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tables
Old 07-24-2006, 08:19 PM
 
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I am going to try out tables this year in my 2nd grade class. I think I will like it but have some questions about storage. The tables have no understorage as my desks had. THe things we will need are: math book, center folder, homework folder, pencil box, journal, spiral notebook. I would rather not have them traveling all over the room to get these items when they need them. Just wondering what others with tables do. I have thought about making the seat pockets (lots of work not sure how, I have thought about buying them or having them made (expensive ). I thought maybe some of you may have some really innovative ideas here. What is working for you?


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Tables
Old 07-24-2006, 08:36 PM
 
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I've used tables for three years in K, 1, and 2. I've really struggled with storage. I've had them stack everything in the middle of the table but that was a nightmare when it would topple over. Our school did a trial of the Seat Sacks that you can buy. They did it for a fourth grade class, they were destroyed by January. Someone made them for my Kindergarten class but made them incorrectly so they didn't stay on the chairs (even when they were empty). I had to tape them onto the chairs with packing tape, which worked until the kids picked at the tape. I felt like all I did was tape seat sacks. That too, was a nightmare. This year, I found under the shelf baskets at Wal-Mart. These worked well for a while, but the kids would knock them off with their knees. This was less of a mess because their crayons and things weren't in there, but after a while the wire became weak and would break. I held onto them even though they broke and talked to my principal about having the custodian mount them under the table. I'm going to have him do this before the kids come back. The only down side is that they have to go on the short sides of the tables so you can only have the kids sitting across from each other on the long sides of the table. I had the two kids sitting across from each other share one.

As far as their supplies, I've always given each child a cup where they kept their crayons and pencils and their cups were in a basket in the middle of the table. As I mentioned earlier, this is where the mess would come in if it got knocked over. I'm going to collect all of the crayons, markers, and colored pencils this year and put them in pencil boxes and put them on a shelf. That way, they kids can go get them when they need them as I found we didn't use them often enough to always have them at their table. There will be one box of each supply per two students. I'm going to put a long, skinny basket (the ones for writing instruments in desk drawers) in the middle of their table to keep pencils in and that is all that will be on their tables this year.

I hope this makes sense! Let me know if you don't understand. Here is a picture of the under the shelf baskets. Remember, I got them at Wal-Mart for $1.97.

http://www.spacesavers.com/unshelbas.html
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Use tabletop caddies or drawer organizers
Old 07-24-2006, 08:47 PM
 
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I have used round tables in First grade, but they had understorage compartments. This year, I am switiching to K and am using long tables. I have thought about using the table top caddies that have a handle on them and compartments on each side for storing supplies and you can either have them on top of tables or distibute them only when needed. Another option is to buy the plastic 3 drawer bins for storage and assign each student a drawer. They could be placed at the ends of tables or in a central location and again, be used as needed or stored under their chair. I bought the organizers for $6.00 and I had the caddies which were purchased at a dollar store. The organizers may still be pricey, but less expensive than buying the chair pockets.
A fourth grade teacher at my school uses tables and places a desk at the end of each table to hold community supplies and a dishpan for all of the notebooks, folders etc.

I would also like to know of any tips or suggestions others have.
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I've made chair pockets from pillow cases but
Old 07-24-2006, 08:51 PM
 
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am going to make them from denim this year. The pillow cases worked well and have lasted for 3 years. My students each brought one in and a parent volunteer sewed them for me. You basically fold down the finished edges and sew down the sides to the width of the chair back and flip the fabric over. We reinforced the stitching around what became the top (the parts that were the pocket opening). The stitched up case fit over the back of the chair.

I want to use denim because of my anal retentive need for things to match! I am modeling my pattern after the pillow case method. I am making the case (stitch up both sides). Then I am finishing around the open edges (just turning under 1/4 inch and stitching). I will fold the right side over and stitch around the opening (the folded edge). I tested it out today at school and prefer the fit and look to the pattern posted earlier on this site. I know it sounds confusing but the pockets worked so well from the pillow cases, this should be even better (sturdier fabric, fewer layers, and uniform look). I'll take a couple of photos later this week and try to post them to clarify the directions.
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Crates maybe?
Old 07-24-2006, 08:58 PM
 
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Hi,
I student taught at a school with tables where the teachers used crates for storage. She would have one or two crates she kept underneath the middle of the table which is where the students kept their books and supplies. This seemed to be pretty inexpensive and worked well in her class. It might work for you as well.


