Tables vs. Desks in 2nd Grade

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by Miss Kirby, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Second grade teachers,

    Do you have tables or desks in your room? If tables, what kind do you have? What would you prefer to have? What is your desk/table arrangement?

    Next year I'm moving from first to second grade. I get to stay in my own classroom. I have round tables right now and I honestly don't like them! It's great for cooperative activities - but when I want them to look at me and listen they are all facing each other, so it's difficult. I know next year we'll be doing more instruction at our tables instead of at the carpet.

    All of the other second grade teachers have desks. I really don't care for desks because they get so messy, take up so much space, and move around so much!! I LOVE tables! I was going to see if I could round up six rectangular tables and put them in three rows perpendicular to the board.

    Now, do you think tables are appropriate for second grade? Do you think they need to have their own space that a desk would provide? Do you think I'm cheating my kids out of having desks, as the other second grade classes have them?
     
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  3. funeoz

    funeoz Comrade

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    I have desks, but I would take rectangular tables in a heartbeat.

    I don't think you're cheating them out of anything. They'll have desks the rest of their lives. Think of it as the other teachers cheating them out of tables for another year. :p
     
  4. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I don't teach second this year, but have in the past. I have kept my furniture regardless of levels. I have rectangular tables and find they work really well. I also have one round table, and I'm careful about who I put at that table.

    As long as you have cubbies or a place for them to keep their things, it should be fine!
     
  5. emmyblemmy

    emmyblemmy Companion

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    I have desks, and I would not want to change that. It gives me a lot more flexibility to make changes for independent/cooperative learning.
     
  6. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Yeah that is the good thing about desks. You can put them in groups or rows or pairs etc. I'm wondering what I would do during the Terra Nova? When I used to teach second we would take their desks and move them so each kid sat by her/himself. Hmmm.

    I just love tables though...

    If you have desks, do you do community supplies or individual supplies? I had a desk arrangement in mind which would leave space for a tote for supplies.
     
  7. emmyblemmy

    emmyblemmy Companion

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    Most things I do as community supplies, but I let them keep crayons and pencils in their pencil cases. I have plastic organizers for scissors, glue sticks, etc., that I keep shelved on a extra bookshelf spaces. It is easy to call rows or groups to retrieve needed supplies that way and they have less to play with at their desks. ;)
     
  8. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    I have had both but would go back to tables if they were available. Storage was not a problem for me. We had cubbies in the room so there was space to keep extra books. There was a metal shelf underneath each chair so I gave each child a dishpan to put their books, notebook, supplies in. Also, my mother made me chair covers with pockets that allowed for additional storage. (the best thing I ever had!) I did not use community buckets. Each child had their own supplies.
     
  9. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    On the whole, I prefer tables for this age group. I also have several places built in the room for students to work by themselves.
     
  10. Ms.E

    Ms.E Rookie

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    I have taught with both desks and tables.... when I moved to my new position, I was lucky.... the tables have desk-like shelving underneath them. The only thing is I have extra desks in the room for those who cannot work well with anyone. They are placed in their own space so they won't pick on anyone else. I would keep that in mind with this age group. But I love my tables!
     
  11. adellesmama

    adellesmama Companion

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    Well, the main reason I don't like the desks in my room is that when the students open them up, their pencils/crayons/whatever always roll onto the floor...so if you do get desks, try to get the ones that don't have the top that lifts up or ones that have some sort of pencil holder so that you don't have that aggravation.

    On the positive side, it is nice to be able to change your room around with different seating arrangements throughout the year. I've done pods of four, rows briefly (because I hate rows!), pairs, and a double horseshoe arrangement. I love this last one because I can put the troublemakers :lol: and kids who need a lot of assistance in the smaller horseshoe right in the middle of the room but all the kids are always facing me and I can do a quick walk around and see how they're doing on their worksheet or whatever they're doing.
     
  12. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    I have desks and hate them! I am constantly straightening up my table groups! Next year, I hope to swamp my desks for tables from another classroom!
     
  13. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Yeah when I taught second, EVERY DAY I fixed the groups because they were moving around. I was pretty obsessive about things like that. I even put the dot stickers on the floor, but the custodians picked them off! Grr! I like the tables because there are only six to move around! Hehe!
     
  14. just-n-educator

    just-n-educator Companion

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    This is my first year teaching 2nd. I have taught 1st and K. My problem is that there is absolutely no storage for the children in the class...so I have no choice but to use the desks. But I would in a heart beat switch to tables.
     
  15. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I have desks now but have already put in a request for tables for next year!! I hate desks!! THey get so messy, I have to constantly ask students to "fix your desks" because they are always uneven (I am a bit anal about that), my kids are very territorial so they are always arguing about someone's hand touched their desk or the corner of someone's book was on their desk.....I mean, I can go on and on. I think the tables will encourage more of a "team" concept that I was pushing since the first day of school but some groups don't work like teams, all they do is argue or talk. So, I do group points for the groups who are always prepared, always ready and always quiet when I ask. They earn free time to water paint, play with playdough, use the computer etc. I already do community supplies so I'm ready for the tables if they brought them to me tomorrow!!!! I hope I get them soon. I'm going to bug the custodians a little more.
     
