Pencils, Fractions, and Valentines….Oh My!

Last March I spent quite a bit of money on a new Bostitch electric pencil sharpener.  It lasted me the rest of the school year without any issues, so I was very pleased with my new purchase, because I usually go through at least one pencil sharpener a year.   Unfortunately, despite all of my directions and modeling on how to correctly use a pencil sharpener, I had someone try to sharpen a crayon.  It didn’t work.  {I really do have a good procedure for sharpeneing pencils, but this was one of those darlings who has such a difficult time listening to and following directions.}  We finally managed to get it working again, but it would just barely sharpen our pencils with a pretty dull point.

That was right around the time I left for my maternity leave, so one of the first things I did when I returned to work was find a new pencil sharpener.  My teaching partner told me about the new sharpener she bought from Classroom Friendly Supplies.  She went on and on about how great this new sharpener was, so I had to check it out, and she was right!  It is so awesome!  I had read blog posts about it before, but I’m ashamed to admit that I really didn’t pay that much attention to them, because I wanted an electric sharpener, and I knew this was a manuel sharpener.  

It is so surprising to see how small, fast, and sturdy this sharpener is.  It is just as fast as an electric sharpener, and my pencils sharpen to a perfect point.  I think what impressed me the most was that my partner had her sharpener since the first of October, and it still worked like it was just out of the box.  It’s definitely my new favorite classroom supply item!  Here’s a link if you’re on the search for a new sharpener.
Two weeks of rainy weather played havoc on my lesson plans.  Three out of five days we had a two hour delay, and one day we had to dismiss early.  While I could certainly get used to sleeping late {or as late as one can with a 3 year old and 3 month old} I had to skip many of the lessons I had planned for the week, so I’ll be playing catch up for a while.
We did get the opportunity to complete one of my favorite fraction lessons where students have to find different fractional parts of pattern blocks.  I love any math lesson that involves manipulatives, integrates writing, and covers multiple math topics!

Somehow I did carve out enough time to finish up a new Valentine’s Day packet.  
I was a little afraid that the title would run off some people, but I just couldn’t resist:)  This packet includes five language arts activities that would be perfect for centers or stations.

There are 24 dictionary skills task cards, with a combination of guide word questions and words with multiple meanings questions.

There are also 12 cards where students correct Valentines themed sentences, with capitalization and punctuation mistakes.

There are 24 cards in a parts of speech sort that include nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.

There are 9 sentence pairs where students have to combine two sentences into either a complex sentence or a compound sentence.
The last activity has students identify the verb’s tense and then correctly spell the other two tenses of the verb.
Hopefully, my students will LOVE it!!!  Here’s a link if you’re interested.


  1. says

    I convinced my team to buy the sharpeners with our allocated money. They really are great, but I hate the graphite dust that ends up all over my desk. It's happened to my team members as well, so I don't know if we are doing something wrong, or if it's the one flaw with these sharpeners. But it drives me crazy!

  2. says

    Love the valentine activities! I was looking at the dictionary sample you posted, and card 12 asks about guide words, but the choices are for definitions. Just thought you may want to update that one! :) Can't wait to use them with my kiddos!

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