“What is needed in the ideal classroom to enhance student learning?” This is a question that teachers asked students directly at The Presentation School in Sonoma, California, before raising money to purchase new furniture. Last month, the school did a complete furniture overhaul in an effort to help improve learning outcomes. The school began researching the possibility of new furniture during the 2015-2016 school year. Teachers were asked for input on what they felt their classrooms needed. Ideas, and even floor plans were shared with administration. Prior to the big fundraising event, the 7th grade classroom was set up as “demo” classroom. The fundraiser was a success and the process moved forward. They made the decision to work with Kay-Twelve.com in late 2016.
Taking into consideration the schools' vision, Kay-Twelve.com came up with some classroom designs using furniture that fit the criteria. This was a large part of the decision making process.
Modern. Collaborative. Flexible. These are words we often hear while discussing classroom furniture. The new and improved Presentation School classrooms feature the Virco, Z-series task table and chairs, which fit that description perfectly. This flexible furniture allows for many different setups including individual, small group and large group work stations.
Teachers are able to decide what works best for them and their students. Tracy Walthard, Assistant Head of School, says, "It’s the teachers’ design of the room, and instructional practices that will change the learning. The furniture should enhance their ability to move into new instructional practices." Some classrooms also feature “active learning furniture.” This type of furniture allows for movement during learning, without causing a distraction. This proves to be especially helpful among younger students and those who have difficulties focusing for long periods of time.
These are just some of the fun ways that furniture can help improve learning and engagement! Take a look!