learning commons furniture

The 3 Key Steps to Creating a Learning Commons

As we have discussed in a previous blog here on “What is a Learning Commons”, or the evolution of the modern library, the next question is: how do we make a space that is flexible and adaptable, a place of discovery, innovation, and collaboration to help engage learning with peers, beyond the classroom, and to explore and connect?

Every space, budget, and group is different. In this blog we will outline 3 key components to creating an engaging Learning Commons on any budget, in any size room, for any age group, to help you develop your space.

The library has always been an important part of the school and learning culture, the new evolution to the Learning Commons is meeting student’s needs today and will continue to adapt for tomorrow, making them an important hub of the school.

Every Learning Commons should have spaces for individual work, small group, and large group collaboration. Creating flexible soft seating options allows students to reconfigure the space as needed and as tasks change.

Each space needs to be flexible to allow users to rearrange according to their needs. Desks and tables that can fit together to creating larger learning spaces or stand up collaborative areas are great to engage students. Learning Commons allow children who are not always working together to engage and learn from one another. Giving them a space they feel comfortable transforming is key to taking ownership over their own learning. 

Learning Commons need to foster creativity, be engaging and inspiring. A comfortable place students feel equipped and supported in will allow them to learn as they need, and best utilize the space. A fundamental principal of a Learning Commons is equipping students with what they need to succeed and learn. Allowing them to interact with peers, and work in their own way gives them the tools they will need for future education and the skills they will need going forward in life. 

These spaces truly are the hub of the school, but not all schools have the dedicated resources or space to retrofit their library or extend past the limited space they already have. Any space can become a Learning Commons with the right tools and philosophies.

We would love to discuss more on what solutions you need to elevate your space for the next generation of learners.

innovative classroom furniture

The 3 Key Steps to Creating a Makerspace

As we have discussed in a previous blog here on “What is a Makerspace”, to allow students to learn through exploration and creation, the next question is, how do we make a space dedicated to students to explore, tinker, and create hands-on?

Every space, budget, and group is different. In this blog we will outline 3 key components to creating an engaging Makerspace on any budget, in any size room, for any age group, to help you develop your space.

Every Makerspace should have durable work surfaces.  Mobile tables with different heights to sit or stand at are great for all activities and engagements, they also remove the hurdle of space. In a classroom or school, you may not have extra classrooms you can convert to full lab Makerspaces, but there may be a corner in a classroom or a storage space you can keep a mobile unit like the Rover Table. 

Flexibility is a key piece and step in creating a Makerspace. Mobile tables that are multi-use are helpful in a small classroom, or bonus lab space, as well as mobile storage that can be arranged and moved as needed. A fundamental part of a Makerspace is to have everything the student will need to create and innovate ready and accessible. Storage for all of these materials needs to be organized and accessible to allow creative minds to follow their thoughts and work as they need to. It is a hands-off approach from educators and an all-hands in from the makers. Remove distractions and limits by utilizing rolling storage solutions.

Our third key element to creating a Makerspace is to make it inspiring! This space is intended to be inventive, collaborative, and explorative. Add mobile whiteboards, sketching areas, and places where teams can come together to invent and collaborate. 

Any space can become a Makerspace given the right tools and applications. Not every school has the capacity to convert entire classrooms to dedicated Makerspace Labs, we hope with these fundamentals you can start to add in areas within a classroom to enhance your space for young makers to explore, expand their knowledge and thrive.

We would love to discuss more on what solutions you need to elevate your space for the next generation of learners.

Makerspace

What is a Makerspace?

In a time when much knowledge is consumed, a Makerspace gives children the opportunity to learn through exploration and creation. The space gives students the tools and materials needed to create, explore, tinker, invent, and move from consumption to creation for physical hands-on learning.

Why does furniture matter? Adaptable furniture solutions support the environment for Student-Centered Learning, supporting the learner, giving them the tools and equipment they need for the various tasks and types of study/ work, and encouraging space for each student to learn in their optimal way.

Having dedicated spaces within a school allows for proper tools and safety equipment to be stored and readily available, while also creating a separation of tasks. These options are not always available.

The Ed Table Minimizes the logistics and clean-up of a traditional space for project-based learning. Easily moving around the classroom as needed, and stored away when not.

The Rover Table is built to be mobile and adaptable to any space, no matter the limitation. It is a complete package, allowing it to be brought out when needed, and safely stored when not in use. It houses all tools and functions for a fun and creative experience.

Connect today to discuss how we can transform your Makers Space!

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innovative classroom furniture

What is a Learning Commons?

The library has always been an important part of the school and learning culture.  The evolution into the Learning Commons is meeting student’s needs today and will continue to adapt for tomorrow, making them an important hub of the school. It allows students to mix and learn from others they may not normally interact with, giving them stronger diversity in thoughts and idea-sharing. 

Why does furniture matter? Adaptable furniture solutions support the environment for Student-Centered Learning, supporting the learner, giving them the tools and equipment they need for the various tasks and types of study/work, and encouraging space for each student to learn in their optimal way.

Soft seating solutions are wonderful for both individual and small or large group work. They are flexible and can be configured in many ways and come in an abundance of styles and colors. They give students a natural collaboration area while very comfortable, allowing children to relax and work as best suits them.

Activity tables come in a very wide variety of sizes, shapes, and options. They are extremely flexible and moveable to adapt and transform the space as tasks transform and progress.

Study corrals give learners a head-down focused space to work independently and distraction-free with the added benefit of acoustic sound baffling. This means your space is dynamic and suits many students and tasks learning simultaneously in contrast to a traditional quieter and independent library.

Along with study corrals, reading corners offer a similar approach for quiet independent discovery and reading while allowing for many configurations and comforts for the individual learner.

Connect today to discuss how we can transform your Learning Commons!

commercial business furniture

What is a Student-Centred Classroom?

The Student-Centred Classroom is a collaborative space where students are active participants in their education. They are creating and innovating, not simply memorizing, regurgitating, and forgetting. We build these environments with activity, inclusion, and action. The result is an inclusive space that adapts based on how each child uniquely and individually learns while meeting the criteria of the curriculum.

Allowing students to learn in the ways that best suit them, and freeing teachers to work creatively in the classroom, creates an optimal space for everyone. When everyone is focused and doing their best, everyone wins. Student-Centred Classrooms are a passion for us at CDI Spaces, we love knowing we are helping the classroom win and succeed and raising the next generations of leaders. These spaces do not have to be completely redesigned, we work with many classrooms to slowly evolve and update the space as required.

Why does furniture matter? Adaptable furniture solutions support the environment for Student-Centred Learning, supporting the learner, giving them the tools and equipment they need for the various tasks and types of study/ work, and encouraging space for each student to learn in their optimal way.

Soft seating ottomans, junior-sized chairs and couches create reading nooks and comfortable places for kids to retreat to. In the classroom, they allow flexibility for group or individual independent study while being a cozy comfortable space for students to relax and work. 

Movement furniture such as wobble stools and rocking chairs give students gentle or engaged movement while minimizing distraction to others and the potential for accidents. This keeps students attentive and engaged in learning. Activating the core increases blood flow which increases the learning process. They are a fantastic addition to any classroom space.

Connect today to discuss how we can transform your Student-Centred Classroom!

CDI_EDM_Christian_West_School_SEP2020_1455-scaled

Edmonton Christian West School

Edmonton Christian West School underwent a complete modernization, which meant the opportunity for the school to start from scratch and completely re-envision their layout…