Bright Idea-Table Time

Today's Bright Idea MAY be controversial.

But, if you read to the end, you may want to give it a shot. 

 If paper and ink is a commodity in your school OR you just want to jazz things up, consider using your table tops as work spaces.

Just teach your normal lesson, but use the tables as work spaces.
That's it!

We write on our tables during "Table Time" every few weeks. 

Setting Expectations
Like everything, allowing students to write on the table requires setting
in place rules and expectations.

We have a long discussion about how writing on tables is ONLY
appropriate during a "Table Time" lesson. 
ONLY dry erase markers, ONLY during Table Time,
and ONLY when instructed to write.
Afterward, the kiddos wash the tables with shaving cream.
Our tables are nice and clean...and smell great, too!
Table Time Examples

1-The table top was perfect for teaching regrouping.

The kiddos could see the process as they manipulated the base ten blocks.
They were seriously engaged in this activity!
We had to do it every day that week!

2-Here we used Table Time to work on long "a" words. 

Students worked in groups to brainstorm and sort words by their spelling patterns.

Again, we had engaged firsties!

I realize some administrators may frown upon this idea. 

But honestly, if you explain to them how you are saving paper and ink,
AND teaching your kiddos the proper rules for using the tables,
you may be able to change their minds.

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  1. Is shaving cream the secret to getting the marker off? I tried baby wipes and it came off, but I had to work at it. If shaving cream is better, I will definitely try this again!

  2. I love this idea and have done it a few times in my class as well. My problem was not all my desk would wipe clean. But we are moving into a new school building in Dec. with all new furniture so I should be able to do it more.
    A Rill Classroom

  3. I have always been afraid to try this... I will give it a try for sure!

    Simply Kinder

  4. I LOVE doing this. Yes, expectations and procedures are a must. But then it works!

    Kathy Griffin’s Teaching Strategies

  5. Kids love writing on the tables!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  6. Smmmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrttttttttttttt! I love it!

  7. What great ideas! I'm so glad you shared this because we are getting new desks this year and they are supposed to be the ones where you can write on them and it comes off! I bet the kids would love doing this stuff! Kristi Teaching Little Miracles

  8. I am going to have to try this~ not sure our desks wipe off clean, but what fun if they do! Thanks for the bright idea!!! :)
    First Grade Bangs

  9. My kids love writing on desks & the guided reading table. It's hilarious to watch their faces light up the first time we do it. I love that you use them as such big creating/learning stations! Awesome :)

    First Grade Fairytales