Flexible classroom design has become a popular issue in education in recent years. Researchers and instructors have discovered that a one-size-fits-all teaching technique does not produce the optimal results as they learn more about the many ways in which kids learn.
“One cannot have a community of learners without a healthy instructional atmosphere,” according to a National Education Association article. Everything instructors do, from how they respond to student inquiries to the layout of the classroom seats, contributes to the creation of this milieu.” 5 Teachers already have a lot on their plates when it comes to managing a classroom, therefore the question arises, “How can I assist my pupils in learning in their preferred manner without adding to my already overburdened schedule?”
Flexible classroom design has been shown to have a favorable link with learning, making it highly popular in classrooms. The 2016 Steelcase Education research, for example, found that “classrooms structured to encourage participatory learning boosted student engagement.”
According to studies, kids who feel at ease are more alert and productive. When people have the freedom to pick where they feel most at ease – both physically and psychologically – they experience less stress and worry. And, because it’s all about figuring out how to offer children the best chance at learning, why not try experimenting with flexibility?
Teachers who have used a flexible classroom design report that the behavioral advantages are significant…especially for kids who have difficulty sitting still, such as those with ASD, ADHD, or ADD. In the event that the idea is to assist kids in learning, and altering the structure of your classroom does this; it’s well worth the expense!
How to create flexible classroom space?
- Select tables and desks that may be used for both work and play. When considering the advantages of both organized and flexible classroom design, deciding how to best arrange pupils may be tricky. Educators, on the other hand, may have the best of both worlds with lightweight collaborative tables. Students can be grouped together for activities or separated when they’re having too much fun by using tables and desks that fit together.
- Half-moon tables from Sprogs are perfect for allowing kids to build social skills in small groups throughout the day while still having the capacity to construct bigger group tables for class activities in early learning contexts. Bow tie tables give individual desk space for students in elementary and middle school that may be merged to form small and big groups, allowing kids to become acclimated to more concentrated work such as testing or listening to lectures without having to leave the comfort of their tablemates.
- Keeping desks in rows for examinations is more crucial in high school classes, but allowing students to pick where their desk goes throughout the rest of the class provides them a daily opportunity to make responsible decisions and helps them learn to manage their educational requirements
- The majority of tables feature simple adjustable-height legs that can accommodate every student of every year. Tables with optional casters make it simple for students to move their desks, or the wheels may be changed with glides to prevent unnecessary movement. Students may keep their resources nearby no matter where their workstation is with connected book boxes or add-on rail kits with totes.
- Adjustable-height wobbling stools are ideal for energetic kids of all sizes, and rolling chairs allow pupils to roam about while thinking without being distracted. Also, there are several options for flexible classroom seating, ranging from cube and cylinder stools to gear and puzzle piece-shaped seats. Our soft seating shopping guide can assist you in locating seating that is appropriate for your ideal classroom design. Even cushioned floor chairs and exercise balls may provide a pleasant place for children to sit while also offering extra seating in other sections of the classroom.
- Alternatives to standard seats enable kids to extend energy without leaving their workstations. Flexible classroom seating is a simple method to give students some influence over their learning environment and make them feel appreciated for their thoughts and preferences.
- Room dividers are a simple alternative for reducing noise to and from segregated groups. A dual-sided mobile markerboard may also be used as a separator, but it also has the added benefit of allowing space for notes on current classes, student suggestions, and cooperation.
- Art-focused spaces facilitate cleanup and provide pupils with something to do when they finish their work early. Including storage, a table is a wonderful method to keep supplies organized and gives additional storage a place for enjoyable crafts.
- Reading nooks can be furnished with comfortable seats for students to sit, lean on, or sleep on while immersed in a new narrative. A couch with tablet arms simply defines the entry to a different place inside the same room, while beanbags and floor cushions provide a soothing reading environment. Students will look forward to cuddling up with a good book if they have inviting lounge chairs, a bright rug, and a solid bookcase.
- Study nooks can enable advanced students to continue their education or give a quiet spot for others to practice. The study carrels are well-designed for concentrated reading or utilizing a gadget to perform web-based workouts A mobile book cart can be a handy place to keep encouraging reading materials or technological resources such as headphones for listening exercises.
- Makerspaces allow kids to explore STEM subjects. With the creation station set, you can create a maker space workshop on only one wall of your room. A 3D printer cart is ideal for offering students the option to construct their own creations in classrooms with limited space.
The trend of flexible classrooms is unlikely to fade very soon, and as more study is conducted each year, we may discover that there are even more chances to improve class configurations. For the time being, using adaptable furniture that can accommodate any situation is the best option.