Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tables vs. Desks

I was not planning on posting tonight but Ladybug Teacher is having a linky party I could not resist.

Back when I taught 1st grade, I used to be a desk girl. Please see examples below.
As you can see I had the desks together in groups of 4 or 5 and had a basket in the center that were communal supplies. In the desk my students used to keep all their books and folders. I did no have cubbies, although I REALLY wanted some. Notice I still had baskets in the center with extra supplies for students who did no have some. 

Then I moved and when I did I also moved into a much smaller space. So I had no choice but to switch to tables. I have the tables in an L shape to give me more small group time. It turned out to be a very good deal for me in my new space. Look at these tatter tots working so hard. I feel so proud.
So here is what I do. I have 3 kinds of baskets for every 2 to 3 students. A pencil basket, crayon basket and the green baskets. The 2 black baskets are from Office Depot. The green baskets are from the Target Dollar Spot. The green baskets hold glue, scissors markers and decodable readers for my students to read if they finish their work early.

Here are some things I like about tables as opposed to desks:
- As you can see in the pictures I seat 4 to 6 students per table.This gives me flexibility with my seating arrangements.
- If I move students around they are not perturbed because other students are sitting in "their" desk.
- I do have to have cubbies, or some place for my students to keep their personal belongings. However I like this WAY better than desks, they are kept much neater.
- I like having communal supplies that I replenish. (My district does not have students purchase supplies. Teachers purchase all student supplies. There is a budget that is given to grade level teams to purchase supplies and share as a grade level. This is great because I don't have to worry about who has what. I have it all there for them, and if they run out I have more. Students are able to purchase supplies such as backpacks and lunch bags.)

I bet your thinking, Ms. M that is all great when you see multiple groups a day like you do, bit I have a whole class. What do I do with my text books, student workbooks and folders? I am not going to lie it is a bit more complex. What I used to do was keep all my student text books on bookshelves. Workbooks were kept in a tub and numbered for easy identification. Folders were kept in students baskets that were housed on a book shelf when students were not in class and under students desks when they were in the class. Although I think if I had to do it again now I would keep all the baskets on the shelf at all times. I used to have a problem with students walking around the class. I don't any longer.

Well, I think I have rambled enough for tonight. Head on over to Ladybug Teacher Files and check out her fabulous desks.

But don't forget to tell me what do you prefer desks or tables?


  1. Hey Ms. M, thanks so much for linking up--this was really helpful!

    I am about 99% sure I am going to make the switch to tables. I even know where I can get a couple more, so it's like it's meant to be!

    I use communal supplies like you do, so that will work out well. I just have to find a place for their baskets, which they can just carry to the tables.

    I actually am dying to see how it looks but we're still in school, so I can't! I know it will free up a lot of space (right now it's a lot of tripping over large 5th grade bodies!).

    Thanks again, I am definitely referring back to this post in the future! :)

  2. I teach Kindergarten so I am a table girl! In summer programs I have had different age groups and I have used desks but they are always grouped like tables. I use communal supplies as well. Supplies are housed in caddies.



Thanks for the comment. Please come back again.