The first thing I noticed was that I got the "groovy green" sharpener! The blue one they sell is nice too, but I get excited about green.
I quickly took the sharpener out of the box and admired it. Luckily, I'd heard it was a little different from ordinary pencil sharpeners to use, so I'm glad I watched this video.
I proceeded to find a few pencils that needed sharpening, and got to business! For each pencil, one needs to pull out the metal plate in front. This eases its way back into place as the pencil is sharpened. When putting the pencil into the sharpener, one needs to pinch the two black pieces together. This holds the pencil in place, which is a good thing because one hand is needed to grind, and the other hand is needed to hold the sharpener in place. The hand grinder is easy to turn, and I expect the children will have no problem with it, once they get the hang of it.
Then I proceeded to sharpen every pencil I could find in the house... they all came out perfect! It doesn't break the lead, or sharpen unevenly. Plus, it's kinda fun!
There are several things I really love about this sharpener:
- It makes a really sharp point! The kids won't need to keep coming back, since this will keep them busy for quite a while!
- It doesn't let you "over sharpen"! The sharpening mechanism stops when the point is at the correct length.
- It seems like something the children can be successful with, and can do independently.
- As far as sharpeners go, it's very quiet. It's not silent, so you'll be disappointed if that's what you expect, but it's much quieter than those electric pencil sharpeners that sound like a dentist's drill! (I can't help but hold my jaw when I hear the electric pencil sharpener grinding away!)
- The tray for shavings is very easy to empty and return to its place. (The kids can do it without my help!)
- It's green!
- Did I mention that it won't let the kids over sharpen?
There's really only one thing I don't like about this sharpener:
- The sharpener comes with a clamp. I tried the clamp on several tables in my house, but didn't have any luck holding the sharpener into place. I still needed one hand to hold the sharpener, and the other hand to grind.
I did hear something about super glueing it into place so it won't move. I'll have to do that when I get it to school.
The true test will come in September, when the kids come back from summer vacation. I imagine I'll have to take time for a demonstration and some guided practice. It will fit right in with my demonstration and guided practice times for the stapler and staple remover. I do find that a little extra time at the beginning of the year to discuss what to do as well as what NOT to do saves our school tools in the long run. For example... do NOT put crayons in the pencil sharpener! (That has killed several sharpeners, along with "too small pencils".)
There's been more than one electric pencil sharpener that had to be unplugged because a "too short" pencil got stuck in there! (Holding my jaw just from the memory of the sound!)
I definitely recommend going to Classroom Friendly Supplies and check out the sharpeners. I suspect this will last a good long time!