  16. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Youngteacher, what will you do with storage when you move to tables?

    I'm wondering what to do about state testing if the kids are sitting at tables.
     
  17. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    When I do state testing, I have the kids put up privacy screens. I do have desks, and we could do invididual seats, but that's a pain. I want tables soooo bad, but I'm going to wait and see if I get a Smartboard next year or not. Currently I have a computer with a projector attached and it works better with desks, since I can have six to a table and nobody is really sitting or stepping on cords very often.
     
  18. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Yeah for testing we do privacy folders. I could probably just spread them around so there are like only three per table - put other kids on side tables.
     
  19. mrs_thompson

    mrs_thompson Rookie

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    Privacy Screens

    Where did you find privacy screens? I am trying to find some to purchase. Could you please let me know where you found yours? Thanks!
     
  20. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    We also have desks, and I would like to try rectangular tables. That would of course, limit my options on classroom arrangements.
     
  21. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    My privacy folders were made by stapling two file folders together and laminating them. My were really old and gross, so I hope to find time this summer and make some new ones.

    You are right, tables limit the different arrangements you can make like with desks. I keep going back and fourth! I still don't know what I'm getting.
     
  22. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I've done both tables and desks. I much prefer desks, but I'm stuck with tables. Our tables only have a tiny space for storage ( a little drawer that constantly falls out) and we have NO cubbies, and only 16 hooks (so if I have more than 16 students, some students have to share coat hooks!)

    The disadvantages to tables are --
    --not as much storage as a desk.
    --can't isolate students with behavior problems, or talkers
    --have to use privacy screens for testing
    --when one child erases (scrubs the eraser) the whole table shakes and makes others make mistakes
    --almost impossible to rearrange the room
    --half the children are always facing the wrong way when you teach
     
  23. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I love having tables!!! I finally got them in April. Everything has been so much easier and cleaner since I made the transition. I don't have kids digging through papers to find a book, I have all the notebooks in their own storage container and my "Paper Pusher" ( a classroom job that requires passing papers and books) gets everyone their materials. I like it better that way. We still utilize the community supplies with the basket in the middle of the tables so nothing really has changed. No more arguing about desks not straight, someone is touching my desk or someone is hiding my eraser in their desk etc.etc.etc.
    Cooperative groups are much easier to manage. There are just so many reasons why I love the tables. I'm a little bit of a neat freak so my room looks much nicer and more organized now.
     
  24. sarbea

    sarbea Rookie

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    I have desks and have appreciated it this year because I have so many contensious little ones. The messiness is definitely an issue. It seems that their little desks get overrun with drawing, papers that were supposed to go home, and their little readers. I'm wondering if I should work on discovering a system to help manage the run away paper load.

    Tables would be nice as far as cleanliness, but I am a bit of an indecisive person and like the opportunity for change as needed.
     
  25. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    As long as you have enough cubbies and coat hooks for each person, desks are FAR better in my book. With square tables everyone can face the teacher except one student, and this happens if you have your desks in cooperative groups anyway.
     
  26. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

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    I have put in the request for tables next year. I think it will help with organization a lot!
     
  27. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    I think I am going to get desks next year...

    I'm feeling more comfortable with the idea. When I started teaching with desks it was in the middle of the year and the kids had terrible desk organization. Next year, it will be the kids' first experience with desks. So hopefully if I teach them the RIGHT way it will be more organized... I saw on a website somewhere, a teacher made a poster of what a neat desk looks like, and she labeled everything in the desk.

    I'm going to have my kids in groups and they are going to have caddies for supplies. So they'll just have workbooks, notebooks, and possibly folders in their desks. No stray papers, no supplies. So with the "neat desk" poster, and visits from the desk fairy, hopefully that will help!
     
  28. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Trust me, they always find a way to sneak miscellaneous things in there every now and then.:rolleyes:
     
  29. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Oh brother.:huh:
     
  30. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    :lol:
     
  31. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Yes they do YT! It's amazing how much stuff they can cram in them over a week.

    MissK-You could do a weekly desk award. Give a student a certificate for the neatest desk and let them get something from the treat jar.
     
  32. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Wow this thread came just in time! When I was in preschool I always had tables, but for my elementary experience (8 years) I have had desks. Two years ago, the school bought these desks that are rounded and they are terrible to group, plus they take up so much more room. So...we just decided today to bite the bullet and order tables! Also for the first time we are departmentalizing and I will have 2nd grade, a 3/4 split class and 5th grade each for 2 hours. I was afraid of the change but I think it will be ok!
     
  33. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

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    I would REALLY like tables this year, but I don't think it'll work in my situation.

    For the first time, we will be departmentalized this year... like the big kids do. I will teach reading, writing, and skills block, and the teacher next door to me will be teaching math, science, and social studies. We will keep our own classrooms, and each teach two classes of students.

    My students don't have cubbies, or even hooks to hang their book bags! So as much as I would LOVE tables, I don't know how I could store their things neatly. :(
     

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