There’s nothing to make a student feel more prepared to tackle the year than a fresh pack of school supplies. Not all school supplies, however, are created equal.
Icy Mechanical Pencil
I’ve been using these mechanical pencils since sixth grade, and they’ve never disappointed me. Although the erasers are often difficult to remove from the pencils, it is easy to find replacements for the .7 lead and erasers. They write smoothly, and, best of all, they come in an array of vibrant colors, including orange, green and pink.
The Ticonderoga “World’s Best Pencil”
I had high expectations for a pencil called the “World’s Best Pencil.” I was not disappointed. While mechanical pencils may be popular, every student needs a non-mechanical, quality No. 2 for standardized tests. This pencil not only fits the bill but is also soft and easy to write with.
Foray Advanced Ink Retractable Ballpoint Pen
I was first attracted to Foray Advanced Ink Retractable Ballpoint Pens because they come in colors that reminded me of sorbet. The package claimed they write smoothly as well. Sadly, my dreams were short-lived. The first time I used them, they were terrible — all of my letters were broken and faint. The second time I used them, however, they seemed fine. I am ambivalent about these pens.
Uniball Signo Gel 207 Retractable Roller Ball Pen
For years I have searched for pens in attractive colors that write smoothly. These pens fit all my criteria. The red is perfect for editing, the blue for in-class essays, the green for notes, and the orange and pink for fun. Hint: try these for color-coding!
Wide Post-it Flags (1/2 in.)
Much like the Foray Advanced Ink Retractable Ballpoint Pens, these wide post-it flags come in colors that remind me of tropical-themed Starbursts. The bright colors are wonderful for marking important parts of textbooks without writing. I give them three stars rather than five because it is impossible to write on them without smudging, and they are too small.
Post-it Removable Label Pads
Post-it Removable Label Pads are unique because they stick tightly and can be removed easily. I love labeling binders, notebooks and folders before school starts, and I appreciate that these label pads have entirely sticky backs, so they will stay on for the whole school year. I would prefer it if these label pads came in more colors than “limeade” (hot pink and lime green).
Sharpie Gel Highlighter
The Sharpie Gel Highlighter promises the “strongest smear protection.” The first time I used this highlighter, it spread ink all over the opposite page; furthermore, it produces uneven lines and is inconsistent. I strongly advise against buying this highlighter.
Sharpie Accent Pocket Highlighter
This highlighter was refreshing after using the Sharpie Gel Highlighter. It has a thin tip, so I was able to use it both to highlight and to underline. Plus, it doesn’t smear or run, and it dries quickly. The yellow in particular is fluorescent, so it adds that extra pop that makes important passages stand out.
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