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Ontteacher's Message:

I love tables, PROVIDED THAT you have room in your class for kids to store their personal belongings such as pencil cases. I have tried putting caddies on each table, but the kids still want to use their own pencil cases and the tables end up getting way too cluttered. Unfortunately I don't have an easy solution in my room for a place for them to keep their own items.

I had desks and don't ever want to go back to them.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
missteacher08 03-19-2008 11:17 AM

We have tables and kids do not keep any supplies at their tables. Tables are numbered and all supplies are in plastic bins labeled by their number. Pencils are in one, crayons in one, markers in one, glue and scissors in one. There is no way for kids to be distracted this way!!

Great organization tool....

kenworthyk 03-16-2008 04:54 PM

I have much more room in my classroom with tables. My tables seat 6 and take up about half the room of 6 desks.

naenae23 03-13-2008 01:30 PM

I have never had tables either, always desks. It does drive me crazy that they are always crooked and messy. But I see the older grades with tables and all their books neatly stacked on the table. I don't know that my kids could keep the books stacked neatly. I think I would be more crazy with tables, but I'm not sure. I also don't know how much more room I would not have if I was using tables. Who knows, it's hard to comment without having tried both.

vanessae 03-11-2008 07:38 PM

I recently spent five hours observing the local first grade class. They were in small desks and spent quite a bit of time digging thru their desk to find the right book or the paper they needed. Needless to say, first graders are not good organizers. I could see where tables would solve the problem. If each one had just the necessities on their desktop such as paper and pencil, some considerable time could be saved. However, you'd have to come up with a way to store their textbooks and workbooks in class that was easily accessible so that the time saved digging in the desk isn't spent fighting and racing to the bookshelf.

simpsongirl 03-11-2008 03:28 AM

Our class isn't big enough for tables. I feel that with desks you can arrange them in many different ways. And I like my students' desks to be as close to me as possible when I'm doing whole group teaching...which usually doesn't happen from their desks...but...

liketeaching1 03-10-2008 04:46 PM

Beautiful tables! Wow!!

If I had tables like that, I wouldn't mind!

I have desks and like the way that I can rearrange them to fit our needs. At times we can be in groups of 2, 3, 4, or 5. I can also arrange them in rows, pulled apart for state testing, etc. I guess I'm the odd person here!

Lisa P 03-10-2008 03:27 AM

I can't believe how long the supplies have lasted this year by having the students share. I have everything in bins in the middle of the table and they are doing a remarkable job taking care of thier supplies. I wasnt' sure what to ask for this year so I had everyone bring in two of each: crayons, markers, glue, etc. I have a drawer still full of new supplies. Next year I'll only ask for one of each.

I found the bins at Really Good Stuff. They were spendy but will last for many years!!


TwoMonkeys 03-09-2008 01:06 PM

I seem to be the odd one out here but I love desks. I can put them however I want them, the kids talk and play less and pay attention to me more, and their books and supplies are with them in their desks and quickly and easily accessable. I like being able to isolate those that need to be as well. They do get moved around and out of line but if it really starts to bother me, we'll do a quick straighten up to ease my mind.

I also have the "desk fairy" visit every once in awhile and leave a small treat in the neat desks (my 5th grade daughter loves doing this) and the kids always try to keep their desks neat incase the fairy visits. I'll have her leave a small piece of candy, sticker, pencil top eraser, whatever I have on hand at the moment. I only have one or two kids who are just unable to keep their desks neat.

kenworthyk 03-09-2008 11:35 AM

I am the only 1st grade teacher that has tables at my school and I love them. I had asked to use them for a few years, but my principal would rather order new desks (we added two 1st grades to our school) than let me use tables that we already owned and were being stored. We got a new principal this year and I got to use tables. Yeah!

Anyway, I have some storage solutions that I have discovered. I use cups, the kind that restaraunts give to children to hold 24 crayons and a pink eraser. Then the kids put their pencil through the straw hole. Applebees and Chillis have both donated these to me. I have a basket of sharp pencils and pencils that need sharpened out for kids to exchange pencils anytime they need. The cups with lids are also easy for the kids to take around the room when they are working away from their tables.

