Tag: Classroom Desks

Combination Desks vs. Chair and Desk

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Should there really be a combination desk vs chair and desk debate about which configuration works the best in schools?

Combo Chair Desks

Perhaps it’s already a clear choice for many educators. That’s because there’s very distinct differences between combination chair desks and using an ordinary chair and table. Much of that has to do with comfort, classroom time, and even the chance of noise prevention.

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The HON Company Changes the Face of the American Classroom

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White Chalk and Blackboards are Being Replaced by PowerPoint, Flat Screens and Innovative Classroom Furniture to Accommodate this Evolving Environment The HON Company’s new SmartLink(TM) furniture system connects the teacher, the students and the environment together in a uniquely synergistic manner designed to foster an interactive learning process.

MUSCATINE, IA–(Marketwire – August 19, 2008) – Rest in peace, dear #2 pencil. Same for you, 3-ring binder. For years, you were at the top of back-to-school shopping lists for students around the country. Instead, you have been replaced by ink cartridges, laptops and jump drives.

And the face of the American classroom itself is evolving as well — chalkboards and transparencies are being replaced with flat screens and digital projectors. Today’s classrooms also focus on collaboration and teamwork, requiring a more flexible work environment. Teachers are more interactive and mobile than in previous generations, leading to the crumbling of the traditional, hierarchical "teacher in the front/rows of students"-type set-up.

To determine the needs of today’s classroom, The HON Company, a leading office furniture designer and manufacturer, interviewed teachers, principals, administrators, students and designers. The result? SmartLink™ — a revolutionary classroom furniture system. This unique technology-centric furniture solution connects the teacher, the students and the environment together in a uniquely synergistic manner designed to foster an interactive learning process.

"SmartLink takes into account the changing needs of schools, such as technological needs, flexibility, storage and organization," said Jim Cahill, HON’s vice president of systems and education. "The fact that it’s mobile allows teachers to easily reconfigure any classroom to facilitate interactive learning or to better support their own teaching style."

Cahill noted that a comprehensive solution, such as SmartLink, is new to the education market. In the past, education professionals had to purchase classroom furnishings and storage options from multiple suppliers, making seamless integration difficult. The introduction of SmartLink has revolutionized the way classrooms can be designed and utilized — not only for today’s needs but also those of the future.

In creating SmartLink, HON sought to create furnishings that would:

– Be the best utilization of space while providing the ultimate in productivity

– Configure for a variety of learning and teaching environments, from kindergarten to high school classrooms

– Offer flexible storage and wall systems that can be customized for any classroom

– Synchronizes teacher and student desks for a complete classroom look

– Hold up to high traffic and heavy use

SmartLink’s four key components include a teacher station, modular storage, a wall rail system and a student desk. The products visually integrate to provide a holistic solution that supports space utilization and a variety of learning styles, as well as a variety of technology requirements.

Teacher desk

Teacher Station

The innovative design of this durable, adaptable piece of furniture offers ample work and storage space that can accommodate multiple teaching styles, classroom layouts and technology needs. As a mobile station, it can be easily repositioned within the classroom. As a desk, it can organize and manage teaching materials, equipment and technology, and provides ample storage for files, books and magazines.

Modular Storage

From pencils, paperclips and markers to pipe cleaners, laptops and backpacks… keeping today’s classroom organized is definitely a challenge. HON’s solution? A modular storage system that adapts to the needs of different classrooms by employing a variety of trays, shelves and cabinets that can accommodate any classroom configuration. "The reaction to our modular storage solution has been phenomenal," added Cahill. "It’s not that teachers aren’t organized — it’s that they’ve never had the right equipment to allow them to get organized."

Wall Rail System

The unique wall rail system delivers better use of wall and floor space, even in the most space-challenged classroom. Its multifunctional, multi-track rail allows sliding and reversible presentation boards and worksurface solutions to be configured in numerous ways. These components, which literally hang off the rail system, can easily accommodate and organize different teaching styles and facilitate several learning activities at one time.

Student Desks

SmartLink student desks provide a multi-functional solution capable of increasing student productivity and enhancing learning activities, including individual, group-collaborative and teacher-centered work. The triangular desktop shape and ergonomic user edge offers comfort and support, while the wire basket and backpack hook keeps all essential materials within reach. The adjustable height ranges from 22 to 32 inches in 1-inch increments, which means the same desk can allow students of all grade levels to sit comfortably. Tops on student desks are large enough for notebooks and laptops and are "non-handed," providing greater arm support to both right- and left-handed users. The desks themselves are lightweight and can be easily configured into individual rows or collaborative configurations, which is further facilitated by the shape.

HON products are available through its authorized dealer, Worthington Direct, the leader in discount school furniture. 

The HON Company Changes the Face of the American Classroom


New Greenguard Certified Products by Bretford

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Worthington Direct has added new products to the Greenguard Certified Furniture catagory by Bretford, Inc.  Outfit your entire computer lab with quality products like the Connections Series computer tables and accessories.  Visit www.Worthingtondirect.com today for new healthy, learning environment.

