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Furnishing a classroom isn't just about tables and chairs. As most educators are already aware, there are numerous factors to consider - each impacting a student's education in ways that may not be initially obvious.
Of course, quality, price, and durability are essential in the decision-making process, but what about the implications each piece of furniture has on a child’s learning? Take, for example, activity tables.
There are many different shapes and options available, each with varying levels of versatility and functionality. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, each of the different shapes influences student-to-student and student-teacher interactions.
Click here to learn more about the activity tables that will make a difference in your learning environment.
So much of the attention surrounding education focuses on how teachers teach, and for obvious reasons. It’s a teacher’s job to impart information to a classroom filled with unique individuals, each learning in different ways, for a variety of reasons.
However, we’re learning that in order to develop successful, well-educated students who thrive outside the classroom, there’s more to consider than how we teach. As it turns out, the actual design of the physical learning space matters just as much as the method of teaching does.
Click here to learn more about why a well-design learning space pays dividends.
There's a Chinese proverb, which says, "Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time."
This aphorism is likely more true of today's children than of any previous generation.
Thanks in large part to rapid technological growth, the modern child (and the modern classroom) bears little resemblance to the past.
Click here to learn more about choosing the right furniture for your classroom.
Is there a more necessary skill in today’s workforce than the ability to collaborate? It doesn’t appear to be so, with over 80 percent of white-collar workers claiming collaboration as a necessary part of their job.
It’s no wonder then, why educators are seeking out ways to create more collaborative classrooms. Because what better way to empower our children than by teaching them the skills they’ll need to contribute and thrive once they exit the school system and enter the workforce?
People are a product of their environment. So naturally, if the goal is to create critically thinking, cooperative, problem-solving, and curious students, then the classroom needs to reflect and encourage these skills.
Click here to read the rest of this article on creating better colloborative learning environments.
Discussions about education see no shortage of strong opinions, and understandably so. Childhood education is critical to our future, and not a topic to be taken lightly.
Thankfully, despite varying opinions, many experts are finding common ground in one particular area: activity-based learning.
School boards, teachers, and parents agree: the classroom should reflect the dynamic, vibrant, and curious nature of children.
Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Educators have the responsibility of igniting a desire to learn in our children.
Which is no easy feat.
The classroom is changing – rapidly. Technology, family structures and the way children communicate have evolved. These differences influence what an ideal learning environment looks like for children today. Although the traditional classroom may have served us well in the past, it can feel like a prison for today’s children – hindering their ability to learn rather than encouraging it.
Quit squirming. Sit still. Pay attention!
It’s not the first time you’ve had these orders barked at you. In fact, you were likely on the receiving end of these all too familiar commands as a kid. Perhaps, against your better judgement, you catch yourself muttering these same phrases to your children or students from time to time.
Now it’s time to ditch these expressions – they don’t belong in the vocabulary of anyone involved in childhood learning. Thanks to substantial evidence resulting from numerous studies, experts can now prove that this out-of-date mindset is all wrong for kids and adults alike.
Student learning is enhanced – many educators believe – when they work together in problem-solving teams. Many studies have shown that when correctly implemented, cooperative learning improves information acquisition and retention, higher-level thinking skills, interpersonal and communications skills, and self-confidence.
Whether your curriculum requires formal or informal cooperative learning environments, our individual desks can be arranged in groups and then easily reconfigured for individual learning. The furniture gives educators the flexibility they need in today's classrooms.
Humans are programmed to move. A young developing brain requires various types of motion to develop important foundational skills for learning. The sensory systems that respond to movement help to coordinate the eyes, hands and body for everyday fine motor and gross motor activities.
"Healthy" movement refers to safe and accessible opportunities for motion that help everyone feel organized, alert, fit and ready to learn.
As parents and adults we tend to want children to "sit still." The reality is no one sits without moving for very long, because if we keep our bodies completely inactive, we tend to fall asleep or zone out.
Dynamic sitting involves making adjustments to our position for comfort and moving our arms, legs, and body while we are sitting, in order to keep ourselves alert and engaged. Children who have access to healthy movement in the classroom are more likely to stay engaged and to have better attention and behaviour.
Children are already moving in their chairs because they need movement to stay alert. In stable or static chairs many children will tend to tilt backwards, lean forward, swing their legs and sit on the edge of their chairs or on their knees.
Studies have shown that after about a 2 week "settling in" period, children with access to chairs that provide healthy movement only move as needed to stay comfortable and to attend to the lessons throughout the day. In fact, several studies suggest that children show better ability to stay seated, with less disruptive movements, when they have access to chairs that offer healthy movement.
Dynamic furniture also plays a role in good ergonomics, because chairs that swivel and adjust are better suited to helping a child sit at the optimal height and to be able to turn to face the teacher or other forms of instruction at various positions in a classroom.
Foot and arm rests, the ability to stretch (such as at standing tables or in pushing back against an adjustable-seat back) and adjustable-height levers all assist in ensuring good ergonomics for the various sizes of children in a classroom: even for the same child who is growing from the beginning to end of a school year.
While studies have shown the positive effect of opportunities for healthy movement in the classroom, many other factors will affect students' behaviour and attention.
Other aspects of the environment such as noise level, visual distractions, colour, temperature, room arrangement, access to supplies and many other variables are all important for supporting learning. In addition, there are many other factors that play a role in how students learn. Healthy movement is not suggested as a "magic cure" but rather one piece in the puzzle for supporting students to be their best for optimal learning.
The following key points highlight much of CDI’s work in the area of healthy movement:
CDI Spaces is a leader in student furniture and interiors in Alberta. Our consultants can come to your school to lead an education session and help you review your options. To book your session, contact us today.
Your team came this morning and did an excellent job – thank you. They placed my furniture in the way that I had initially wanted, but we thought it wasn’t possible, so I’m very happy.
Denis Gauthier. Principal.
Sister Annata Brockman School