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SweetTea SweetTea is offline
 
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Tables: Kidney or Rectangle
Old 07-19-2019, 04:22 PM
 
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In the past, I have always had a kidney shaped table for small group work. With the shape and placement of the table legs, you can usually only fit four chairs around the edges comfortably. I have had students sit on the same side of the table with me when I need to have more space. The classroom I moved in has a rectangular table and a kidney table. I am wondering if I should use the rectangular and get rid of the kidney one. It takes up a ton of space, but I do not want to part with it to quickly---because once you place a piece of furniture outside your door, is it gone!

Does anyone have preferences? Pros or cons? What are your experiences with a rectangular table and reading groups? Thanks in advance for your expertise! I really appreciate the time and thoughts you share when I post.


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Rectangle
Old 07-19-2019, 04:34 PM
 
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I personally prefer a kidney table for guided reading/small groups, but I've used a rectangular table before and I also put two trapezoid tables together to make a hexagonal table. I just moved my chair near students to read with them.

If space is an issue, I'd get rid of the kidney table. That is a definitely a down fall with a kidney table: it takes up a ton of space, especially because it sticks out so far.
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Kidney table or...
Old 07-19-2019, 04:36 PM
 
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I like my kidney table but yes, they take up a ton of space. Thatís why I got rid of my teacher desk, so that I had more room for a kidney table.
How big is the rectangular table? I would think it should work just as well - if you say on one side and had students on all three other sides.

Sorry Iím not much help!
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:42 PM
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:51 PM
 
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I agree with everyone posting... I've squeezed up to 9 and me at a Kidney table- we're very close :P.

Personally, I wouldn't give up a kidney table... I could make do with a rectangular one if needed, but I wouldn't give up the kidney. I also gave up my teacher desk and do most planning at my reading table.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:08 PM
 
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I actually have a horseshoe table. I used to have a kidney table but it was too wide and I couldn't easily reach my kindergartners across the table.

The horseshoe table takes up the same amount of floor space but the width of the table is narrower and I'm seated closer to the students.

I can seat 8 students at my table.

In the past I've also done guided reading at a round table and on the floor.


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No tables for us...
Old 07-19-2019, 05:34 PM
 
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I got rid of my group tables years ago. I don't have to worry about reading table chairs or stools either. I pull my groups on the carpet. We use clipboards and white boards for groups. Often I will pull one group for a mini lesson and start another group at a 2nd spot for a mini lesson. Without the clutter of a reading table and chairs you will be amazed at your classroom space. I have taught 1st, 3rd and 5th graders without a reading table for over 20 years now. Another positive note is no students arguing over reading chairs or leaning back in their reading chairs.



I vote for getting rid of group tables. I also got rid of my teacher desk. Try it.
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Absolutely
Old 07-19-2019, 06:57 PM
 
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I vote for getting rid of group tables. I also got rid of my teacher desk. Try it.
Agree 100%. It makes it so much easier. Let the kiddos get comfy (unless, of course, you have an "old school" P who wants them sitting in rows)!
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:33 PM
 
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My kidney table was huge-48" x 72". I fit 6 students on the curve. If needed, I probably could have fit 1 student on each side of me, too. I am short and struggled to even reach my students. I am moving into a much smaller classroom this year so I gave it away at the end of the school year.

I ordered a smaller horseshoe table(maybe 36" x 60") so I can get closer to my students and it won't take up so much room.


I've used a trapezoid table and a rectangular table in the past. I only had one trapezoid table and that was too small-maybe 3-4 students. I teach K and have 4 rectangular tables for students. I've used one of those tables before I had the kidney table and it worked out fine.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:58 PM
 
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I didn't like my kidney table. I love my horsheshoe, though! And I can fit 8 kinders easily. I'd probably take rectangle over kidney, but horseshoe over both if that's even an option.
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:05 AM
 
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I've always preferred horseshoe tables. For kidney tables, I think it depends on how wide it is. At one point I had one and I couldn't reach all of the students, but I like the skinnier ones. I've done groups at a rectangle table and it worked well for smaller groups. The issue when the group gets larger is that then you either have to sit on the short end (meaning some kids are really far away from you) or if you sit on the long end, you have to put kids next to you (meaning you can't show something to the group without it being upside down for them). Personally, I'd keep both and see how it goes before you decide to get rid of one them.

IDK how so many of you sit on the floor! I find that to be extremely uncomfortable. This past year I had one group that I had a para with me for and didn't want to contribute to the "paras being treated as less than" stereotype so I let her use my table while I sat on the floor. It was only for about 20 minutes but definitely my least favorite part of the day. My feet were always falling asleep in that position too.


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Old 07-20-2019, 05:12 AM
 
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I love my horsheshoe, though! And I can fit 8 kinders easily. I'd probably take rectangle over kidney, but horseshoe over both if that's even an option.
This is also my truth.


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IDK how so many of you sit on the floor!
In some instances I prefer it. I swear, one of the reasons I teach K is my feet can touch the floor sitting in K sized furniture.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:19 AM
 
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For older students, I really prefer a rectangle table. I find you can fit more students at the rectangle, and it is more comfortable for older students to sit at. Small group discussions are also important for older students in guided reading groups. As the year progresses, I want them to take more of an active lead in the discussions. I feel a kidney table centers it too much on me. The rectangle has every spot being "equal." I also like that I can move my spot around at the table so the students never know where I'll be lol.

Edit: Rectangle tables are also usually much cheaper. In some cases you can get two rectangle tables for the price of one. I got two dry-erase rectangle tables, while my colleague could only get one kidney table.

Last edited by Overlightnes; 07-20-2019 at 06:20 AM.. Reason: Added price
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SweetTea SweetTea is offline
 
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Great suggestions!
Old 07-20-2019, 06:36 AM
 
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Thanks again everyone!
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