Bretford, Inc., supplier of technology and media furniture that improves how people work and learn, today announced that a large number of its laminate tables, carts and accessories now comply with the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute’s (GEI) GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) standards for low-emitting products and materials. Through this designation, Bretford is giving specifiers of furniture products for education and business facilities the ability to create healthier environments – particularly for children. It also brings these institutions closer to achieving valuable Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) points, the nationally accepted benchmark towards the design, construction and operation of green buildings.

 

Bretford’s Quattro, Connections and CR Series tables and accessories, as well as Presentation Environments™ and HERE™ meeting and training tables, carts and accessories now hold GREENGUARD Certification. For a complete listing of certified Bretford models, view the GREENGUARD Online Product Guide. Each product is linked to a printable certificate that verifies GREENGUARD Certification, which is approved by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for LEED project submission.

 

According to GEI, people spend over 90 percent of their time indoors where they are exposed to thousands of airborne pollutants. Inadequate ventilation, high temperatures and high humidity levels increase concentrations of some contaminants, leading to indoor air pollution levels on average two to five times greater than those outdoors and in some cases up to 100 times greater. Children are at the greatest risk because they are more susceptible to certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides and allergens, which may trigger allergic reactions, asthma symptoms and other health problems.

 

“Bretford’s tables, carts and accessories are primarily used in education and business environments – and because they are among our highest volume products, we chose to have them tested and certified first,” explained John Jaqua, manager, design and engineering for Bretford, Inc. “Certification is becoming critical in commercial environments and our GREENGUARD designation now allows architects, designers and facility managers to confidently and immediately specify Bretford tables into their ‘green-friendly’ school, library, conference room or workspace projects.”

 

According to GEI CEO Carl E. Smith, LEED AP, “Building managers and specifiers are leading the demand for healthier indoor air by seeking products that meet recognized standards and carry third-party certification.” He continued, “The Bretford products underwent comprehensive testing and verification to attain the GREENGUARD Certification. When certified Bretford products are integrated into a facility design, the building owner can be confident that they will not contribute to indoor air pollution.”  

About GREENGUARD Certification
The GREENGUARD Certification ProgramSM is an industry-independent, third-party testing program for low-emitting products and materials. The first GREENGUARD Certification was awarded in the fall of 2002. In 2005, GEI announced the GREENGUARD Children & Schools standard, which evaluates the sensitive nature of school populations combined with the unique building characteristics found in schools, and presents the most rigorous product emissions criteria to date. GREENGUARD Certification is a valuable tool for architects, designers, product specifiers, and purchasing organizations that want to locate, specify, and purchase off-the-shelf, low-emitting products for indoor environments. More information about the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute and GREENGUARD Certification can be found at http://www.greenguard.org/.


National School Counseling Week

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Worthington Direct would like to thank all of the hard-working student counselors during this National School Counseling Week.  They know best how to handle class schedules, college planning and daily student issues.  But if you have any questions about school furniture, give the school counselor a break and ask Worthington Direct to counsel.  Visit www.worthingtondirect.com today!

National School Counseling Week, which is always the first full week of February, honors school guidance counselors for the importance they play in their students’ academic and personal lives. Each education level, whether it is elementary, middle or high school, requires a certain approach to meeting the needs of the students. Few people outside the school walls fully understand the many different roles and enormous responsibility school counselors shoulder.

Debbie Nerren, the school guidance counselor at G. R. Stuart Elementary, is one such individual. “At the elementary level, we do a variety of things, such as individual and group counseling with children, classroom guidance lessons and projects, character education, career days, behavioral and academic assessments and overseeing TCAP and other standardized testing,” said Nerren.

Students are told at the beginning of the school year they can come to Nerren with problems and she will work with them on an individual level. For group counseling, she addresses issues such as anger management and divorce for students experiencing these situations. With classroom guidance projects, Nerren said this year’s focus is on Second Step. Twice a year, Nerren teaches violence prevention curriculum. The character education covers “the whole gamut” by teaching friendship skills, conflict resolution and other character building lessons. Nerren stresses the most important role a school guidance counselor has is to serve as a liaison between the schools and outside professional agencies the families and students may need. “We have what’s called an S-Team, which is made up of the guidance counselor, the special services teacher, the speech pathologist, the school psychologist, the principal, teacher, literacy coach, parents and the student.

The S-Team basically makes a decision on what is best for the student with his or her particular problem. We come up with a solution based on a behavioral or academic plan. “Anytime a student is referred, we test to see if they qualify for special outside help. We sometimes set families up with learning supplement specialists who are professional counselors,” said Nerren. Nerren said between planning career days and being a part of the S-Team, counselors have a multitude of duties and a tremendous amount of responsibility as educators. “We wear many hats.

Counselors today are called on to help with many things. I believe a counselor does see his or her position as serving teachers, families and students. They are called upon to serve the entire school as best we can. Each one of us would say we love what we do because it is very rewarding,” said Nerren. Luz Lamneck and Tammy Guthrie, counselors at Cleveland Middle Schoo, echoed those sentiments. Lamneck is in her first year as a guidance counselor; she did teach for Hamilton County Schools.

“What I like about being a guidance counselor is the different type of relationship you can have with the kids versus being a teacher. I like to bond with kids. The counseling aspect to me is more personable and involved and not so much about discipline,” said Lamneck. Guthrie, who has worked at Cleveland Middle School since 2001, agrees school guidance counselors “wear many hats.” Continue reading


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