The learning environment you create for your students can directly influence their educational experience. According to Character Exchange, the physical environment plays an important role in academic achievement. Good seating options, comfort, and visibility are all necessary components of a successful classroom.
It’s extremely important to make the most of your classroom space, no matter what the size. Don’t lose heart if you have a smaller than ideal room. Whether it’s a room for music, STEM, or a general learning space, there are several effective ways to supersize your classroom.
1. Remove Large Furniture
Educators are sometimes hesitant to get dispose of larger pieces of furniture as they were a significant investment. However, these pieces are often too bulky, difficult to arrange, and take up more space than they’re worth. Smaller pieces of furniture are more functional and provide lots of options when arranging a classroom. Smaller tables provide more options for configurations and can go a long way towards maximising your floor space.
Look around your classroom and decide whether you actually need all of the storage units. Take the time to regularly sort through them and donate or dispose of any resources that are not used regularly.
Smartable Sit Stand desks that children can stand or sit at offer more options for students while taking up the same amount of space. Flexible furniture items such as Zen Rests and Jackpot Seat Pads are easy to stack and store when you need to make more space quickly. Selecting the right furniture is one of the most important ways you can make the best use of space.
2. Store Rarely Used Equipment
Consider storing media or other large equipment items that you may use only a few times each term. If there’s not much storage space at your school, try swapping equipment with other teachers. Come up with a schedule so that each of you is using different equipment at different times throughout the year. If you’ve gone an entire year without using a certain piece of equipment, it’s probably time to donate the item.
3. Student Input
Evidence has found that when students are engaged in the classroom layout, they take ownership of their space and feel like their input has been valued. Since your students are the ones learning and working in the room on a regular basis, they may come up with the best ideas. Even younger students can be creative when it comes to ideas for the classroom.
4. Student desk arrangements
Traditional rows take up a lot of room. There are almost an endless amount of ways to organise desks, or even do away with traditional desks, to add more space. Consider all the classroom layout options when arranging learning areas.
- Future focused layouts – In some of the latest classroom designs not every student needs to be allocated a desk and chair. They are provided with a variety of furniture options and they can choose to move between the spaces to suit the activity.
- Agile desks – Small mobile desks are easy to rearrange and can be used for solo learning or can be configured to encourage collaboration.
- Compact furniture – Seating that stacks and flip top tables that nest together when they are not being used are practical options for small classrooms. This means that that the room can be used as a regular classroom or very quickly cleared to create open floor space.
5. Mobile Resource Solutions
Almost anything on castors is beneficial when making the most of small spaces. You’ll appreciate the ability to move items easily around the room and adapt more quickly to the needs of your students. There are a wide range of trolleys and other types of mobile resource solutions that you can use for this purpose. Efficient storage options feature tote trays or baskets which have handles or lids that help make them easier to access in the room. Good labelling will ensure resources have a specific place and can be easily accessed and returned as required.
Depot Storage Units
6. Consider Teacher Space
Do you even need a regular desk? Many educators stand at the front of the room or roam around the space while teaching. If you absolutely need a desk, consider using one of the student desks or a unit designed specifically for a compact teacher space such as the BFX Kaboodle Doodle!
We are Teachers offers some creative advice for removing a desk and still maintaining an organised room. A few ideas include wearing an apron with lots of pockets for holding materials and using an adjustable laptop cart. You may also want to use a few small, portable carts to store items for different subjects.
One of our customer reviews
7. Make Use of Every Space
Make a list of every item you absolutely need in your classroom. Then make a simple drawing of your classroom so you can visually arrange your room with paper and pencil or use a 3D drawing program such as SketchUp. Don’t forget wall space. Everything from shelves and hooks to more creative solutions can provide extra storage space.
Use clotheslines across the room to hang items or display work. Don’t forget to use window sills for arranging smaller items that you or the students often use. You may even want to use the hallway for students who are able to work on projects independently or for a quiet reading area.
8. Use Smart Storage
Not all storage is equal. The following are a few tips to organise more efficiently.
- Choose mobile storage – Storage with castors offers increased versatility as it can be easily moved throughout the classroom or removed from the classroom for extra space.
- Use versatile tote trays – Look for storage units that share compatible tote trays. Stash tote trays can be used across a range of BFX’s most popular storage units including Depot, Dock and Island Bench.
- Use labels – Labeling is essential for storing and easily finding items and returning them as required.
Stash Tote Trolley
9. Create a Library on Wheels
Many teachers create a space in their classrooms with several shelves of books and comfy spots for stretching out and reading. Consider choosing a Beehive Book Trolley or Jupiter Mobile Shelf combined with a Jackpot Seat Pad Trolley.
Every few weeks, rotate or swap books between classrooms. This will keep reading options varied and interesting without having to store an excessive amount of books.
For expert advice on how to make the most of your classroom, contact BFX Furniture for space saving solutions.