Classroom Strategy - Classroom Design - NextGen Spaces - Learning Spaces - Classroom Furniture

How to Buy the Right Classroom Furniture - A Helpful Buying Guide

Written by Patricia Cadigan, M.Ed.

If you’re looking to transform your school into a modern, collaborative learning environment, but you're unsure of where to start, you’re in the right place! By the end of this article, you’ll have the confidence you need to purchase the right classroom furniture for your school to ensure you’re creating high-quality learning environments for students and teachers.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at:  

Let’s get started!

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Quality, Durability, & Best Overall Value: Must-Know Considerations for Classroom Furniture

While buying classroom furniture is a major purchase, it should primarily be considered as a major investment.

Have you ever bought a piece of school furniture that quickly broke, faded, or simply wore out? That’s because many furniture manufacturers simply don’t have students in-mind when they build their products. 

The reality is, whatever furniture solutions you outfit your school with must be able to stand the test of kids! But, what exactly does that mean? 

The raw materials used in making the school furniture — as well as the processes used for putting it together — all have a considerable impact on the overall durability of the finished product. The good news is that reputable manufacturers—like Artcobell—test their school furniture to recommended industry standards, which ensure the durability, comfort, safety, and sustainability of furniture solutions for schools, specifically.

Before identifying the exact classroom chairs, student desks or tables you’d like to purchase, do your research! Ask your furniture manufacturer about their testing standards and requests their certifications before you purchase from them. 

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Once you’ve identified a few school furniture manufacturers with proven and trusted processes for product testing, you’ll need to take it one step further and look into customer projects and furniture warranties. 

As you learn more about the myriad of furniture suppliers out there, ask yourself these important questions: 
  • What furniture manufacturers are other schools using? 
  • Have they had a good experience? 
  • Were they satisfied with the customer service they received? Was the buying process easy and reliable? 
  • Did the classroom furniture last—did it actually stand the test of kids? 

School furniture dealers may also be able to provide you with case studies of customers who have successfully used their products to enhance student success.

Take a close look at the manufacturer's warranty policy! Again, do your research! Furniture warranties can vary. Some companies may even suggest that the "kind of use" that happens in schools (we all know what that means) constitutes excessive abuse!

Something to keep in mind is that a manufacturer’s warranty is an indication of whether a furniture company stands behind its products. 

Related Content: How Long Should My Classroom Furniture last? 

 

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Determining the Overall Value of School Furniture Solutions

Finally, consider the overall value of your selected classroom furniture. Remember that the highest price doesn’t always equal the “best” furniture. In the same vein, the best value doesn’t always mean the “lowest price.”

For more on this topic, as well as how to use the helpful furniture value formula shown below, check out this article, "Transform Learning Spaces by Purchasing the Right School Furniture."


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A Closer Look at Classroom Furniture: Flexibility, Design, and Overall Functionality

As you well know, learning looks different than it did in years past, hence the emergence of the modern learning environment. As school leaders and teachers seek to transform learning spaces, they’re putting extra effort on concepts like: 

  • Active
  • Personalized
  • Flexible
  • Configurable
  • Mobile
  • Collaborative
  • Movement

With this adapted way of learning and teaching comes the need for “new tools,” which is where updated school furniture comes into play. 

Flexible classrooms promote active learning by increasing movement, collaboration, and student choice. Moving about the room, students and teachers have the opportunity to reconfigure the classroom's furnishings, allowing them to create the optimal learning environment based on diverse learning objectives and student needs.

When students can pick their own seat—whether they stand, sit, or work on the floor—it lets them own the space and personalize it to meet their own learning needs. 

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Related Content: Use Diverse Classroom Seating to Promote Student Success

 

 

Understanding Why Classroom Furniture Design Matters

The color of the chairs and work surfaces, the amount of storage, the shape of the desks and tables, all work together to create an environment that helps students focus, feel safe, and inspired to learn. Thoughtful classroom design creates spaces that are balanced and support student social, psychological and physical needs. 

By replacing outdated, dull, and clunky furniture with flexible and fun furniture solutions, schools are better equipped to establish active learning environments that promote collaborative learning and greater student engagement. Study's show a well design classroom will influence student achievement.  

Related Content: 

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For more creative ways to design a learning space, check out the Artcobell LookBook by clicking below!

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SEL & Classroom Setup: How They Work Together to Promote Student Success

In today's modern learning environment, there is an added focus on social emotional learning, or SEL. A key component to student success, SEL strategies help students become more aware of their social, emotional and cognitive abilities and how to manage them. Effective classroom setups designed to promote SEL are designed with purpose.

With that in mind, to best help students we must rethink learning environments as a student-centered ecosystem. When done right, the classroom design then fosters a sense of inclusion and sets students up for success.

Essentially, we want all students to confidently be able to say:

Using the links above, discover how you can use school furniture and the right classroom setup to create an optimal learning environment for your students' diverse learning needs. classroom_layout

 

Inspirational Classroom Layouts to Help You Transform Learning in Your Schools

Now that you have a good idea of what kind of classroom furniture to purchase, why it impacts student learning, and how to use it most effectively, let’s take a look at some examples of classroom layouts you can replicate to promote student success across all of your learning spaces. Click here to check out virtual classroom setups!

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Next Steps to Purchasing the Right Classroom Furniture for Your School

Purchasing school furniture is no easy task—we get it! Connecting they why, how and what can be dauting.  In fact, as a former teacher and administrator, I’ve been in your shoes, which is why my team and I at Artcobell are dedicated to making the process as seamless as possible. 

When you partner with Artcobell, we promise to deliver classroom furniture solutions that are:

  • Durable, high-quality, and backed by a warranty we’re proud of
  • Flexible and configurable, providing you with an incredible value 
  • Proven to inspire learning and teaching, and to help you modernize your school
  • Manufactured in the USA, ensuring a fast turnaround

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Pro-tip: Invest in post-occupancy professional learning

Do your teachers understand how to use furniture as a tool to enhance their learning strategies and activities? Find out if your school furniture supplier provides training or orientation for using new furniture. Although it may sound strange at first, it’s really not! Just like any other new tool requires some explaining, so does new classroom furniture. Post-occupancy professional learning equips teachers with the insight they need to use new school furniture pieces to the fullest!classroom_furniture_configurationsWhether it’s learning how to use configurable shape tables as stand-alone units or discovering how to piece them together to create engaging, inclusive areas for group activities, you can open up a world of opportunities for your teachers and students by helping them explore ways to make the most of their classroom tables and flexible student desks.

At Artcobell, we have tons of free resources on our website and we're available to chat if you need someone to walk you through the purchasing process to discover the right classroom furniture for your school’s needs. 

Director_of_Learning_Environments

Jul 12, 2021

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