Kay-Twelve is more than just a school furniture dealer. Our passion is to create better learning environments for current and future students. At the heart of that is the premise that students of all ages learn differently, and it is the job of educators to adapt to each student’s learning styles. That's why we have specifically chosen 23 of our most trusted brands to work closely with in this process, that share the same values as us. In this blog series, we will discuss how each of these brands help to create a better learning environment with their products.
- Creating is meant to be a verb, an action that is ongoing and is never meant to be in a completed state.
- Better signifies improvement and not accepting the status quo. Striving for progress instead of perfection.
- Learning is the magical moment when you can see the student comprehend. We wanted to pinpoint the AHA! moments when the learning actually occurs and how to maximize those learning situations.
- Environments takes the idea of learning beyond just the classroom. A large portion of our work is spent on classrooms, but we want to look at a school as a facility of learning opportunities in each square foot - inside and outside of the building.
Few people outside the school get glimpses of the education staff in action, but instead create their perceptions based on the physical environment they see when they visit the school during non-school hours. That's why it is our job to show them what a thriving learning environment can look like. Not just through furniture, but how their students are more focused, how they can be creative using their specific skills by having the right space and tools, how they collaborate with their classmates and educators better and how they become prepared for life after school.
Kay-Twelve has been in thousands of classrooms throughout the years. The vast majority of them look like this:
Students sit in their assigned seats in straight rows. The teacher is at the front of the classroom near his/her desk to start the session. They have a front board that is either dry erase, Smartboard, projector, LCD screen, chalkboard - or a combination of these. The students are expected to pay attention, sit still, watch the board, take notes, and be quiet - unless they raise their hands and wait to be called on. When the bell rings, they go to their next class and repeat throughout the day.
However, there is a movement going on today in education, a literal movement. We’ve had the privilege to witness classrooms that look more like this:
Students come into the class excited and pick where they want to learn. There is noise coming from all directions. The teacher gets the students’ attention in the middle of the classroom and everyone swivels, loosely forming a circle around her to make eye contact. The instruction is brief and to the point, the students get the game plan for the day and break off into groups of 4-5 and make space to interact.
Again, eye contact is made, this time between peers as they communicate on their work. One student breaks off from the group to work on their portion of the project. The teacher moves throughout the room and challenges the students on their thought process. Several times throughout the class period, she gets everyone’s attention by sharing info from her hand-held device to the monitors positioned around the room.
One student jumps out of his chair and paces, then points to the screen that a classmate is sharing from her device. The room is buzzing, maybe even considered loud. The student that broke away, now has headphones on, but is re-joining his group after sharing what he created. The class period is half-way done and the teacher starts reminding groups that they’ll be presenting in a few minutes. Time is up and the first group shares their screen with the rest of the class. The students swivel their chairs to watch the presenter, their own devices put down.
One student scoots closer to hear and see better. Two other groups share their progress and a discussion ensues. With two minutes left, the teacher gets back in the middle of the classroom, reminding students of the deadline and the work they need to do that evening. The bell rings and a few students remain to ask questions as the discussions continue into the hallway.
With the integration of technology into the classroom, this second example is now a reality for many schools all over the country. The Early Adopters of new technology, furniture, and educational tools have paved the way for the Early Majority. Lessons were learned, corrections have been made, and we are now seeing the Early Majority joining the revolution of improving learning environments.
Learning environments can be found everywhere. They include classrooms, lecture halls, hallways, conference rooms, libraries, offices, training centers, convention centers, and more. Our goal as an organization is to improve learning outcomes, and in turn, make this world a better place through the furniture we provide.
Whether you’re updating your science lab, classroom, library, cafeteria, art room, preschool room or starting a Makerspace, revamp your learning environment with design services from Kay-Twelve. Our design experts will help you find that perfect learning environment. For inspiration and expert advice, explore our complimentary design services. We'll work together utilizing the Kay-Twelve Proven Process that has transformed thousands of classrooms around the country.