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chair pockets
Old 07-25-2006, 04:03 AM
 
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I have round tables in 3rd. I had a grandmother volunteer make chair bags or pockets out of denim 3 years ago. I am making new ones this summer as the old ones are looking really ratty. This time I am making them out of sturdy trigger cloth in bright primary colors to match the electrical tape I put on the tables to divide their spaces. I found that the bags lasted longer for me when we cut a front and back piece and seamed them. The top seam seemed to hold up better than the ones that were folded over--those wore a hole quicker. ONe trick to keeping the pockets on the chair is make sure they aren't too wide, and make sure they are long enough. My chairs are 15" wide. The pockets are about 16". I had a few that were wider when we first made them and the pocket had a bad tendency to gap open and the contents would fall out.

I only allow them to keep folders and library books in the pockets, however. I have a pencil caddy in the middle of each table that I bought from Really Good Stuff (I know, kinda pricey). It will get knocked over occasionally, but not really often enough to be a problem. I have my kids keep their crayon boxes in their cubbies, but of course we don't use them as often as k, 1 or 2 would need to. Our kindergarten classes use tables. They keep their crayon boxes on the table, but they don't have workbooks or folders. Or if they do, they keep them somewhere else. YOu could make the pockets long enough to have 2 pockets--one large one for folders, etc. and a smaller one for the crayon box.
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Tables!
Old 07-25-2006, 04:10 AM
 
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I have had tables for the past 5 years and love them (3rd grade).
I bought 6 laundry baskets (bigger heavy ones) and put them at the end of each table for book storage. The students have community supplies so I have a basket in the center that holds crayons, scissors, glue sticks. Each table also has a long narrow basket that holds pens and pencils. I keep markers and paints stored.
Under the larger basket is a pocket folder that I put notebook paper in. When the folder runs low the students tell me and I refill it. This keeps paper from getting all messed up in the baskets and prevents waste. (I have stored all of the notebook paper long before we ever did community supplies. )
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:14 AM
 
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I use tables with my 2nd graders, and they keep their things in their cubbies. It works well for me because it keeps the tables neat and clean. I have one bucket on each table for pencils. The rest of the supplies are kept on a community supply shelf.
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Storage
Old 07-25-2006, 06:21 AM
 
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Helpful tip #1: If you use tables, try using community supplies.

I bought these awesome caddies, see picture (easy to clean out every year with just a garden hose). On one side I put two plastic cups -- one for pencils, skinny markers, and rulers; the other for glue sticks and erasers. In the middle I have a Rubbermade reusable sandwich container with 2 packs of 24 crayons inside. I also keep a 10-pack of Crayola classic markers (still in the box with the top ripped off) behind it. On the other side I keep clipboards, flashcards, a whisper phone and water bottles.

Helpful tip #2: Get magazine files for books, folders, and notebooks. Keep them lined up on a shelf somewhere in the room that the kids can go to when needed.

I bought these magazine holders from Really Good Stuff in primary colors. I write the chid's name in permanent marker each year and wipe it off with nail polish remover at the end. Each child keeps a reading text, spiral notebook, 2 folders, and up to 4 personal reading books in their book tub. I (being the "specific" teacher I am) even require these to be in a certain order so I can tell who's missing something. It doesn't take them as much time as you think to get materials, and it's also a nice and quick movement break.

Helpful tip # 3: Store textbooks in bookshelves around the room.

I store my math texts by the rug since that's where we use them. My science books are on another shelf, and the social studies books are in a Rubbermaid tub on the floor (since we rarely use them.)

Good luck with your tables. I love mine!
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thanks
Old 07-25-2006, 02:34 PM
 
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Thanks for all of your replies. I think I am going to take the plunge and attempt making chair pockets. I also liked the idea about taping off their area. Either way lots of helpful advice. Thanks again!


