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Changing the Classroom Flexible Furniture The New Classroom

Changing the Classroom
Flexible Furniture
The New Classroom

Starting two years ago, the roll-out of “flexible furniture” began to change the template of standard "row" seating into collaborative face-to-face work environments. Just as corporate America workspaces have changed with the removal of cubicles and corner offices, and coffee shops are packed with couches and communal tables, school classrooms have also changed. Thanks to District funding and the generous donations from the CSH Educational Foundation,
the expansion of Flexible Furniture has created new learning spaces for teachers and students in each building to reflect more flexible, student-centered and collaborative classroom designs. The goal? To transform these learning environments to ensure that they enhance the educational experience for our children.

With the greater availability of Chromebooks, there is no longer a need for desktop computers facing walls in computer labs with backs to each other. The beauty of flexible furniture spaces is that they can be designated for quiet studying or more collaborative group work. Seating can now be a choice, whether it’s a couch, standing desk, rolling swivel chair with cup holders, bean bags, and more. Even Goosehill has low table seating with padded recliners, balance-ball, wooble and ergo stools, or a simple seat on the floor at a low table. Bright colored chairs also allow for easy student groupings. The classrooms now allow for greater collaboration, a more relaxed feel, and the ability to move, bounce, or swing your feet on a bar for students who have difficulty sitting still comfortably. Both comfort and movement have allowed for more productivity and focus.
Students and teachers love the choices and collaboration flexible seating yields. The success of the districts incorporation of flexible seating attracted the attention of the Long Island University President, Kimberly Cline, who came to visit CSH to see it first-hand. This visit resulted in plans for the university to reproduce one of our classrooms as a model for undergraduate education students to learn from, and how to teach in this new 21st century learning flexible seating environment. In the words of 5th-grade teacher, Ms. Conroy, “Flexible seating means flexible thinking!”