Revamping My Classroom: Goodbye Desks Hello Couches and Bean Bags

So over the past year I have toyed with the idea of removing the desks in my room. Why you ask? Well, I have always felt that rows of desks and has always added to the robotic nature of an industrialized school system. This type of environment really is not very conducive to creativity. What our schools really need at this point is to teach students how to be creative.

Creativity is becoming a key to success for our society so as teachers we need to promote this and teach this in our classrooms to truly prepare students for the future. The first step in developing creativity is creating a comfortable environment where students feel safe to explore and try out new ideas. This is not done just with a change in decor but room setup as any teacher knows is essential in developing a classroom atmosphere. So, I have taken out the desks and moved in the couches and bean bags. Today, students may be shocked!

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8 Responses

  1. I teach 7th grade and have a couch and chair that they love, but want to add bean bags as well. I agree that the non-traditional, comfortable seating promotes creative and excited students. Any tips on what bean bags to get, how you keep the kids from abusing them, etc?

    • Students seemed as soon as they started hitting each other and throwing them I removed them for the next day. Then I would bring them back but every time they abused them I simply just removed them for a period of time. After a while they seemed to just settle in and they were no longer an issue. I have found my students to be more productive in this type of setting.

  2. I had the same idea!! How did you get funding to pay for them?

    • I got a grant through Verizon and used their goknow program. But unfortunately it was unsustainable due to the monthly data charge for the phones. So I traded them in for net-books now. I am finding I can still run games in the classroom. Enough of the students have smart phones that I can put them in groups and have them use their own phone.

  3. Don’t see it as a stupid idea at all. Our classrooms are robotic in nature and aren’t condusive to good conversation and review when needed in the classroom. This is especially so in the senior years, as I have discussed with my senior class the idea of beanbags in the classroom and had a debate on the use and misuse, the positives for good learning by far out weighed the negatives for this new idea.

    Open minds are productive, closed minds stifle invention and new ideas…let’s try new things in classrooms, heck, they don’t work real well now, so why not experiment a little.

    • The change in my room since the switch to couches and bean bags has been a very positive experience. The mood and feeling in the room is quite different. More than one students has commented on the fact that they feel more relaxed in my room. Has this led to better productivity? That still has yet to be seen but the switch has not created any problems for me either. This is something that I am going to try again next year.

  4. That is SO STUPID!!!

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