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benteach benteach is offline
 
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Desks or Tables?
Old 07-25-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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I am one of 4 third grade teachers on my team. I am the only one considering using tables versus desks. I have 3 large/tall bookcases in my room on which to store textbook, etc. I am now very confused which way I should go - tables or desks. My basic problem with desks is
that every thing and any thing can be pushed inside the desk - leading too little organization for students. A concern that was brought up today at preplanning was that without a desk the student loses their
own space. Please help!


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I love tables!
Old 07-25-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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I wish I could have tables, but that's not an option. A friend of mine switched out her desks, and that was one of the conditions the principal made - that each student have their own space, somehow. Since she didn't have cubbies, she bought plastic dishpans, one per child, and they were big enough to hold all of their stuff. They kept them on the floor under the table while they worked, and put them on top of the tables at the end of the day.
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tables
Old 07-25-2006, 07:27 PM
 
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If I had the choice I would use tables. My first year teaching I had tables and loved them. Unfortunately, I had to move schools. One way I handled the space issue was dividing the table using colored electrical tape. Each child had their own section. I used different colors for each group. All their materials were kept in carts next to the table. One drawer for notebooks, one for folders, and one for supplies. Then I had a caddy on top of the table for group pencils, erasers, colored pencils etc.... I also have seen those over the chair fabric pockets that can work for holding notebooks and stuff. They seem like they would be pretty easy to make is you are the crafty type.
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:33 PM
 
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Hi there! I've been teaching 3rd grade for 13 years and I have tried desks, tables, and a combination of both. Personally, I prefer desks. Besides the fact that the children have their own clearly defined space, I like the versatility of being able to configure them into pairs, trios, quads, etc. and get the same effect as a table through groups. I teach in an odd shaped room-pentagon shaped, so I have to be creative as to how I arrange my furniture in the first place. I understand how organization can be a problem-especially with assignments, etc. One thing that I use to help my children keep organized is by providing each student with a clipboard. I give my children numbers and their clipboards are numbered, too. As I pass out a written assignment, the children place them on their clipboards, until it is completed. When finished, they turn them into the assignment trays. If they run out of time, they keep it on the clipboard until they have extra time to finish it. At the end of the day, any incomplete assignments are removed from the clipboards and packed up for homework. Also, the children keep their clipboards on their desk all day long. This way, if I see that somebody has completed one assignment, but has something they need to finish, I can easily see it and tell them to use their time wisely and finish whatever is on the clipboard. Hope this is helpful!
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tables
Old 07-26-2006, 01:15 AM
 
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Google "Mr. Moore's classroom." He's a Canadian teacher with great ideas and pictures to show what he does with tables.


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Old 07-26-2006, 03:48 AM
 
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I have desks in my room, since that's what we were given. There really isn't a choice in the matter. I do like the desks since I can change the room up from time to time. I tend to get bored with the way things are set up in my room. To solve the problem of shoving things in the back of the desk we clean them out each Friday afternoon. I always put the trash can by my desk so I can watch what is being thrown away. If I see that they are trashing things that should have been turned in, or things with grades on them, I collect them and attatch a note about where they were and send them home in their Friday folders.
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Tables
Old 07-26-2006, 05:47 AM
 
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I am the only one of the 4 third grade teachers at my school that uses tables. I love them! I, too, couldn't stand the kids cramming stuff in their desks. There is a good discussion about tables and storage on the Busy Board if you're interested.
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Here's a simple way to answer your question
Old 07-26-2006, 06:23 AM
 
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Ask yourself how much the clutter bothers you. I have tables and NO clutter. Each child has a magaxine holder that holds his or her personal stuff. It must be organized in a specific order every day (I give group points for organization!) If a child wants his or her own space (and sometimes they do) he or she gets a clipboard and works on the rug.
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:18 AM
 
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I've used both and personally I like desks better just. I like being able to move the desks however I like and I feel like it gives you more room. I have seen teachers put huge rubbermaid tubs in the students' desks. This eliminates clutter (because they have to keep moving the tub in and out everytime they needed something). They're really easy to have students change desks and it keeps those figety students out of their desks! !
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Tables!
Old 07-26-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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I am the only 3rd grade teacher in my building with tables and I love them!!!!
A year after I got my tables 4th grade followed suit and got them but my co 3rd grade teachers still like their desk.


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desks for now - hopefully tables later
Old 07-26-2006, 03:27 PM
 
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I spoke with my principal this morning and I will work with desks for now- with the possibility of tables later. I have two bookcases in my classroom (one quite tall with five shelves - the other - medium with four shelves). I also have a shelf that is divided into areas that kind of look like cubbies or a shelf one would probably use for manipulatives.
There are five books that we use - the basal reader, the science book,
the social studies text (Social Studies Alive)and 2 math books (one hardcover and one consumable). I really do not want a lot of stuff in the desks. Right now the desks are arranged in pairs with the necessity to move them into groups in the near future once we are back to school
and I have had the opportunity to get to know the students. Any suggestions for book storage and procedure for passing them out - as
well as supplies (pencil, etc) - possibly using a basket to be on top of
desks? - would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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tables
Old 08-19-2006, 02:36 PM
 
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I have wanted tables, but there are problems with them....like not being able to put round tables in certain configurations, etc.

I like the clipboard idea, think I will do that.

Here is what I am considering doing this year:

The desks are only for text books. No personal supplies or papers will go in the desks (yes, this will be hard to control). Each child will get a clipboard and a blue bin (from Lakeshore, they "Sort and Store" bins) to keep their folders, clipboard, independent reading books, and writer's notebook.

Students will be keeping a binder, but the binder must be kept in their backpack along with their personal supplies.

You can also turn the desks around to keep the supply area underneath unavailable.

One thing I know was a problem with the tables.....students kicking each other was much more common than with desks. I still think I would like the tables though.
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