Several studies have shown that a flexible learning space gives students greater motivation to immerse themselves in a lesson and collaborate with others. In 2016, a Steelcase Education study showed that flexible classrooms made to support participative learning increased student engagement compared to traditional seating arrangements.
What are flexible classrooms?
A flexible classroom is a classroom where students can choose their seating arrangements and how they’re going to study. Teachers have garnered an endless list of resources to create a variety of flexible classroom arrangements using items such as large pillows, bucket chairs, standing desks, crate seating, rugs, yoga balls and scoop chairs. Examples of flexible classrooms around the country Flexible classrooms can take a variety of shapes and sizes. Creative seating and classroom designs can create a positive environment that makes more students look forward to coming to school. 1. Kindergarten Inclusion at Mount Carmel Elementary, Huntsville, Alabama. Teacher Benita Kay Moyers uses varying table heights and chairs to allow students to choose seats where they are most comfortable, while rugs and an armchair establish a separate area for reading. Flexible classrooms aren’t just about allowing students to choose their seating arrangements. Providing students a space within their classroom where they can move about freely helps burn calories and generate more oxygen flow to the brain, which helps concentration levels and student motivation.
2. Grades third to fifth at South Marshall Elementary School, Benton, Kentucky. Teachers Kenita Sutherland, Jackie Curts, and Anna Maziarka converted three and a half classrooms into one large room using tables, booths, futons, laptop bars and even church pews to create a flexible learning space. Students are oriented to each learning space, and the teachers work with students to create guidelines on how space can be used best. This promotes increased student-teacher interactions because teachers can go around the classroom easily and find out which students need help. 3. Raul Yzaguirre School, Brownsville, Texas. When this Texas school was looking to expand its existing space, it opted for flexible double classrooms with an interior partition which provided the opportunity to create customized, flexible learning spaces. These modular classroom units provided enough space to accommodate the expected 20 percent increase in enrollment while also keeping its budgets under control. With the ability to spread students out into more classrooms, the school was able to maintain the positive attitude and environment for learning. 4. F.C. Reed Middle School STEM Lab, Michigan. More schools are discovering the importance of having exploratory labs, especially when it comes to STEM subjects. These flexible learning spaces can be independent as in the case of F.C. Reed Middle School, or even attached to the classroom with sliding glass doors. This promotes self-directed learning and collaborative problem-solving. When you give students a choice about where they want to sit and how they want to learn, they learn to direct their own learning based on what they’re comfortable with. They also interact with other students who share similar ideas and engage in problem-solving. They learn to talk to their peer group first and then go to the teacher for a second opinion. 5. The Museum School of Avondale Estates, Atlanta, Georgia. The Museum School of Avondale Estates used modular classrooms to create a flexible floor plan system that could expand or contract with changing future enrollment or changing instructional method needs. They were able to incorporate natural light, creating a learning environment that was welcoming and promoted high performance. Educators want their students to be in the most comfortable learning space they can provide for them. To walk into a class and see students huddled in a group around a table, working fervently on the floor on their favorite rug or sitting neatly at a desk are all signs of students who are eager to learn.
Mobile Modular has been working with educators to create flexible learning spaces that add value. We offer modular classroom buildings for rent and sale with convenient, hassle-free deliveries. Get in touch with us today to learn more.