I also have a "pocket chart" tupe thing that hangs on the wall. (i got it free from highlights) Each pocket is labelled with a child's name. The kids put all their unfinished work in their pocket. I can look up from anywhere in the room and tell if they need to be working on unfinished work.

I do have a cardboard caddy on each table that the kids put their journals, math journals, and writing folders in. I find that the kids stay more organized when they can't just shove things in their desks.

Limusser 03-09-2008 06:36 AM

that I put into groups of 5 or 6 (28 students). I don't have room for much else with lockers covering one wall and windows across the other. Our Kindergarten rooms have tables and love them, but they don't have all the workbooks, journals etc that we have in first. I like the idea of sharing supplies because I'm always sending notes home about the children needing more supplies.

DaisysMomma 03-08-2008 10:58 PM

that I had tables!! A lot of the other 1st grade teachers at my school do and I envy them! . I HATE how the desks seem to shift through the day (one of my groups in particular). Also I hate how unorganized the desks become (some of my students like to store as many books in their desks as will fit). I may ask some of them if they want to trade next year!

Linda 03-08-2008 06:51 PM

I loved tables - except that there was no storage, the kids were too close together, and seperating them was a major hassle. Now I have desks...they take up less room and I can move a kid right away when problems arise. Yes, they are messy....but I don't have the storage issues that I had with tables. A teacher downstairs got new tables this year and I really like them....but I still don't know where I would store all of their "stuff" I guess I will stick with desks for now!

Happy2CU 03-08-2008 06:22 PM

Have you ever tried seat caddies? They are purchased through a school supply company and fit over the back of the chair. They are heavy cloth/canvas and can fit a pencil case, small notebook or folders. I don't use them, but my son's classroom has them. They are washable and easy to repair if they get torn. I think that theirs have lasted a few years already.

Ilvtching 03-08-2008 05:38 PM

I have tables and my teaching partner has desks. I like desks because you can separate those kids that need it! That being said, I love my tables. They have little pull out drawers for each student...4 per table! This year they all brought their own year I am seriously considering doing community supplies...I think it would make much more room in their little drawers (no need for pencil boxes, etc) I have a caddy in the middle of each table also....this year I have so many kids (27) that I didn't have enough tables so I took three small tables and put them together to make one large table...since these kids are more spread out at this table, it is for my kids who really need more "space" and they don't even realize it since they are still at a table! They don't have the drawers their table appears more cluttered.

I like that they can work together easier at tables than desks but they talk a lot more! It takes some creative classroom management sometimes!

All that being said I vote for tables!


bsek 03-08-2008 05:02 PM

Do you ever have problems with students sharing supplies and being able to access the caddy? How about students that break the crayons or try to control everything? I have tables but each student keeps their pencil boxes with their own supplies in them.

MalibuBarbie 03-08-2008 04:32 PM

I was able to move across the hall this past year to a room that came with tables! I love them!

I taught K about 8 years ago so I was very familiar and comfortable with community supplies. However, our first grade supply list has always asked for pencil boxes and all the good stuff that goes in them (markers, scissors, etc.) because all 3 first grades have had desks up until this year. Now two of us have tables so we DON'T want the silly pencil boxes and "personal" supplies anymore--maybe next year.

I found two 2-drawer dark blue plastic file cabinets at Big Lots. I put five kid's names on each drawer and they put their pencil boxes in them. The kids USED to go and get them out when they needed them but many haven't for months now! They'll end up going home at the end of the year with beautiful, new supplies if I don't do something about it!

In the middle of each table, I have a small caddy that holds markers, pencils, scissors, sticky notes, stamp pad, date stamp, pens and pencils. I thought they would be way too small but they work PERFECT for 4 or 5 kiddos.

Anyway, having one big smooth surface for the kids to work on is AWESOME! No one has an assigned spot!!! That has worked extremely well for me this year!!! I have two extra tables in the room--at the writing center and in the front of the can really spread out AND I can move trouble makers where ever I want to WHEN I need to.

No more moving desks around!!! Love em love em love em!

MalibuBarbie 03-08-2008 04:21 PM

That's a slammer! Wow. At least she saw the value...When I was reading your post, I thought you were going to say she ordered them for the rest of the k and 1 teachers in YOUR building!

