Flexible Classroom Furniture Guide: Improve the Learning Environment and Elevate Student Engagement
Modern classrooms surely are trendy right now, but instead of investing in modernism, experts state that it’s better to invest in things that can improve students’ learning capabilities and productivity while not compromising their health. Although ergonomic chairs seem like a great upgrade for the old and stiff classroom chairs, nowadays, more and more schools are turning to the use of a new and improved kind of furniture.
What is Flexible Furniture?
There are three words that can best describe this school furniture Australia experts state, which are: practical, adjustable and portable. And on top of that, this type of furniture is also considered ergonomic, so you won’t have to worry about the aforementioned modern classroom trend. Lots of studies have been made on this topic, like for instance this one from the University of Melbourne, and all of them show a positive effect on both students and teachers.
Thanks to these furniture pieces, and the way they’re arranged, students have more freedom and feel freer to engage during the class, while teachers find it easier and less time consuming to teach their students. All in all, this is a great example of how students and teachers can get the best of both worlds. So, how to create a flexible teaching classroom?
Offer Them Lots of Seating Options
The one thing we know by now is that flexible learning environments with convenient designs of classroom furniture enable teachers to create unique ambient that enhances the student’s seating and learning choice. By choosing when and where to learn, students gain more control of their education which can result in improved focus and productivity. Thus, including as many seating options as possible in a classroom is one of the first steps that can help you help your students. According to experts, this furniture can improve the mutual respect between students and teachers which is essential for improving students’ engagement and ability to learn.
Invest in Flexible Chairs and Desks
Creating a more flexible learning environment starts with the use of adaptable chairs and student desks. Adaptable and mobile classroom furniture gives teachers and students the opportunity for individual approach and learning which in some cases is mandatory. Plus, the individual chairs and desks can also give students the opportunity to design their own workspace for the day which could result in improved productivity and concentration.
And for those times that students are able to communicate better with each other, you can easily work in groups and move desks and chairs around the classroom as you please. This concept of learning is beneficial for any student at any age because it ditches the traditional classroom learning model where the teacher lectures at the front of the room and everyone sits facing her/him.
By working in groups and on comfortable, ergonomic and appealing flexible classroom furniture pieces like work desks and chairs, you’ll help your students feel more relaxed and willing to collaborate more. A good example of such desks and chairs are pedal desks, floor chairs, bean bag chairs, tactile cushions, adjustable sit/stand desks, folding lap desks, ball chairs and so on.
Create a Comfortable and Organised Classroom
None of the aforementioned types of furniture would matter if you can’t create a comfortable, soothing and most importantly, organised classroom. Students with sensory processing disorders (SPD) don’t like the idea of being in a crowded and cluttered space, so making sure to reduce the clutter by investing in shelves and cabinets is a must. This would help create a classroom where they could feel safe, a place where they would feel comfortable to learn and share things.
Even when investing in flexible furniture (other than desks and chairs), make sure there is a minimum of it. Keeping the classroom clean and tidy won’t only affect the way students feel, but this will also affect the ability to move around. In other words, cleaner classrooms can improve flexibility, so you’ll have all the freedom to move and rearrange the furniture with ease.
Creating a comfortable classroom is also related to the colours that are used. Usually, these classrooms incorporate different colours like green, red and yellow carefully combined and applied either through furniture, flooring or walls. Speaking of walls, practice shows that having the walls adorned instead of plain can soothe students. So, except for having some interesting and abstract shapes applied on the wall with wall paint, you can hang your students’ art on them.
That way, you’ll have their work organised and your desk clean while helping them feel proud of their work. In order to avoid getting bored, you can change the art pieces on a monthly basis. Except for art, you can use walls for hanging a lot of other projects that they’ve done through the months, and that way you’ll always keep things fresh and positive.