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Choosing the right furniture for your students and classrooms

Adaptability, comfort, and durability make a difference

Over the years, teaching methods have changed drastically. They have morphed from the grid rows of students sitting and listening to a lecture to an environment that promotes independent study as well as collaborative learning.

As these teaching methods have changed, so has the classroom. According to a blog by Concordia University-Portland, the classroom environment can have a huge impact on a student’s academic success. Better quality classrooms allow students to feel safe and valued which studies show results in improved self-esteem and improved student engagement in the learning process.

Modern classrooms have become more adaptable to aid teachers in their different activities. There is also more focus on furnishings that are comfortable and versatile to keep students engaged while durable enough to withstand the abuse of constant change. The right furnishings even allow for the accommodation of students with different learning styles.

Adaptability
Collaboration in the classroom is fostering more engaged learning from students. In order to keep their attention captured, teachers utilize a combination of collaborative and independent work. Desks and chairs in the classroom should be light and easy to move in order to allow a teacher or a few students to rearrange them with ease.

Traditional stationary chairs and desks do not work well if students are trying to work together. They tend to be heavy and clunky, making them hard to maneuver for collaborative learning. Additionally, big community tables where multiple students sit together are also not ideal for test taking or individual study.

The answer is something like the Mascot student desk offered by Kimball which is light, has casters that lock and unlock for ease of mobility, and can be stacked for easy storage. These desks can even be ordered with desktops that change from flat surface to mobile whiteboard. Such desks that can be rearranged to either individual or group work permits teachers the flexibility to integrate different teaching methods into the classroom.

Comfort
Being a student can mean leading a very sedentary lifestyle. Students in the classroom can be sitting in the same seat for an hour or more, such as in a higher education setting, or multiple hours every day such as in some K-12 schools. Students should be focused on learning. If made to sit in an uncomfortable desk for hours on end, students can become distracted from their studies.

Seating should be taken into consideration when furnishing a classroom. Whether you want an easy-to-clean plastic or a mesh seat that melds with your student such as the Poly™ or something with a little cushion like the Event™ which offers casters that can be locked and unlocked for simple movement, you can find whatever fits the bill for your learning setting. The age of students, their average size, and how long they are sitting in the classroom should all be taken into consideration when determining what seats to choose. You should also think about the classroom setup, availability of space, and mobility of your students as well.

BBC Active mentions how furniture in classroom settings can make a great impact. If their seating is uncomfortable, students will not be able to focus on the lesson. The seating and desk should be at a comfortable height for the student using it. Since students change seats and classrooms routinely, chairs and desks should be able easily adjustable to the student’s ergonomic heights and standards.

Durability
This should go without saying but the durability of furniture for the classroom should be a significant consideration. With shrinking classroom budgets and growing student populations, furnishings need to be able to last for years and endure the abuse of even the roughest students.

Every year or every semester, teachers and classrooms acquire a brand new set of students. As mentioned already, the furniture selected should be easily moved around to accommodate the teacher’s lesson plans. New students and constant rearranging can wear furniture out quickly. Be sure to select furniture that is durable so it does not need to be replaced often as well as furniture that provides a warrantee.

According to BBC Active, good quality furniture may be expensive in the short term but it allows students to engage in all types of learning better than old, uncomfortable furniture and will save the school money over the long run. It is also advised to check the strength and stability of furniture before purchasing it to ensure that what you select will last the time you are expecting it to.

Different Learning Spaces
Throughout the years, teachers will have a variety of new students that come and go from their classroom. Not every student is the same and not every student learns the same way.

When selecting classroom furniture, different learning spaces should be considered, especially in the K-12 environment where students may spend the majority of their time in one classroom. This will allow students to gravitate towards their most preferred areas to learn in their free time.

·Library – A library space with bookshelves filled with age appropriate books encourages quiet continued education outside of the classroom curriculum. Seating such as the Villa™ can offer comfort and privacy for students as they read silently.
·Comfortable seating – In addition to making desks and chairs comfortable for students to sit at, adding in couches or bean bag chairs allows students a place for quiet reading. A tall back and seating for two can be added to the Villa™ as well.
·Common spaces – A common space, such as an open area with a rug, can not only serve a teacher as another area for lessons but as a space where students can collaborate, be noisy, and have additional space for activities that require mobility.
·Research center – A learning center with enough computers or tablets allows for continued learning in student’s free time through electronic resources. Traxx & Tiles by Kimball allow teachers to utilize every part of the classroom such as wall space that might otherwise be wasted for computers, laptops, and tablets. A laptop or tablet cart that can be wheeled from room to room allows for multiple class rooms to share a large number of computers.

The Teacher
Don’t forget the teacher! With shrinking classrooms and growing class sizes, flexible furniture that works as hard as your teachers do is imperative. Whether they want to teach formally from a podium, plug into their laptop for a Prezi presentation, or remain seated while students work independently, furniture such as the Guide™ is completely adaptable, takes up little space, and is set on casters for easy mobility. Nesting utility tables offer extra work space and student desks that attach to the teacher’s desk allow educators to work side by side with students without taking up their own workspace.

The professionals at CORE understand that our youth are the future and we believe all students deserve the best when it comes to their education. At CORE, our modern classroom furniture is adaptable, comfortable, durable, and dynamic. Visit CORE online to see what we have to offer your classroom or school. Call us today at (520) 999-3470 to schedule a free initial consultation to get your students learning better!

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