Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Desks or Tables?

Which do you prefer in a Grade 1 classroom--desks or tables? I have had both and I have to say that I prefer tables all the way. Desks just accumulate too much clutter. Also, I always had my desks in groups and I hate how they always moved and shifted and never stayed in the same spot! I find tables promote more cooperation and community. The only issue I find with tables is storage. Last year I tried a few different things to help with that.

I had plastic tower drawers for storing all our booklets and journals. I would have my helper of the day and a friend hand out the books when we needed them and then the students would either return the books to my green "finished tub" or right back into the drawer. This worked well and I will continue to do this next year. Then I had caddies on each table to hold the group's pencils. These worked ok, but students still had to go to their cubby every time they need a school supply other than their pencil.

Each student had a cubby (plastic dish tub on a shelf) to store their stash box and extra supplies. These were quite handy for storing everything, but often got messy and the kiddos had to always get up from the tables to get their crayons or scissors.

One solution I am excited to try is to give each student a small pencil tray with a cup hot glued inside. The cup will be to hold their crayons (a pack of 24 easily fits in it) and the tray will hold their pencil, eraser, sharpener, scissors, and glue stick. These are essential items we use all day the long and it will give them easy access to their supplies! No more going back and forth to the cubbies all day long. Each student will now be responsible for their own pencil, as opposed to the group caddies. Hopefully this will cut down on "I can't find my pencil!!" I say hopefully because we will always have those students who would loose their pencil even if it was duct-tapped to their hand! I plan to use sticky velcro dots to keep the trays bolted to the tables. That way students can easily take their tray to music or another spot to work in the class. I can easily switch student spots as well! No more scraping the name tags off the tables and recovering them at a new spot. (I'm going for simpler next year, so I can spend more time home with my baby girl!) **The pencil trays were inspired by Stephanie over at First Grade Fabulous Fish! Check hers out {here}.**

As I was testing it out, I just used a paper cup from the Dollar Tree, but I think I will use these plastic cups from IKEA. They come in 6 bright colours and a pack of 6 is only $1.99!

I made name tag labels to fit on the sides of the small pencil trays. They are about 2" x 8.75" each. I made them in six colours (to match the IKEA cups) and made a boy and girl version of each! You can find these in my store for free! It is an editable PowerPoint. You can type your students' names right in it an print! (The font I used on the name tags is KG Primary Lined NOSPACE and it is embedded in the file, so you don't need to have it installed on your own computer. Use the | key to make a space between first and last names. You can always change the font to anything you have on your computer!) Click any of the pictures to check them out at TpT.

Oh, and if you haven't heard, there is a big TpT sale tomorrow! 28% off everything when you use the promo code HEROES! Go check it out {here}!


  1. I prefer tables in my first grade classroom. We do a lot of small group work so I don't think desks would work very well with my room....Your blog is cute!!
    Mrs.Christy’s Leaping Loopers

  2. I have always had desks, but the tables look neat! I love the storage solution using the pencil baskets. I am going to try this.