In Praise of Domed Pencil Sharpeners
Domed Pencil Sharpeners Solve Pencil Sharpening Woes
It was years ago, and states away, but I remember when the school 'jack of all trades' showed up in my classroom to ask where I wanted my new electric pencil sharpener. Truth be told... I didn't. As Dr Suess would say, "I didn't want it here, I didn't want it there, I didn't want that pencil sharpener anywhere." But because there was no polite way to do otherwise, I gave him a location inside the classroom.
I confess to not being perturbed when that pencil sharpening contraption ceased sharpening. But then, by gummit, our ever helpful jack of all trades showed up with another one. Now don't get me wrong. Electric pencil sharpeners do have a place... in offices, with mature adults. But elementary teachers know they can spell Trouble, with a capital T. First, they make noise, noise, noise! One really has to limit the times when kids can use those things. Secondly, electric pencil sharpeners tend to use up pencils fast -- it is easy to go from 'new pencil' to 'pencil stub' in moments. Also, while I imagine that there are top of the line pencils that sharpen pencils evenly, a lot of the classroom quality pencil sharpeners can, in the hands of any less than a pencil sharpening expert, produce pencils that are sharp lead on one side... and blunt wood on the other. (I sharpen them that way myself.)
Wall mount classroom sharpeners are a little better, but I remember how I struggled with them in first grade. Not strong enough to move the face of the pencil sharpener so that it would sharpen 'my size' pencil -- and pretty confounded by how to operate it anyway -- I resorted to chiseling away at my pencil with my fingernails.
Another issue: Any centrally located pencil sharpener can contribute to management problems. A lot of teachers choose to do the sharpening themselves, and to maintain a box for sharp pencils and a box of dull pencils -- the children simply swap one for the other. There is an alternative, though... the domed pencil sharpener.
Classroom Management, the Domed Pencil Sharpener Way
I think it's great when parents include a domed pencil sharpener among their back-to-school purchases. Sometimes I have included the domed pencil sharpener on a list of required or recommended supplies. I have also given away many of them in my time. It can be a good investment to give everyone in the class their own little pencil sharpener at the beginning of the year... and to tuck some cute ones in the prize box as well. It is important that the manual pencil sharpener have domes. Otherwise little ones tend to sharpen their pencils all over their desk or on the carpet. (And if they're limited in when they can get out of their seats... well, one can't entirely blame them.)
Croc Croc Pencil Sharpener
This critter would go great in your prize bucket. He could also serve as a party favor. His eyes sharpen two different sized pencils, and his body retracts and expands.
How Do You Sharpen Your Pencils?
What's your preferred method of pencil sharpening?
Would you pencil sharpen in a boat?
Would you pencil sharpen with a goat?
Would you sharpen here or there?
Now you can sharpen anywhere!
If You Need a Lot of Pencil Sharpeners
These come in a variety of colors -- buy in bulk.
This Pencil Sharpener Would Distract Kids From the Lesson - ... Unless It Was the Lesson!
Cute and Practical Manual Pencil Sharpener
This one lets you know when the pencil is sharpened!
This pencil sharpener comes in a variety of colors. It closes automatically to prevent pencil shaving messes. It's design also makes it an interesting novelty item for kids.
Never a dull moment around here.