Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #8: July 31, 2014

Welcome back to... 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around July 31st from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook. 

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts. Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Originally posted August 1, 2011
Muffin Tin Monday: Bread and Jam for Frances

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Adventure Hollow shared her So Behind Yet So Far Ahead post.

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sharpen Your Pencils with this Ingenious Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies {A Back to School Review}

Would you like to know what seems to be a daily frustration for me when we are having school? Not having a pencil that works properly. Do you know why this happens? Well, yes, of course pencils that are being used are going to wear down and need sharpening as the week goes on. That is not what I am talking about though. I am talking about pencils that come out of the sharpener looking like this:

I am talking about pencils that have been sharpened and sharpened but the point keeps breaking off in the sharpener. I have had pencils that have been whittled down to next to nothing while trying to get a point to appear. I thought I had a good sharpener. I had to replace mine recently because the motor in the one I had for years had finally died. The new one I purchased seemed great at first, but it was so powerful it was destroying pencils and it was so LOUD!

I was intrigued when I came across a new-to-me company called Classroom Friendly Supplies.  This company is owned by an elementary teacher who was tired of loud and inefficient pencil sharpeners present in the classroom.

Yes, I was intrigued, but I was also skeptical. Was this really as great as it was being made out to be? I had to try it out for myself. I was so thankful that the owner was willing to join with me for my Back to School/5 Year Blogiversary Celebration.

I gathered some poor abused pencils, both regular number 2 pencils and colored pencils. The colored pencils suffered much more at the blades of the old pencil sharpener. I wanted to see if I could restore them.

Next I set up the pencil sharpener.

This front slides out and clicks into place.

In order for the pencil to slide into the sharpener you need to press the tabs together.

The pencil slides right into place... 

 and is held steady by the little teeth.

As the sharpener is holding onto the pencil, you have two hands free. One to hold onto the sharpener and one to turn the crank. As the pencil sharpens, the front plate moves in with the pencil.

Here, let me share a short video from Classroom Friendly Supplies

I was extremely impressed with the results.

In case you are still not convinced, I wanted to share a few more pictures.

I can't stop talking about the wonderful results of this pencil sharpener. In fact, I keep looking around the house to see if there are more pencils that need sharpened. It is so easy to use, even without instructions I was able to use it with ease (which is saying something).

In case you are wondering, it is also just as simple to empty the shavings.

All you need to do is push the tray out from the back. It comes all the way out to be emptied and is easily reinserted.

Classroom Friendly Supplies also include a clamp if you would like to attach it somewhere more permanently. We, however, have no where to attach it, so I keep it on my counter and it is ready for use at all times.

I am 100% impressed with the quality of this product. Here is what I like:
  • Well made, sturdy design
  • Ease of use
  • Quieter than electric pencil sharpeners
  • No motor to wear out
  • Blades are replaceable (a set of two can be purchased for $22.99)
  • Shaving are disposed of easily
  • Pencils are sharpened to a perfect point
  • Sharpener stops sharpening after perfect point is achieved.
  • A clamp is included (though as I haven't used it, I can't speak to it's effectiveness)
Having just received it, I can't speak to the longevity of this product. I hope to have it around for a long time though.

I have one warning I would like to share with you. Remember I showed you how the front pulls out and clicks into place to hold the pencil? Well, if no pencil is inserted and you turn the crank, the front plate will snap into place. Not a problem, unless your finger is in the way. Ooops and ouch. It will sting a little, but no permanent damage was done. 

You can purchase the pencil sharpener in 5 different colors:

Each of these sharpeners can be purchased for $24.99. A set of 3 can be purchased for $53.97. In case you will be purchasing large quantities, they also offer a school discount- 36 sharpeners for $503.64. They also now offer a large hole sharpener for those larger pencils. It sells for the same price.

 You can check out all the products they offer at their website.
You can also find them on Facebook.

 This ingenious sharpener can be yours!
Classroom Friendly Supplies has generously offered to include a Pencil Sharpener in your choice of color in my Back to School/5 Year Blogiversary Celebration.

Don't miss out on the Grand Prize Giveaway!
Click here to enter the giveaway.

How would you like some extra entries into this giveaway before it even starts? 
Head on over to the Classroom Friendly Supplies website and tell me something you learned. Leave the answer here in the comments with your email and when the giveaway is live I will email you the secret code to place in the Rafflecopter for a bonus 10 points. 

Don't miss out on the Grand Prize Giveaway!
Click here to enter the giveaway.

Wordless Wednesday: July 30, 2014 (w/linky)- Summer Reading Program Fun

This was Harold's first year being able to participate in Summer Reading Program at the one library we go to. He still can't officially be participating in the other one, but he can still join in with the activities. He just can't earn dollars to spend. His sister's are nice enough to use their money to get him things occasionally. Check out the fun we have been having.

