From desks to tables

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 10, 2012

    When I taught kindergarten the past 3 years, my students used tables. This year I was very excited to finally have desks...But I wish I could have tables again. Things I hate about desks:
    -Students constantly opening and closing them when they shouldn't be.
    -THE MESSINESS! Some kids are just so unorganized that they could clean their desks every day, and they would still be bottomless pits.
    -I miss communal supplies. I hate hearing "I don't have a green maker!" With tables, everything was in the middle for everyone to share, and I filled as-needed.
    -The moving/shifting of the desks, the different height sizes

    I do not know if it is possible for me to switch to tables next year. I don't think there are enough extras, but I am thinking of asking my principal. For those who use tables, I have a few questions:
    -What do you do with everything? We have notebooks and folders for every subject area. They also have homework binders and writing binders. Isn't it incredibly time-consuming to have them get up and move to another part of the classroom to get every supply? And I hate seat sacks! They are messy and expensive. I just can't think of an easy solution.
    -Do you have nametags for each student at table spots? I like the nametags I use because they have useful information like a number line, 100 grid, etc.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2.  
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Apr 10, 2012

    I don't have any special advice for you, but I did want to say that I've had desks forever and was very excited to get tables this year. I don't like them and wish I could go back to desks. :lol:
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,965
    Likes Received:
    208

    Apr 10, 2012

    I've had tables and I've had desks. I prefer desks, but I have older kids. We still can't fit everything in their desks.

    I do know that kids that go into their desks when they shouldn't, find it turned around so they can't get into it. It puts the kabash on that pretty quickly.

    As to messy desks, every year I have one or two (or three or four) kids who can't seem to keep their desk tidy. I assign a desk-buddy who checks it out and helps organize it -- you know, the super-organized type who likes to help. It makes a big difference.

    Personally, I think the grass is always greener... you know?
     
  5. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 10, 2012

    I like tables. I have, over three years, finagled and found four 6-kid tables that match. We do group projects quite a lot and need larger work areas than desks provide. I also like how easy it is to line the tables up (no one kid can make it move too much). Communal supplies work for me, too.

    The one possible problem with tables is that kids can have big differences in size. If one kid needed a taller or shorter workspace, too bad.
     
  6. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 10, 2012

    That's what I am afraid of!

    Another reason that I would like tables, that I forgot to mention, is that I would really like to focus more on 21st century inquiry-based group learning projects. They would be their own little learning communities.
     
  7. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 10, 2012

    Haha, I just tried to "Like" your post, Driving Pigeon!
     
  8. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 10, 2012

    :lol:

    Love it!
     
  9. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,396
    Likes Received:
    3

    Apr 11, 2012

    I have tables, and I hate them. Teaching upper elementary, tables are a problem. I would rather have desks, even at the risk of them going into them often. We are moving to new buildings next year,and we were promised desks. Guess what? We are getting tables in 4th and 5th grade. They ran out of money for desks. :(
     
  10. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,397
    Likes Received:
    4

    Apr 11, 2012

    I have the desks with the open fronts, so they don't open up. But, I know that some of the other teachers use the turning around strategy if that's a problem.

    I find that having a system for organizing the desk and teaching it to them at the beginning of the year really helps keep them organized. We stack all our textbooks on one side, and then put folders, notebooks, and workbooks on the other. Also, they don't keep their art boxes at their desks--those are stored in a cabinet and handed out when needed. When we do hand them out, I tell a few students to each hand out 3 or 4, so that goes really quickly. Finally, I bought some of the little plastic baskets at Wal-Mart. Each student has one to hold 3-4 pencils, their highliter, correcting pen, and eraser. I don't let them keep extra supplies or things in their desks, and I'm really strict about loose papers going in there!
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,778
    Likes Received:
    153

    Apr 11, 2012

    I have desks but have wanted tabes for years now. I thin I will actually get tables next year at my new school. But, I am hung up on how to organize all the notebooks and things as well.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 11, 2012

    You can have all students turn their desks around to have tables...

    I have those three drawer storage bins by each set of desks. Kids keep notebooks for each class in one of the drawers. They keep their own pencils and pens at their desk. Textbooks and other things are kept in their lockers.

    Each morning, I put a list of needed supplies. Students make sure that they have these supplies from their lockers/bins. Then I put up another list in the afternoon.
     
