Monday, August 12, 2013

Classroom Pencil Sharpener

This post is for all of my teacher friends....

I know you can relate to my hate for pencils and pencil sharpening in my classroom.  I feel like whenever I turn around I've got a student that needs their pencil sharpened.  That's not even the worst of it - it usually takes them sooooooo long to sharpen their pencil because our $100 classroom pencil sharpener stopped working weeks ago and now it just eats pencils.  Nice.

Well, one day I was perusing Pinterest when I saw this:

This pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies claimed to sharpen any pencil AND claimed to do it quietly.  Say whaaaaaa????  Surely this was an evil trap that someone had created to get all teachers to fall into?  Surely this wasn't real - I've never heard of a pencil sharpener that actually sharpened all pencils quietly!  I've heard of pencil sharpeners that sharpened expensive pencils (hello Ticonderoga Pencils! alas, I love you) but did it as loudly as possible while I shouted at the top of my lungs to continue teaching, but never one that was quiet AND sharpened ALL (what about Dixon???) pencils.  Be. Still. My. Heart.  

I did it - I got one and was so excited when it came!  One problem was that I got it at the end of the 2011-2012 school year and so it didn't debut in my classroom until this past year.  I waited all year to share this post with you because I wanted to see how it held up after being tortured used by my students for an entire school year.  After a year of using it, I've gotta tell you that I absolutely love it.  Now, it did take some abuse from my students....I won't share with you the look on my face when it dropped to the floor for the first time....
(whooooops - maybe I will...this was me...except I'm not a man)

....but despite that abuse, it held up quite nicely!  I am telling you what - this pencil sharpener sharpened like a dream!  Better yet, it sharpened EVERY pencil - from the Ticonderogas to the dollar store pencils, this sharpener works like I never knew I cared a pencil sharpener to work!  Even better than that (I know!? Can it get better?!) is that price tag - at only $24.99 a sharpener, how could you not want to have at least one for your classroom?!?!!!  I'm now contemplating purchasing the teacher special of 3 sharpeners, only I know that Stephen might struggle with me paying even more money for my classroom.  Below is the video from the website showing you how to sharpen a pencil using one of their sharpeners.  This video is incredibly accurate, right on down to the noise level you hear while the pencil is being sharpened.  While you watch it, I'm going to go figure out how to finagle a way to buy 3 new sharpeners for my classroom this year!

Happy Sharpening!!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

It is officially the "Dog Days" of summer. During these summer months Dog Fence DIY encourages exploration beyond the fence!

Every summer every teacher everywhere has a list of "goals" or projects that he/she want to accomplish.  There are many reasons for this: the first one being that we don't have to work every day (although I'm sure the majority of us are), but mainly because we've just spent the last ten months of our lives having no free time and this list that originally seemed do-able has grown and grown and grown to a monstrous, overwhelming list.  This summer I had lots of things on "the list" and some I've done, while others I've thought about doing (does that count???).  One of the items on my list was to read multiple books a week.  While that hasn't happened, I still have been reading during the week and am wondering what type of lack-of-sleep issues was I having to think I could read several books in a week (maybe if I did nothing else...)?!  

Another goal that I put on my list was to get outside and walk/jog {at the very least} 3 times a week.  There are many motivators behind this goal, such as having a desire to live a healthier lifestyle, as well as the super cute, 4-legged friend that I'm blessed to call mine....

Isn't he cute?

Princeton has definitely been on the receiving end of this goal as he has absolutely loved getting outside and nosey-ing around.  Most days I just take him for a walk around our 2 mile neighborhood, but on days when that doesn't feel like enough, we get in the car and drive to the park.  

It doesn't hurt that we live less than a mile from a ginormous "21st century" park that Louisville has started.  When they're finished with "The Parklands at Floyds Fork" it will be over 100 miles of trails connecting 4 major parks with a park drive.  It is pretty incredible.  The park by our house that we like to venture to is Beckley Creek Park...and it's pretty incredible.

Needless to say, Princeton LOVES going for walks here as it is a change of scenery from our regular walks in the neighborhood.  He also loves to sniff EVERYTHING and "hunt" (or pretend that he's hunting) in this seems-like-the-wild park.  Unfortunately Princeton is prone to getting carsick.  Thankfully, he's not in the car long enough to toss his cookies, as it is literally a 3 minute drive.  When it's all said and done, there will be a sidewalk at the front of our neighborhood that will lead us right to the park on foot.  I'm sure Princeton will be pretty stoked when that day comes!

The best part about taking him outside of the backyard and neighborhood is that this is what he looks like when we're on our quest homeward:
That's right - dead asleep.  And by the time we make it back to the house, he's out cold for the rest of the night:

His two favorite things are accomplished by my goal: he gets to go on a walk AND snuggle on the couch.  Score and score!