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Storage for tables
Old 07-25-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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I have used bins on the tables...tend to collect all kinds of paraphenalia from the kids and it is constant to keep them organized.
I have also used seat sacks and found they didn't last and it was a hassle to put the chairs up for the janitor each night..sacks would fall off and spill.
I finally invested in rolling drawers...set of 3 drawers for each group. The top drawer is arranged with small containers of necessary tools (Pencils, crayons, glue sticks, scissors, etc.) and are pulled out as needed. I have one child in each group manage the materials. The second drawer holds folders and notebooks while the third drawer holds their workbooks. The drawers can roll to where needed or you can just take the drawer out and place in the middle of the group.
Big advantage is when you want tabletops cleared, it actually happens with the materials very close in proximity.
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teachfla caddies and magazine files
Old 07-25-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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Where did you buy the caddies? Also is it difficult to get the magazine racks from Really Good Stuff - school for me starts on Thursday
Aug. 3 - only 9 days away.
Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2006, 05:28 AM
 
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What something really easy and inexpensive? I've used tables with first graders for 5 years and this has worked out great. I bought 5 of those rubbermaid type containers with the handles in the middle. They are large enough to hold notebooks...etc, and the two sides are separated by a handle. My students store all of their books in these. They have math workbooks, DLR, writing journals, unfinished folders, privacy folders..etc. in them. They also have their own pencil cases (they love having their own supplies) and water bottles which they store by their nametags. At the end of the day, the pencil cases go to thier cubbies and their tables are clean. It's really taught my students a lot about cleaning up their areas when they are done. Plus, it's clean when they walk in the next morning.
I do have some of the larger books, or those we only use occasionally on shelves.
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Old 07-26-2006, 05:28 AM
 
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Want something really easy and inexpensive? I've used tables with first graders for 5 years and this has worked out great. I bought 5 of those rubbermaid type containers with the handles in the middle. They are large enough to hold notebooks...etc, and the two sides are separated by a handle. My students store all of their books in these. They have math workbooks, DLR, writing journals, unfinished folders, privacy folders..etc. in them. They also have their own pencil cases (they love having their own supplies) and water bottles which they store by their nametags. At the end of the day, the pencil cases go to thier cubbies and their tables are clean. It's really taught my students a lot about cleaning up their areas when they are done. Plus, it's clean when they walk in the next morning.
I do have some of the larger books, or those we only use occasionally on shelves.
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Buying stuff
Old 07-26-2006, 05:43 AM
 
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I bought the caddies at WalMart. If you hop on Really Good Stuff, they may have priority shipping. But if you think about it, you could probably hold off on them for a week or two while you teach other routines and your class settles in. Good luck. I love my storage system!
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Old 07-29-2006, 11:25 AM
 
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I'm glad to see this post! I'm teaching 1st grade this year in a new school. Last year my kids had individual desks which i wasn't terribly fond of. This year I'm getting tables. I've already gotten a table-top caddie to hold community supplies. I like the idea of using a magazine storage bin for each child's workbooks. I'm glad I've got tables this year, and that everyone has such creative storage ideas!
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Seat Sacks Chair Pockets Denim Chair Backs
Old 08-31-2007, 07:17 AM
 
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I Own My Own Company And My New Catalog For The Seat Pockets/chair Backs Will Be Out In Jan Of 2008. I Sell Them On Eay And Use The Real Heavy Denim As Well As Medium Weight And Thought I Would Let You Guys Know I Am Having A Labor Day Clearance Sale And Selling My Regular Priced Ones That Start At $4.50 For #3.50-#3.75. Thanks.
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idea for pencils/crayon storage
Old 07-02-2008, 07:52 PM
 
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At our local Dollar Tree they have 6-cup cupcake pans. I am going to use these and 6 plastic cups for each table. The cups fit perfectly into the cupcake tin and it will keep them from getting turned over. I plan on using velcro to attach the tin to the table. As far as how to organize/store their books and folders...I haven't figured that one out yet. This will be my first year with tables also.
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