Lisa P 03-08-2008 04:01 PM

Definitely 100% tables. I bought my own tables (yes out of my own pocket) after my principal said "no" to ordering them out of my classroom budget. I was so convinced that tables were more developmentally appropriate for first graders that I went ahead and ordered one of each color (red, yellow, blue, green). I LOVE THEM and would NEVER go back to desks!!!!! Here's the principal saw what a great value they were and how much I loved them that she ordered tables for all of the K and 1 classrooms for our districts new elementary school that my principal will be moving to this fall.

cvt 03-08-2008 03:50 PM

I have double desks, but I had the custodian remove all the drawers. They are more like tables now. All the supplies are in caddies that are shared by 2, 3, or 4 desks pushed together. Until I removed the storage space, the kids would put all kinds of stuff in there, including food, which of course would spoil and start smelling. So much easier to manage now.

liberty teach 03-08-2008 01:02 PM

Our student desks have tote trays that pull out (I guess they're leftovers from the days we were an open concpet school with tables and storage cabinets). Students just pull out the tray a little, and can find what they need. All papers should be in a green folder for home, or a red folder to keep at school. Supplies are in their plastic work boxes. Their reading anthology is the only book, while other workbooks are stored by me and pages are pulled when I do my weekly planning. Most students take pride in having a clean, organized desk.

Chimneygrl 03-08-2008 12:36 PM

I also have desks and the kids are so messy with them. I would love to get tables for my room, but that won't happen for another few years.

kidsrme11 03-08-2008 09:05 AM

I have desks, but I have gone to to help me get tables. I am $275 from getting them!!(They cost over $1,000)
I really hate the desks and I hope the tables will work out easier. I already bought all of the storage drawers from Wal Mart to hold crayons, glue, etc. and another set (smaller) for workbooks. It's worked so far!

TeacherMeg 03-08-2008 08:58 AM

I have desks and they do get messy easily. I have never had tables so I'm not sure if I would like them or not. It sounds, though, like tables would be the way to go.

lita 03-08-2008 08:53 AM

Ontteacher, this is how my desks are... Horrible. My students have their pencil cases, but they can't store them in the desk because it falls all the time, and I can't have chair pockets. So I use shoe holders to keep the pencil cases.

lovebug422 03-08-2008 08:52 AM

I have desks - they definitely get messy, and crooked - I've never had tables, so I don't know if I'd like them or not. My room is so small, it seems that tables would take up too much space?

Ontteacher 03-08-2008 08:39 AM

I love tables, PROVIDED THAT you have room in your class for kids to store their personal belongings such as pencil cases. I have tried putting caddies on each table, but the kids still want to use their own pencil cases and the tables end up getting way too cluttered. Unfortunately I don't have an easy solution in my room for a place for them to keep their own items.

I had desks and don't ever want to go back to them.

lita 03-08-2008 08:26 AM

I have desks, because in Spain Primary tecahers can't have tables in their classrooms. The state is who gives us the furniture, so I cannot ask for tables.

nilvero 03-08-2008 08:13 AM

Mine are at tables and they talk and get easily distracted by each other WAY too much. I feel if they were at their own desks and the desks were not in as big of groups, they'd be less distracted. I know a teammate of mine feels the same way.

StetsonHatter 03-08-2008 08:03 AM

are so much easier! I didn't like having all of their stuff in desks and having desks all different sizes. With tables, they sit in groups of 4 or 5 which is good for first grade. I keep a table caddy on each table with pencils, scissors, books and crayons and it works really well!

AD 03-08-2008 07:44 AM

I have desks, but I SO WISH I had tables!!!!

I really don't like desks. The kids would dig in them (although they've gotten better), and I have them in groups of 4, but they are always crooked (my pet peeve). They also get very messy.

This is my first year at my school, so I didn't want to ask for tables, but next year I might "mention" something to my principal. There's only one teacher in first at my school who has tables, and I might ask if she'd ever like desks instead. Maybe we can switch! I'm not sure that she's super fond of tables, but I like them!

My school is definitely a "desk school", and my previous school was a "table school".

TeacherLisa1st 03-08-2008 07:39 AM

in first grade, and why? Just wanted to take a poll because I'm curious what other teachers think.

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