I know many of you already have one because I've seen them featured on your blogs. I've only ever had an electric one in my classroom (the manual ones always seem to be broken), and I swear it's too much fun for the students to sit there and listen to their pencils whittle away to nothing. They work well, but they are sooo loud. I knew there had to be a better alternative.
Enter The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies. Mine came in Firehouse Red, and I had it assembled and clamped to my kitchen counter in about 2 minutes.
I'm fairly certain there are directions for using this sharpener on the website, but I was honestly able to figure it out myself without any issues.
I was even able to clean out the blade when the lead got caught (silly kids, dropping pencils all the time), which happened for me three times so far, without looking up the tutorial online. It's pretty user-friendly I'd say. I gave quick tutorials to my mom, brother, and Joel last night, making each of them try one pencil... and I'm not making it up when I say they were impressed.
As you can see from my photo, my pencils came in less-than great condition. Truth be told, these have been collected in a bin at the end of several years from my students to keep them from throwing them in the trash. I keep them in a container in my supply center so students have a fall back option when they forget their own pencils. Last year, when my students went through about 2000 pens in 2 months, I decided I wasn't buying anymore and sent them to the colored pencil bin when they didn't have a writing utensil. But.. since I refused to plug in my electric sharpener, they were all dull, making them annoying, if even possible, to use. This is where I found today's test pencils... just so you know how bad they really were!
But still... look at those tips! What a perfect sample! They probably wouldn't even be allowed through TSA... they're basically deadly weapons.
But in all seriousness, we don't use pencils (except for the colored variety) in my classroom except for during testing. But during tests, my students are soooo anal about having their pencils sharpened to the tiniest point. During the state test this year, I had to give several students upwards of 6 or 7 pencils because they kept telling me they were too dull to use. If only I had had this sharpener back then.. these points are ready to last!