Tina's Teaching Treasures

Jan
31

The Many Uses of Mini-Desks!

Welcome to the Bright Ideas Blog hop! 

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My post today is about one of my fave purchases for my classroom- Mini-Desks! 

The Many Uses of Mini-Desks

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These little "breakfast in bed" lap desks are a classroom essential! I love how handy they are, diverse and they encourage self-regulation (a HUGE part of third grade!). 

Here are some of the ways I use them in my classroom! 

1. As a simple independent work station:

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When a kiddo needs a little space from their table group, they can grab a desk and find a quiet spot.  Got a chatty partner? Grab a desk! Want to get comfy while doign writer's workshop- grab a mini-desk! Got some 'wandering eyes' during a test, every-other student grabs a min-desk! 

 

2. Partner Games! 

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Students love working together and these min-desks are perfect for partner games! Centers, active practice, daily 5- a great way to spread the kiddos out and still have a nice space to work! Sometimes when I have a variety of tasks going on I have "Quiet activities are table groups, partner and discussion activities on the carpet" this allows the students are hard surface to work on and a designated space for their materials while working collaboratively!

 

3. Tech Center!

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Have Chromebooks, laptops, ipads or other small and portable technology? Worry about tripping students, cords all over, and distracting others? mini-dsk tech center is the perfect solution!  Set up the mini-desk with the device, headphoens adn access to an outlet and ta-da! Easy to use, student friendly and able to be dismantled in a jiffy!  

 

4. Partner Work in the Hall! 

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Ever have those kids saying "Can we work in the hall?".  I often have students ask this during a noisy activity like preparing a presentation or prepping a drama skit etc.  I use some dollar store chair cushions and mini-desks to make the space more comfy.  This way being in the hall isn't a 'punishment', it is a privilege! A VIP workspace for my responsible students! Perfect for Daily 5 "Read to Someone" or "buddy reading"! 

 

5. Set-up Center! 

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Provide all the materials the students need and a place to do it! Pop books, materials, printables and/or manipulatives in the handy pockets on the side, attach a label to the front and ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom- Instant Center! 

 

6. Differentiated instruction

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Have a kiddo who rreaallllyy needs to see that anchor chart? Or is totally distracted by Timmy Pencil Tapper beside him? Have them grab a mini-desk to choose a more appropriate workspace.  Maybe it is closer to the teacher or just further from a chatty buddy.  I love that students can self-select this option, they know they are being distracted and they choose to move- amazing!  I even have a couple who will choose sit facing the corner to focus when they really need it! What self-discipline!  Kiddos use the tools we give them and this can be an easy way to differentiate in your classroom! 

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So there you have it!!!  I managed to snag these at Michaels with 40% off coupons making them about 4.50 each.  I have had them for 2 years and they are pretty sturdy! They come in a variety of fun, bright, child friendly colours and they stack nicely to save space in your classroom!  Trust me, your students will love the many uses of mini-desks! 

 

For more great ideas, visit Kathy Griffin and read her post about Brain Breaks for Winter Days

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Or, click below to find another hop topic that's got you hoppin'!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

-Tina  

Tina's Blog

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