Active Seating: Can We Learn How to Move?

The pursuit to maximize a learning environment’s effectiveness is always going to be paramount.  In our modern society, active seating solutions has ascended to become a game-changer in addressing the topics of enhancing student engagement, reducing classroom distractions, and promoting collaborative work.  According to Edutopia (2015):

“Since implementing flexible classrooms, Albermarle County Public Schools have noticed that:

  • Their students’ grades have improved
  • Their students seem happier and more engaged
  • Their students are participating more and having more invigorating conversations”

However, politics and budgets often dictate whether a school will make the leap towards innovation or keep the traditional classroom status quo.  Investing in active seating furniture helps determine if it can benefit your students and teachers.  Active seating creates a fun, engaging, and productive atmosphere that helps students develop critical life skills such as focus and team work.  The Sit and Stand Student Desk by Luxor is an excellent introduction to active learning by providing a feature-rich desk standing desk solution for your students, thus keeping them engaged, while allowing you to determine if it’s something you can utilize in some or all of your classrooms.

Sit and Stand Student Desk by Luxor

Adaptable Active Seating

In addition to enhancing student engagement, many active seating solutions feature portability and a compact footprint since every classroom is different and lesson plans constantly change.  Classroom seating that can accommodate different student age groups helps a school maximize its classroom furniture budgetary expenditures.  The DOT Soft Seating Floor Stool by Balt is portable, lightweight, and can keep students engaged during floor activities such as music class, arts and crafts, watching educational films, and productive during study hall!

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21st Century Desks for 21st Century Learning

While we know it is not uncommon to hang on to traditional open front student desks due to budgetary constraints. There will come a time where dilapidated desks and evolving curriculum will create learning friction. As well as the law of diminishing return which are not conducive for the student learning environment.  A modern classroom desk contributes to critical student development which includes skills such as peer communication, teamwork, and adaptability that will be invaluable to students in their future careers.

When shopping for a modern student desk, here are three elements to help guide you in your search:

Modularity

It’s no secret that modularity is a common theme in today’s 21st century classroom furniture.

Student desks that can be reconfigured and easily moved are important for tentative lesson schedules that often change at the last-minute.

In addition, this modularity helps accommodate changing preferences (i.e. some teachers would like the classic individual desk row configuration while others want them grouped together).  The Method Polygon Table by Scholar Craft offers ample student work space with a modular footprint to help students get work done more efficiently.

Method Polygon Table by Scholar Craft

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How to Choose the Best Desks for Your School

While traditional school furniture can last for many years, they are not optimized for the 21st century changing learning environment.  Technology has quickly revolutionized the way students learn but unfortunately, student desks haven’t been as quick to catch up for several reasons.  This may be due to budgetary reasons since it’s normal for schools to maximize furniture expenditures.  Or it could be that many schools prefer traditional lesson plans and adopt a “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach.  The good news is that there are many options today that can help you find the right desk solution.  Having the right student desk promotes an optimal student learning experience, accommodates new lesson plan innovations, and contributes to a succinct and practical long-term budgetary expenditure.

Here are several factors to help you choose the best student desk:

Collaboration-Based Learning

Two critical skills that students need to learn for future success are communication and teamwork which are the themes of modern lesson plans.  This means you’ll want a student desk that can be easily configured for both individual and team-based assignments.  The Shapes Desk by Balt allows you to configure your classroom into several configurations including the traditional multiple row desk set up,  a round desk set up (up to 10), or square configuration.

Shapes Desk by Balt

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How Does a Classroom Design Affect a Child’s Ability to Learn? 14 Medical & Educational Experts Weigh in…

Student outcomes are the most relevant factor when it comes to measuring the success of a learning environment. Though classroom design has an important influence on learning achievement, the majority of time is spent on traditional methods of enhancing the learning progress, such as executing standardized tests, professional growth for educators, and advancement or mediation courses for students. Thanks to a growing awareness of the profound impact classroom design can have on the educational achievements of students, opinions on classroom design are changing, as educators are making strides toward constructing optimal learning environments with the goal of meeting the educational needs of various groups of students.

I found that as a classroom teacher, allowing students to choose the spots they found most comfortable to work in helped students concentrate and allowed me to concentrate on facilitating learning, not managing behavior. – Jennifer Stringer

Classroom Design Tips for Productive Learning from Worthington Direct
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