Friday, June 22, 2012

Best Pencil Sharpener Ever

I don't know about you but I absolutely hate the sound of an electric pencil sharpener. I have tried limiting the kids use of the pencil sharpener, buying them little handheld pencil sharpeners, but nothing has totally eliminated the use of the electric one. Recently I stumbled upon this website:

I was excited and skeptical about whether the relatively inexpensive pencil sharpeners would work and be quiet enough not to interrupt the class.When I received the sharpener, I immediately opened it up to try it out. At the time I was teaching 75 kids a day which adds up to a lot of pencils. The sharpener is simple yet cute. The kids found it very easy to use and loved that it sharpened their pencil so quickly. I was amazed at how quiet it was. I am definitely going to purchase a few more so I can spread them out throughout the room. 

Here are a few pictures of the sharpener in action!

Here is a video to demonstrate how to use the sharpener. This video was uploaded by Troy the creator of the pencil sharpener.

The best part about this company is that it was started by a primary school teacher. I don't know about you but I tend to find that things invented/created by teachers tend to be excellent products.

If you are sick of getting headaches from those annoying electric sharpeners, then toss them out and head over to to purchase the BEST pencil sharpener ever!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Last day fun!

This post is a little late but I have been quite busy since the last day of school. The last day of school in my district was last Friday. I can't believe I survived my 1st year of teaching! I am sure am going to miss my kiddos!

To celebrate the last day of school which was only an hour and 45 minutes for us (I know it seems a bit silly) I decided to let the kids have a little fun! I decided to let them use shaving cream to make graffiti creations on their desks! They loved doing it and it cleaned the desk at the same time, one less thing I had to do! 

What did you do on your last day of school?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Book Addiction

Anyway who knows me knows I LOVE books. I cannot resist buying booking especially children's books. Every time my students bring me an order for scholastic I end up ordering books. I justify it in my head by telling myself it is for the kids haha!

Link Up!

Ms. Nelson is hosting a linky party for all time favorite read-alouds. As soon as I saw her party I knew I wanted to join!

So here we go:

Great book for both boys and girls! Kids love it!

Perfect for teaching children to be nice to each other.

Perfect book for teaching children be themselves and not follow others.
I love the beautiful illustrations Eric Carle creates! 

I love this series, the children love these stories.

What are your favorite books? Head over to Ms. Nelson's page and link up!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

R.I.P. Lucky

So today turned out to be a very interesting day. When I got to school this morning I noticed it was way warmer in the building than usual. When I checked the thermostat in my classroom it was reading 89. We were told that the system was working and the building should be cool in an hour or so. Well, that didn't happen so we suffered through the day. Not only did the heat kill my pretty flowers a student had given me but we also had an animal fatality. Shhhhhhh! The kids don't know. Our little class fish didn't survive the sweltering heat over the holiday weekend. Poor little Lucky.

Lucky the Fish
With it being so close to the end of the year I didn't have the heart to tell the kids about our class pet dying so I am just going to tell them Lucky went home to enjoy his summer vacation a little early.  

Hopefully tomorrow will be a much cooler day at school! Only 12 more days until summer!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Exploring the Civil War

With only 3 weeks left of schools I am running out of time to teach. In history we are a bit behind because I didn't take over until October, so we are trying to cram in everything before the end of the year. The last unit I am teaching is the Civil War. Anyone who has been around 10-11 year olds know that they LOVE learning about war.

We started the unit with two wonderful picture books by Patricia Polacco. We started with Pink and Say, which I was familiar with, and a wonderful colleague let me borrow Just in Time Abraham Lincoln. I have to say Patricia Polacco knows how to write informative and interesting books for children. My students beg me to let them borrow them. If you haven't read them I recommend you getting your hands on a copy!

How do you engage students in an event that happened more than a hundred years ago? We reenact the Civil War with an easy-to-implement, weeklong simulation. Students assume the roles of Union and Confederate soldiers and discover what it's like to live in an encampment, march into war, and fight for their beliefs. I use the Easy Simulations Civil War series produced by Scholastic. The books includes step-by-step directions, plus reproducible student worksheets, charts, maps, and rubrics. 

Ms. Tuthill

Rockin' Resources: Classroom Must Haves

I am new at the whole blogging thing but I couldn't pass up the chance to participate in my very first linky party. 

Kelley at Teacher Idea Factory is hosting her first Linky Party.

Rockin' Resources:  Thinks I Couldn't Live Without.

Here is my list of 5 things I can't live without in my classroom!

1. Brainpop
I absolutely love Brainpop. It has a large selection of 3-5 minute videos that help explain concepts taught in the classroom. Tim and Moby make learning fun and help the students learn at the same time!

2. Teachers Pay Teachers.
TPT is a great resource. As a first year teacher I have found it especially helpful when trying to come up with lessons. 

3. Scotch Thermal Laminating Machine
The laminating machine at my school is horrible, it is very thin and within a few hours, days, weeks it starts peeling off. This is not good when it comes to making your materials last. I purchased this little machine when it was on sale at target. It is one of the best investments I have made all year. The machine is fast and does an excellent job, no more peeling!

4. Turn in Your Work Organizer
I purchased this from Lakeshore Learning at the beginning of the school year. I thought it was a bit pricey but I needed something to help with the paper chaos. This has worked great and held up very well. I don't 
know what I would do without it.

5. Pinterest
Pinterest is one of my favorite resources for classroom ideas. Something  
new catches my eye everyday!

If you want to share your must haves head over to Teacher Idea Factory and join the party!

Meet the Teacher

My name is Ms. Tuthill. I am a first year teacher. I am currently a 4th grade teacher in Virginia. I started my first year in October a month after school started so it has definitely been a whirlwind of a year. At the school I work, 4th grade is departmentalized. We group our students by level and the students rotate for math, science, and social studies similar to the way middle school students do. I am the social studies teacher and I teach reading and writing to my homeroom students. Teaching is my passion and where my heart lies!

I am super excited about starting a teaching blog. I have decided to go ahead and start it now (even though we only have three more weeks of school left!!) so I can get myself comfortable with this new endeavor. I feel like I have learned so much this year, my mind is still processing it all. I really enjoy reading other teacher blogs. They have inspired me to make my own worksheets, games, etc.  Luckily, I am very computer savvy and find joy in all things technology. 

(chalk Masterpiece my students made for me one day at recess)

Ms. Tuthill