Friday, August 9, 2013

I didn't know

Warning: this is a long post!
I didn't know that Dixon Ticonderoga, "the pencil company", owns Prang brand school supplies. I was contacted by a rep, offering me an opportunity to review some of their products. The only catch was I would need to provide an honest review of their products on my blog. Any school supplies that I don't have to purchase myself, they are a good thing. Their campaign slogan is "Get the good stuff".

 When my box arrived, I was a little surprise to find a set of Ticonderoga pencils, Prang brand water colors, markers, and colored pencils. To help with the comparison of their product to other brands, they also included a package of pencils, markers, colored pencils, and water colors from other companies. What? There is a risk in doing that, in that I could like the other products better.

I have always chosen Ticonderoga pencils over the competition. Our school purchases these dependable pencils by the gross. I do admit, I purchase those cute theme plastic wrapped pencils from the dollar spot at Target for prizes, but Ticonderoga pencils outnumber other brands in my room by far. My favorite pencil is their triangular black pencil. It is great for helping students with correct pencil grip and reduces stress on the hand. I didn't get my favorite pencil, but the pack they included came pre-sharpened. I will save most of these for the first day pencils for my kids. I hate sharpening pencils. The comparison set of 8 pencils, weren't sharpened. They did not sharpen well in my classroom provided sharpener. They were quickly eaten up. The Ticonderoga pencil I tried, performed well and sharpened well in the same sharpener.

The Prang water colors were in a heavier, sturdier case. The size was comparable to the other brand included in the box. I liked the Prang brush. It was definitely a big improvement over the other brand's brush. The paints performed about the same. I do think the Prang case will hold up better to my fifth graders.

I loved the Prang colored pencils. They were a thicker pencil with my preferred triangular shape. The lead was a big improvement over my usual brand. I definitely choose these over other brand.

The Prang markers came in a set of 10 +2 additional markers. That was a great feature. I got most of the colors I use in one box. My usual brand had a tapered tip, making it easier to color small spaces, but the Prang markers didn't crush down in the hands of my 3 year old niece. She walked off and left the markers with the lids off. I decided to check their claim that they could work hours later without being capped. I didn't want to push them to the 24 hour frame they claim, but after six hours, they were just as good as when I opened them. This is a real plus in a classroom! Caps are always getting misplaced, only to have the custodian find the lid when sweeping. (My lady even picks up the caps, pencils, erasers, and places them in my Lost and Found can!)

I was very impressed with the quality of the Dixon Ticonderoga and Prang products. I know I will look for these products when I shop for supplies. I don't know if the price is in line with my old favorites, which is what usually draws me to the supplies, but for the quality, they've won me over.

The best part about the product review? I got a sample of supplies I didn't have to purchase, and they have included a coupon code for me and my blog readers. Click here to download  a $0.50 coupon for a water color set.

I also didn't know that this weekend was JoAnn's teacher appreciation weekend. Teachers will receive 25 percent off all purchases throughout the weekend at Jo-Ann stores nationwide. And the best part is no coupon is needed! Simply present your current teacher identification and state-issued photo identification upon checkout.

To find the nearest Jo-Ann location, click on the here.

Have a great weekend!

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