WINNER! And a new pencil sharpener

I can't believe the devastation from the tornadoes in Oklahoma. It's so incredibly scary to think that one minute those building were homes, and the  next they were piles of rubble. Thinking of all the Oklahoma teachers, students, and families out there. Be safe.

There are 21 days left of school... but who's counting? Ok, fine, I am. There is just so much going on! Between all our field trips, presentations, assemblies, and celebrations, there are only 3 "normal" days until the end of school. AHHH! It's not going to be boring, that's for sure.

So, I finally decided to try out one of the pencil sharpeners that everyone raves about from Classroom Friendly Supplies. It definitely lived up to the hype! My new favorite toy is red.

I decided to test it out with a stack of pencils that needed to be sharpened for MCAS, our standardized test in MA. 

They weren't completely flat, but they were definitely dull. This sharpener is a little bit different than any one you have used before, and I've got to admit it took me a few minutes to figure out how to use it. There are two tabs above the hole where you insert the pencil. Before you can put the pencil in, you have to squeeze the tabs together. You pull the tabs forward and then release. They hold on to the pencil while it's in the sharpener.

Now, the best part of the sharpener... while you turn the crank to sharpen the pencil, the tabs are gripping the pencil and pulling it in. I'm not sure if that is the secret of how it makes pencils so sharp, but check out my "after" stack of pencils.

It comes with a little clamp to hold it on the desk, but I have to admit that I can't figure out how to install it. ha! Either way, I can hold on to the pencil sharpener and crank it and it works just as well as if it had the clamp. One of these days, I'll have my husband put the clamp in for me. :) So, head on over to Classroom Friendly Supplies and check them out!

I just wanted to give a shout out to everyone that donated to my giveaway, and everyone that entered  Thank you so much! It was so much fun hosting my first giveaway. Congrats to Bethany K, the winner! Since my giveaway is over, I have to spread the love and share a link to another giveaway. Check out Joy in the Journey's 200 follower giveaway!

Before our last two rounds of standardized testing, I decided to try out a new activity with Judy Finchler's book Testing Miss Malarkey.

I've got to give a shout out to Where the Wild Things Learn for a fantastic graphic organizer to go along with the book! I downloaded this great freebie from TpT and had my kiddos fill it out after I read the book aloud and we had a class discussion.  They really enjoyed the book, and some of my really anxious students really felt better about the test afterward. If you have testing coming up soon, check it out!

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