Saturday, January 14, 2017

Classroom Friendly Supplies - Pencil Sharpener Review

This post contains affiliate links.

When my $60 electric pencil sharpener began to wear down, I did what any teacher would-- I started browsing the internet for pencil sharpeners to replace it.  Although my electric sharpener did a good job for a solid two years, I still wanted to find something less expensive that would get the job done!

First Impression

During my teacher-research, I came across a familiar product: "The Best Pencil Sharpener in the World" as they call it.  I had seen it on Instagram and other teacher blogs, but I really wasn't sure if a non-electric sharpener would live up to that name.

When I hopped over to the Classroom Friendly Supplies website, I was impressed by a few things right off the bat:

  • The price is reasonable at 24.99, but you can also get a good deal if you or your school buys more than one.
  • The amount of color choices-- I went with firehouse red, but they have 6 other colors!
  • The company gives back to charity with each purchase.
  • A teacher owns and operates the business!
I also saw that Classroom Friendly Supplies would send me a free sharpener in exchange for my honest review of the product on my blog.  I figured I had nothing to loose, so I jumped on the opportunity and I'm SO GLAD I did.  I can assure you that my praise for this product is completely genuine and truthful.

The Review

First off, the sharpener arrived quickly and was packaged well and with care.  It was completely assembled and honestly got me excited about sharpening pencils-- I am a first grade teacher after all, and WE ALL LOVE SCHOOL SUPPLIES.

Anyways, I wasn't exactly sure how to work it right away (I made a quick video to show you below) so I tinkered around with it for a minute and sharpened my first pencil.  They really aren't kidding when they say it sharpens pencils to a perfect point EVERY. TIME.

I was sold, and I really think the design of the pencil sharpener is the reason it is so much better than anything I've ever used before.  Instead of you pushing the pencil into the sharpener, the two black buttons on the top clamp the pencil for you and PULL it into the sharpener.  This, along with the fact that it has a good blade on the inside is why I think it is superior to other sharpeners-- manual or electric.

Lastly, I highly recommend this product because it is much quieter than you'd expect, it's easy to operate, and it doesn't create a "powdery" mess of pencil fluff, but instead carves off little spirals!  You can see these if you look closely on the picture above.

You can also check out my quick YouTube video below to see me sharpen a brand new (flat) pencil.

If you'd like to buy this awesome sharpener, simply click on the blue button below-- you won't regret it!

Happy sharpening and feel free to comment with any questions and I'd be happy to answer them for you!  If you're still looking for more teacher-tested products, you can follow my Pinterest board specifically for that!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Subtraction without Borrowing Freebie!

This post contains affiliate links.

As a first grade teacher, it's my job to help my students gain an understanding of mathematical procedures-- not just show them how to do something and drill it.

Even understanding that the number 26 is made up of 2 bundles of 10 and 6 individual "ones" is a tricky concept!  So, when it came time to teach subtraction of double digit numbers, I wanted to help my kiddos visually understand what they were doing.

Getting Started

To start teaching this tricky concept, I gathered my first graders on our classroom carpet for our "mini lesson".  We talked about how we already knew how to do subtraction within 12 and I got them excited by telling them that by the end of the week ALL of them would be able to subtract numbers within 99!

I wrote the problem 43 - 21 = ____ on the board and told my students we could do this together!  I "stacked" the numbers on top of each other (something we had done before) and then I asked for a volunteer to tell me what 43 really stood for.

Hands shot up and together we grabbed some place value blocks to represent the number 43.  We put four ten sticks and three ones cubes under our document camera for all to see and I explained that if we wanted to do the problem 43 minus 21 we could just take away one "ones cube" and two "tens sticks" since that is what 21 really means.

We did this a few times with different numbers and then I showed them the visual worksheets I had printed double sided.  Some of my first graders grabbed place value blocks to use, and some students just crossed out the pictures on the paper!

I checked in with each student to make sure they were starting in the ones place-- to prepare them for when they eventually will have to "borrow".  I also made sure each student understood that they could always visit our math manipulatives bookshelf for materials!

The next day, we revisited subtracting double digits and I had my kiddos do the next practice sheet.  I let my early finishers color the clipart on the page, and we made sure to re-gather on the carpet to discuss our learning thus far!

Grab it here! 

Ready to download these four practice sheets?  Just hop over to my Teachers Pay Teachers page and download it for free!

Related Products:

I hope you enjoy this freebie!  If you want to see more, check out my "Free Downloads" tab at the top of the page!  You can also check out my "Math" Pinterest board for more ideas!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Reminder Bracelets and Positive Notes Home

This post contains affiliate links.

I'm not huge on giving my first graders food treats, or anything treasure-box related, but I'm a big fan of positive praise and good old fashioned love and attention!

I give my students certificates when they show exceptional leadership, I draw big stars on their papers when I think it is their best work, and I love using these easy-to-prep bracelets to remind kiddos and their families of important events or simply to share successes from that school day!

Since I give out certificates to my students who clipped up multiple times, I use the bracelets to randomly spotlight great behavior and if I'm using one of the reminder bracelets, like the picture day one for example, I typically will ask my students who wants to wear it and who wants to just take it home.

I try to always make things a choice in my classroom, but about 95% of the time, my firsties like the novelty of being able to wear their note home! :)

To make my life easier, I have my reminder/positive note bracelets already printed on Astrobrights paper and cut out ready to go.  This saves time for those last-minute reminders, and it allows me to be able to send more of the positive ones home on a regular basis.

Want to use these in your classroom?  Simply click on the button below!
And while your looking at classroom management ideas, check out my printable POST-IT notes!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gingerbread Sentences Literacy Center

This post contains affiliate links.

Even though my first graders have come such a long way since the beginning of the year, there is still so much room for them to grow their little literacy brains!

I wanted to help my kiddos practice their reading and also take notice of the features of print-- AKA sentences start with a capital and end with a period!  That may seem simple, but I feel like I need to constantly remind my firsties of it!

To keep things new and fun, I whipped up this Gingerbread Sentence Literacy Center!  It includes 6 different sentences, but my students can chose how they want to play it.

They can try to figure out the original sentences or they can mix them all up and make silly sentences!

To prep the center I simply printed out the sentences, laminated them on my new personal laminator (which I'm completely obsessed with by the way) and then cut them apart!  It was quick and easy to get ready and I love that my kiddos are working on reading and figuring out which pieces are beginnings, middles, or endings!

I'd love to share this with you and your kids, just hop over to my Teachers Pay Teachers shop and download this freebie!

Love FREEBIES?  Follow my Pinterest Board dedicated to free products on Teachers Pay Teachers!