July 3rd 
(First Week)

First they mark in that they are here.

Then they spin the wheel to see how many books they can take out.

The older girls are "readers" now, and the spinner will tell them if they are to choose a book packet  from the Robots section or the Volcano section (or either). Each year these areas are created around the theme. This year's theme is Fizz, Boom, Read.

Next comes the craft.

Finally, they get to spin the wheel again to see if they are to choose a prize from the Big Treasure Box or the Little Treasure Box.

Harold was very happy that he was able to participate this year. 

July 10th
(Second Week)

I love when the weather is good, because they get to do their craft outside.

The younger children don't have Book Packets to choose from. When they spin the wheel, they are given  a number of books to take out ranging from 7-10. Mommy roots for 7 every time. Can you imagine how many books we have in our house right now?

Next week I will share some more Summer Reading Program fun. We have made and played with bubbles and gone done to the river to determine if it is polluted with our local library program. Do you know how they can tell?

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Free Sign Ups for the Keep Your Cool For Back to School Giveaway Event

If you are a blogger looking for a great looking giveaway to join in, check out this Back to School Event! 
(If you would like to enter to win in this giveaway, please stop back on August 1st)

Please say Tots and Me referred you. Thanks!

Sign-ups are open for the 'Keep Your Cool For Back To School' Giveaway Event!

A Pirate Adventure with Poppins Book Nook

Welcome to the July edition of Poppins Book Nook! 

This month's theme was: Ye Old Pirates!

This month I had a book on hand that fit the theme perfectly which we hadn't read yet. I really have no idea where I got this book, but it has been a fun adventure. We read Uncle Pete's Pirate Adventure by Susannah Leigh. This is an Usborne Young Puzzle Adventures Book.

From the back cover, "When Mary receives a mysterious letter, she knows it can only be from one person-Uncle Pete the Pirate! Join Mary and her friend Zac on board Uncle Pete's pirate boat, as they set sail in search of his missing pirate crew." 

I love the way this book weaves a story while making it interactive for the children by including some sort of puzzle/maze activity on each page. We read the story and then answer the puzzle question, which could be finding something that was mentioned in the story portion or finding our way through the maze to help the characters out on their journey.

Here we had to figure out which was the island they were looking for, using clues from the story.

As this was our month of being more relaxed and not doing much school work, we didn't really do anything majorly "educational" with this month's theme. We went to the park and the children pretended a dirt hill was an island that they were climbing and finding the buried treasure.

(See the X marking the spot?)

Then I asked the children what they wanted to do. At their request I printed out some pirate-y coloring sheets and mazes. They spend the morning creating their own props and costumes for a play about a pirate and her crew going on an adventure to find the buried treasure. Unfortunately, though I have a few pictures of the prep time, I did not get any of the actual play. I am very disappointed about this.

Here is what they did.

Tabitha the Pirate, Amelia the Octopus (the octopus attacked the ship during the play), Hannah the Pirate with her Parrot/Bear, and Harold the fish (Mommy and Harold were both fish who were swimming by the boat, glub, glub. My fish even got caught for lunch.)

I found these mazes and the coloring sheet by searching Google.

I had downloaded a cute preschool learning pack from This Sweet Life earlier this month, in anticipation of using it with the younger children. Here are two of the pages from her free Ahoy Matey! Pirate Pack.





I also made them a Pirate Adventure Muffin Tin to go with the theme and their play.

They had Popcorn and Peaches for treasure.
An octodog guarding the treasure 
A Ketchup X to mark the spot
A carrot cut into a sword shape
Green tinted Ramen noodle seaweed
Toast and butter cut into a fish shape with Cheerio bubbles

Come and check out what the other Poppins Book Nook co-hosts have been up to this month. Then don't forget to link up your own posts! Lastly, enter the Pirate Plunder Giveaway below for your choice of Pirate books from Usborne.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for LearningEver After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom's Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Poppins Book Nook Pirate Plunder Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month we are partnering with Jennifer Altman an Usborne consultant to bring one lucky entrant a chance to win a copy of either the Pirate's Handbook (recommended for 8 years old and up) or Pirate Stories for Little Children (recommended for ages under 8 years old) books. One of these books is sure to add to your pirate fun!

The winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter and will be notified by Enchanted Homeschooling Mom via email and posted here. Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside within the United States. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Prizes will be issued by Jennifer Altman who is an Usborne consultant. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {}.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

Come and find out more information about Poppins Book Nook at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, on Facebook and on Pinterest.

Clip Art by Melon Headz
Related Posts with Thumbnails