  13. applecore

    applecore Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    23

    Apr 11, 2012

    This is what another teacher and I are looking into doing next year with our kiddos. If they start out this way, chances are they'll do okay....well, hopeful large chances anyways.
     
  14. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 11, 2012

    Do you need all this "stuff"? I had desks for the past few years and begged to get tables this year and I LOVE them! Mine are round with cut-outs for the chair (I think they might be called clover tables), so they seat four kids.

    I have a supply bucket in the center that I replenish throughout the year with the supplies the kids bring in September. I have seat pouches, but all that they keep in those is ONE folder (for incomplete work and their word wall). The seat pouches is where there names are- this makes moving a kid's seat way simpler.

    In terms of nametags for the hundreds chart, number line, etc... I have a stack of these laminated that I keep up front. The kids grab them as they need them for math.

    I have an in-tray for each subject. Any completed papers go there- so no need for a folder or notebook for each subject. I do have a small set of cubbies where they keep their math workbooks and writing binders... though these aren't things we use on a daily basis. The way that my day is set up, my kids move about the room a lot between centers. They grab supplies as they switch centers.

    So if you really want the tables, I would suggest trying to eliminate some of the unnecessary materials :)
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 12, 2012

    I was thinking about this a bit more yesterday...I realized that the only thing we use daily is their math workbooks. For organizing papers and notebooks, I could use crates with hanging file folders. We don't really use these things too often, so I would probably only need 1 or 2 crates for the whole class. This would probably be better, because when they do keep things in their folders and I say, "Take your vowel game out of your reading folder," they look at me like I have 3 heads, and most of them threw it away or never put it in their folder in the first place. :dizzy:

    The only other thing I'm worried about is space. If the tables would only seat 4 students, I would need 6 tables, and my room is pretty small.

    A kindergarten classroom is going to become a first-grade classroom next year, and the teacher is trading the tables out for desks, so I'm sure I could get tables...Now I really have to think about this!
     
  16. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 12, 2012

    I just emailed my principal, and she said we do not have any extra tables. There goes that idea. Bummer! :(
     
  17. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,841
    Likes Received:
    50

    Apr 12, 2012

    I have desks and I wish I had tables. Tables are much better for doing experiments and projects. I don't know if this is a problem for you, but kids constantly move around the desks. Not on purpose, but the desks just move throughout the day. I've put stickers on the walls and every class the kids have to realign their desks with the stickers.
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 12, 2012

    I re-arranged my classroom today from a semi-circle (with an extra row in back) to groups. I have an extra-chatty class with many students to have ADHD, so this will be an interesting experiment. :) I want to see how I like them in groups, and how well they work when facing one-another.

    The old set-up:
    [​IMG]

    The new set-up:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 12, 2012

    Yes, this drives me crazy! Sometimes their desks will shift a good foot throughout the day. At the end of the day I spend about 5-10 minutes straightening the rows. Drives me nuts!

    I'm hoping that, with my new arrangement, they will maybe stay more straight because they now have students directly across from them.
     
  20. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,841
    Likes Received:
    50

    Apr 12, 2012

    I love that rug!!! *covets rug* :)
     
  21. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 12, 2012

    Thanks! It was my big splurge last summer...It wasn't cheap, but I LOVE it!
     
  22. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,778
    Likes Received:
    153

    Apr 12, 2012

    DP, the group arrangement looks great! It actually opens up your room making it appear more spacious. That's what I do with my kids as well. They sit in groups of 4 by putting their individual desks together.
     
  23. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 12, 2012

    Thanks for the feedback. I thought about doing 4 groups (3 groups of 6 and 1 group of 5), but 6 just seems like too many in one group.

    It will be interesting to see how it works when we return from break on Monday!
     
  24. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,397
    Likes Received:
    4

    Apr 12, 2012

    I move my kids back and forth between groups and other arrangements throughout the year. I almost never arrange the desks the same way twice in a row--when I move them, I put them in a different configuration. This way, I can separate them during times like the week before Christmas break...
     
  25. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,987
    Likes Received:
    374

    Apr 12, 2012

    I have both. Now take into consideration that I have preschool (reg. and spe.) but some of my kids to better with desk. They can't move their chairs too close to their neighbors. They are also flat top. I can arrange them to be like a table group if I need to. Then I have trapezoid tables. I thought I would like them but IDK. Both have their pros and cons. :/
     
  26. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 12, 2012

    Where is your rug from? My friend is obsessed with polka dots and would kill for this rug!

