The modern classroom is very different from even 20 years ago. It has tablets, dry-erase walls, and also couches. Not only do classes have these fun improvements, but they’re also getting students more involved and collaborative. It’s essential to buy the right kind of furniture for your classroom so learners can be set up for success in academics and relationships. We’ve written a guide on purchasing classroom furniture and flexible seating so that you can create a thriving learning environment.

What Classroom Furniture Do You Need? 

Grade school classrooms are places to learn, build relationships, and create. You might be asking where to start in building this type of atmosphere. Basic pieces are the best place to start when you have an empty classroom and then fill with flexible seating and accessories. 

Desks 

Any great learning environment has desks to write and create on. Mix up the layout of traditional desks to keep students interested or use alternative methods like tables or mobile desks. Use a variety of desk types to create stations in your room.

Type Good For How Many You Need

Seated 

  • Standard classroom layout 
  • Lesson work 
  • Watching presentations 
  • Quiet work 
  • At least one for every student (recommended 2-3 extras for added students!)

 

Standing 

  • Active listening 
  • Collaboration 
  • Project work 
  • Computer work 
  • At least one for every student (recommended 2-3 extras for added students!)

Mobile 

  • Project work 
  • Collaboration 
  • Group work 
  • Tablet work 

Occasional Group Work: 

  • Five-Six to rotate students into 

Frequent Group Work: 

  • One for every student and one for teachers/aids 

Study/Privacy 

  • Test taking 
  • Studying 
  • Individual work 
  • Quiet work 

Class of 15 

  • 8-10 

Class of 20+ 

  • 12-15 

Tables 

  • Collaboration 
  • Project work 
  • Group work 
  • Desk alternative 

Using Instead of Desks: 

  • 6-7 per classroom 

Use for Group Work: 

  • 2-3 per classroom 

Chairs 

A functional place to sit is essential to engagement in the classroom. Whether you choose traditional chairs or flexible seating options like bean bags, be sure to have a variety of places to sit and collaborate. 

Type Use With How Many You Need

Chair 

  • Seated desks 
  • Study desks 
  • Tables 
  • At least one for every student (recommended 2-3 extras for added students!)

Stool

  • Tables 
  • Seated desks 

For Collaboration: 

  • 9-10 to rotate students into 

Alternative to Chairs: 

  • One for every student and one for teachers/aids

Bean Bag 

  • Reading nooks 
  • Rug workspaces 
  • 3-5

 

Task Chair 

  • Tables 
  • Collaboration areas 
  • 9-10 to rotate students into

 

Sofa/Loveseat 

  • Reading nook 
  • Teachers corner
  • 1-2

 

Accessories 

Make your area feel more like home with accessories for your classroom. Rugs can create a flexible space for students, and mobile storage can offer options for learning stations. Set up flexible learning areas with the use of classroom accessories. 

Type Use For

Rugs 

  • Alternative workspace 
  • Reading nook 
  • Add to a collaboration area

Lamps 

  • Cozy lighting 
  • Alternative to fluorescent lighting

Cubbies 

  • Storage for take-home items 
  • Bookcase in a reading nook 
  • Storage for lunch boxes 
  • Mailboxes

Mobile Storage 

  • Keep papers and supplies organized 
  • Mobile art class

Technology Essentials 

Schools utilize technology in classrooms with tablets and laptops to further the impact of their lesson plans. Furniture to charge and store technology is essential to a modern classroom.

Type Use it For Features

Charging Carts 

  • Charging laptops or tablets 
  • Securely store technology when not in use 
  • Mobile (wheels) 
  • Locking for security 
  • Different models hold up to 42 tablets/laptops 

Laptop Desk 

  • Computer/tablet work 
  • Mobile workstation 
  • Mobile 
  • Flat surface for work 

Power Modules 

  • Charging tech while in use 
  • Use at desks and tables 
  • Clamps onto desks/tables 
  • Multiple outlets and UBS plug-ins 

Designing Flexible Spaces 

The key to successful students is a well-designed classroom. A collaborative space allows children to work together on projects, create as a group, and solve problems together. Creating areas like this in your room will foster these types of interactions and encourage attentive participation. There are several benefits to utilizing flexible seating in your class. 

Benefits to Open Spaces in the Classroom 

  • Increase Focus – According to the Journal of Learning Spaces; “Space has a causal impact on instructor behavior, classroom activities, and the levels at which students are on-task”. This means that a flexible classroom can help increase productivity and work produced by students.
  • Encourage Movement – Sitting all day can be difficult for anyone, especially younger children. Flexible seating and collaborative spaces can reduce the amount of sitting in one place or in one type of chair all day. 
  • Build Relationships – Students can build relationships by working in groups on projects and tasks. This type of collaboration can also assist in building stronger teacher-student relationships by allowing teachers to work with smaller groups at a time. 
  • Empower with Choices – Children appreciate being offered choices when it comes to their learning. Adding different kinds of seating gives students different options for doing work and projects. 
Green rolling classroom stools

Ideas for Flexible Seating

Cushions

Add cushions to the floor in a corner of your room. They become a great space to read, spend quiet time, and have conversations. Or add cushions next to a low table for a different type of workspace.

Cluster Desks

Cluster desks facing each other in groups of 6-8. This creates a “board room” type of table to work together and converse.

Reading/Conversation Nook

Add comfortable furniture and pillows to create a homey area for reading and conversation. This area is great for breaks, reading time, and group activities.

Floor Space

Get some rugs and add pillows for a comfortable floor workspace. Utilize the floor as an option for reading and doing quiet work.

More Ideas on Schools

Looking for more information on equipping your school and cafeteria? Read about School Cafeteria Nutrition and School Cafeteria Supplies in our Resource Center.