. This is awesome! I hate when you sharpen a boatload of pencils for your class, only to have every single kid tell you the lead broke within minutes because of that. This one will not do that. Also, once you get the hang of the way you have to insert the pencil and so forth, it's very easy to use. It's also so much quieter than any other sharpener I have ever used--this is key. I also love the way it looks in my room, and I adore the fact that I can see when the well is filling up. This way, I can empty it before being surprised by an overflow explosion.
The best thing about it could potentially be the trickiest thing about it--the pencils are super-sharp. After I set it up and sharpened a few pencils, I realized that I would for sure need to show my kids how to use it. I felt it was important to have a serious talk about making sure that we are safe and not fooling around with our sharpened pencils. My kids are pretty mature, so I'm not too concerned, but I still felt like it was important to address. They're now pretty clear that the privilege of using it is theirs to lose. Lastly, make sure that you understand that it is not "The Silent Pencil Sharpener", not does it purport to be. It's very, very quiet compared to every other sharpener I have ever used, but it still makes noise, therefore my before morning announcements/snack time sharpening rule will still remain in place.
All in all, I really like it. One of my students loves it so much that she offered to sharpen every single pencil in the classroom after school yesterday. She literal squealed each time she finished sharpening one, because of how sharp they are. I had to kick her out due to the impending Snowpocalypse of 2013, but she told me that she would write a review of her own this weekend, which I will post on here if she actually does it!
If you would like to watch a video about how to use it, you can see one here. Also, if you are in the Northeast and gearing up for the crazytown amount of snow, be safe and warm!
*Note: While I did receive a free sharpener in exchange for a review, it was not in exchange for a positive review. Classroom Friendly Supplies asked for my honest opinion, and I have given it :)