Grade 1-12 teachers and students belong to an increasingly elusive category of people that still can refer to them selves as professional pencil wielding ninjas. Everyone else these days seems to have gone the way of using electronic devises for their writing needs. Case in point, take a peek inside a university lecture hall and you will be hard pressed to find anyone who still uses pencil and paper for note taking. While there are obviously many benefits of taking notes on laptops and tablets it is unfortunate when technology, intended to improve learning, does this at the expense of learning basic skills such as hand writing, spelling, grammar and note taking.
While in most classrooms pencils are still being used both by students and teachers, most of the pencils used are cheap mass-produced tools with much to desire in terms of quality, durability and performance. This is not necessarily all bad. Your run of the mill classroom pencil is affordable and disposable, a good idea in a classroom as they invariably will "grow legs and run away" from their righful owners. They are sort of like disposable cutlery being wielded by pencil ninjas, blunt, functional, cheap, and without much sentimental value. However, you never see a ninja wielding a plastic cutlery knife just like you never see a luthier wielding an IKEA hammer. While plastic cutlery and IKEA hammers serve their purpose, imagine for a minute a pencil as exquisite as a ninja's katana or the tools of a luthier. Just imagine replacing your average classroom pencil with a legendary writing tool of unsurpassed quality. Yes, there is such thing? They are not easy to come by and you will not find them at your local big box stores. They are not cheap either and they are definatelly not disposable. They are the Hattori Hanzō swords of discriminating pencil wielding ninjas, they are the legendary Palomino series of pencils.
Recently one of the students in Dr. Pineda's Classroom had the great fortune to get his hands on a case of Palomino Blackwing Pearl pencils, the most recent addition to the Palomino pencils. The student, inspired by one of his teachers (not Dr. Pineda mind you), found that not only did this legendary and exquisitely crafter writing utensils imbue a great sense of joy in the writing and sketching process, it also created an entirely different experience altogether. It is hard not to be reverent and in awe when you are doing your homework using the best pencil in the world. Suddendly homework time becomes precious and an opportunity to mindfully pen the next LA assignment or solve the next math problem. It is similar to going on a road trip in a lemon compared to a comportable and luxurious high performance vehicle, you might not go faster, but the trip is immensly more enjoyable and at the end of it you might want to just continue driving. So, without further ado, her is my student's review of the legendary Palomino Blackwing Perl pencil, and as far as I can tell, the first YouTube review to date solely dedicated to reviewing this remarkable and unassuming pencil. Vive le crayon!
Science classrooms are unique learning environments unlike any other classrooms. As a matter of fact, some things only happen in science classrooms. Here is a collection of event that happened in my own science classroom over the last school year. It's a growing list, so check back for updates.
Report from yours truly live-tweeting and navigating the melee at GETCA 2015 (Annual Greater Edmonton Teachers' Conference).
Can a pencil be more than just your average run of the mill pencil? The legendary Palomino Blackwing Pearl can take a student or teacher's writing to new heights. We have taken a batch of the Pearls for a spin and are blown away by how much writing and sketching can be transformed by this unassuming pencil.
Dr. Pineda's Classroom is going YouTube with the release of its first screencast on the exciting topic of calculating percents. Only time will tell if this is the start of something big and shiny or just a passing fad.
After several weeks working on setting up habitats for new classroom animals the big day finally arrived. The newest addition to our classroom include aquatic denizens in our new aquarium and a teenage bearded dragon with lots of attitude and no table manners.