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Flexible Furniture

Flexible Furniture in Use

Manteca Unified has made elementary schools more adaptable by putting flexible furniture in all TK-8 classrooms! Flexible furniture can be moved and changed easily, so teachers can arrange their rooms and seats in different ways. This helps students work together and learn from each other during class. Students who collaborate with their peers can understand lessons better and think more creatively!

Here are some ways that the flexible furniture can be used in the classroom:

  • Many desks have whiteboard surfaces! Students can write on their desks to make learning and studying more fun.
  • Furniture pieces can be used as Building Blocks! Teachers can create different spaces with furniture to fit their lessons.
  • More movement! Students can choose where and how they want to sit, so they can release some energy while learning.

Flexible Furniture Tips for Families

As TK-8th grade classrooms now have innovative furniture, here are some tips to guide children on how to best use the furniture! Many classes allow students to choose where they want to sit each day. Students should ask themselves:

  • Was the seat I chose today a good learning spot for me?
  • Could I hear or see my teacher and complete my work?
  • Is there something I didn't like about where I sat today?
  • Which seat would be best for my learning tomorrow?
Students work at a group of flexible tables
Students work on their computers in grouped flexible furniture tables
A young student builds a tower
Two students stand in a classroom filled with flexible furniture.
Students play a game while using multiple types of flexible seating.
Two students work on math, utilizing a shelf as a table
Students sit in rocking desk chairs
Students use flexible seating, a rolling chair and a rocking stool
Students sit on balance stools while working at tables with whiteboard tops.
Students work at grouped desks while sitting on exercise ball stools.
students work in a group using flexible furnture
Students work at a group of flexible tables
Students work closely on the same piece of paper on a whiteboard-topped desk
View of a whole classroom with students using different flexible furniture types
Students work together at a flexible furniture table.
A group of students work together and use an upholstered bench as both seating and a table.
Students sit close together on a bench that doubles as storage
Students sit around a classroom on benches, foam furniture and at desks
Students work at a group of tables with both rolling chairs and balance stools.
Two students use foam benches in different ways - one as a seat, the other as a table
Students work at learning stations set up in different groups of flexible furniture
Students laugh while working on a whiteboard table and sitting in rocking chairs.
Students use calculators while reviewing math problems.
A classroom full of students using different flexible furniture configurations
With their desks grouped together, students collaborate on math,
With their desks grouped together, students collaborate on math,
A student has written numbers on her whiteboard desk while working on math.

Flexible Furniture is the Future

Designating more money and resources directly into the classroom, Manteca Unified School District’s Board of Education has committed one-time funds to install innovative furniture district-wide! 

This “furniture refresh” project supports MUSD's ongoing modernization efforts, further developing classrooms that coincide with evolving instructional practices. The furniture, which features more inclusive designs for all students, implements cutting-edge innovations, including whiteboard desks, collaborative seating, and ergonomic chairs.

Each grade level has received a specific set of furniture tailored just for their needs, placing student need at the center of all decision-making. For example, early learning classrooms are designed for young minds and built to withstand healthy, dynamic movement. Since children have a developmental need for body movement, flexible student seating will allow them to shift positions while continuing to learn. For older students, shared learning spaces will foster a sense of community and civic engagement as they work in teams and learn to problem solve for subjects such as science or math.

Providing learning environments that support diverse learning needs is essential. The California Department of Education confirms that classrooms that support active learning increase student engagement compared to traditional row-by-row classroom seating. Healthy movement, color, visual aids, and interactive furniture facilitate student growth while helping children feel active and alert – even seated.

“MUSD is excited to implement our new, innovative, and flexible furniture to all UTK-8th grade classrooms. To help students succeed, it’s critical to create classroom environments that nurture a love of learning!”

Jenni Andrews, Executive Director of Elementary Education