Learning Environment

Casual Learning Spaces – What’s New!

Creating learning spaces that offer comfort and functionality to keep students active and engaged.

Have you ever picked a movie theater based on the comfort of the seating? It’s the same film being shown at every location, but your physical comfort for the two hour viewing plays a large role in where you choose to purchase the ticket. Now apply that same thought process to the classroom where students spend seven or more hours a day. Shouldn’t the physical comfort of the learning environment be a top priority? Finding the right furnishing to help students settle in and get caught up in the learning is a must. From hearty budget to tight budget to DIY, these functional finds are perfect for making those casual spaces in the classroom your students’ go-to favorites.

Balance Cushions — This affordable option allows kids to get out the wiggles without draining the budget. At only $13 each, teachers can create a wiggle workspace for small groups or allow students to grab a cushion when a little movement is necessary to keep them focused on the task at hand. Rather than a whole new seating option, these cushions simply transform the existing furnishings.

Chat Chairs — This interchangeable new look from Smith System lets kids transform the space into what is needed. The chairs and wedge tables can be grouped or used individually. Both tables and chairs can also come equipped with power sources to keep users plugged in as needed. A great option for those with a larger budget.

Kore Chair — Sometimes students need the ability to stretch, flex, lean, sway, or just move as they work. Keeping our bodies engaged does wonders for the mind. The Kore Stool allows students’ bodies to take on an active role in the learning process. With a host of bright colors and sizes, the Active and Wobble Chairs from Kore Stool will have kids rocking to their own learning beat! And what’s more, they have been GEI Endorsed!

Reading Balance Boards — When kids sit down to read, they can often fall prey to other distractions. By engaging their bodies with reading balance boards, their minds are ready to focus on the text in hand. Don’t let fidgeting and shifting in a seat take away from a student’s ability to focus. Let balancing and engaging core muscles allow the mind to stay engaged.

Zenergy Ball Chairs — All the positive attributes of an exercise ball are present without the possibility of a rolling, tossing, or excessively bouncing situation. Exercise balls as seating are finding their way into countless classrooms. The hesitation that may have accompanied using these rolling devices is negated with the Zenergy Ball Chair. By encasing the ball in a mesh or vinyl cover and placing it on a seating pedestal, students get all the benefits of movement and posturing with none of the tumbling antics of a free-standing ball. And what’s more, they have also been GEI Endorsed!

DIY Ideas

Crate bench — In just a few simple steps, transform crates and cushions into comfortable seating and storage for a reading nook. For those DIY folks with limited sewing skills, an outdoor bench cushion could easily be substituted for the hand-made fabric one shared here.

Tire Seat — Talk about upcycling- these DIY tire seats can add a unique casual seating area to any classroom. A fun conversation piece that can be quickly stacked when not in use

White Board Tables — Send students to the Idea Zone to brainstorm and collaborate. Diagram, list, sketch, and record all the big ideas. Then snap a pic to capture the session and allow students to reference the information gathered as needed.

Help make your classroom a student’s number one choice for a go-to learning environment. By creating user-friendly spaces with comfortable furnishings, students are more apt to stay engaged. These functional finds will have students getting out the wiggles, collaborating, and engaging both mind and body for increased learning potential.


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