    Here are what my tables look like (I hope that I posted them correctly- it's been a long time since I have posted on the forums)... and I will say first before a lot of ppl comment, yes, my room is HUGE! I lucked out this year and got moved to the biggest room in the school :) But like I said, I LOVE my tables! My particular tables are small and take up much less space than 4 desks put together. We were able to get them pretty cheaply through a county vender- about $700 for all 6 tables.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  27. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,987
    Likes Received:
    374

    Apr 12, 2012

    OH WOW to have a room THAT BIG!!!! NICE!!!
     
  28. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 12, 2012

    Wow, what a great space!!!

    I like those tables, but I would be worried about kids having their backs facing me. Do they have turn often to see the front of the room?

    I found my rug at overstock.com. I don't know if they have it anymore, though-I can't find it. I can't remember the exact name...New Zealand Handmade Bubblegum rug or something like that.
     
  29. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 12, 2012

  30. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 13, 2012

    It's hard to tell from the picture, but the tables are turned so that the kids are facing the corners of the room... so they don't have to do too much turning to see the front of the room- just halfway. Plus, the structure of my day doesn't have me standing in front of them very often. Anytime I am doing anything where they have to listen to me or copy something from the smartboard, they are on the carpet. They use the tables for reading and writing centers, as well as math centers. I'm not a lecture style teacher. Also, because of the size of the room, it's hard to see that I also have a horseshoe table and a rectangular table that they can also work at. I love the tables, I would never go back. I have one desk for any "special" friends that need a private seat.
     
  31. applecore

    applecore Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    23

    Apr 14, 2012

    Driving pigeon, I LOVE the rug and the wooden "chair" for one of your students. Would you be willing to share more about that chair? I've seen the boucy type balls to sit on, but not the wooden chair.

    Thanks!
     
  32. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Apr 14, 2012

    The chair is actually one of these flipped on its side:
    http://busy-kids.com/CF910-008-011.html

    This particular student never sat in her chair. She would stand at her desk, which normally wouldn't bother me, but she would put her hands on the edge and would jump up and down. We tried different types of seating, and this chair seems to work the best.
     
  33. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 15, 2012


    I teach 4th and I'm soooo happy to have tables. (The entire school K-5 uses tables) We don't have seat sacks either. I feel like it's much easier to organize the classroom because I don't have to deal with the clutter/messiness that some students would have in their individual desks. It's easy to clean up.

    Notebooks:
    All notebooks are in bins by subject area. We have 6 tables, 4 students at each table. So for each subject there are 3 bins of notebooks. Tables 1/2 share a bin, Tables 3/4, and Tables 5/6. Table 1/2 has a "table monitor" as do the other 2 sets of tables. So if we need say math notebooks, I'll ask the table monitors to hand them out. Each table monitor only needs to hand out 8 notebooks so it happens very quickly. It sounds complicated but it's actually a very smooth process. All notebooks are in the appropriate "center" so for example, the writing notebooks are in the writing center, math in the math center. If a table monitor is absent or unavailable another student can easily step in to pass them out. Obviously this whole process is probably easier because my students are 9 and 10 years old but I'm sure with some "training" kindergarteners could do it. You just have to pick the right students!

    Folders and Workbooks are all in 1 bin. So 24 writing folders are in the same bin. We have 2 hand out monitors (different from table monitors.) They will grab half the pile and hand them out when needed. This can take a bit longer so sometimes my co-teacher and I will pitch in or ask one of our 3 "subs" to help pass out to speed up the process.

    Each table has a bin and the ONLY thing that they're allowed to keep in the bin is their book baggies with their independent reading books. They also have a pencil holder with 5-6 pencils and one of those huge erasers. Things like crayons, glue, etc. are handed out when needed.

    We put their name tags on their seats which is sooo much easier when we want to change seats. Unlike with desks you can't just move the desks, so we'd have to strip off their name tag each time. I like to change seats every 2 months so it would be a lot of work. Now we just move seats. Plus having a seat with their name on it gives the students some sense of ownership over their spot. I know that wouldn't work if you want the number line, etc. I did tape some name tags onto the table for students that need the alphabet in front of them. I taped it sort of in the middle of where they sit, kind of where their spot on the table ends and the person in front of them spot begins.

    I love my tables!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. ally06
Total: 423 (members: 1, guests: 401, robots: 21)
test