It’s not just the shape of a Collaborative Learning student desk that matters.
Consider its construction. Many school districts are now choosing furniture based on its support of collaborative learning curricula. They wisely opt for desks that can be grouped together in compact pods that allow optimal student interaction in groups up to six or eight in size.
As a pioneer in the design of collaborative furniture, we’ve learned that there’s more to consider than the shape of the desktop alone. The desk’s construction is vitally important – much more so than in a traditional desk that’s rarely moved. To meet the needs of a Collaborative Learning classroom, the desks must move – often several times a day.
This puts two very significant demands on the desk, in addition to its ability to be configured in a compact pod. First, the desk must be made mobile, so that an elementary-school-age student can move it from place to place. This is typically enabled through casters – an option all Smith System® Collaborative Learning desks can accept. Second, the desk must be durable enough to stand up to being moved around – again, at the hands of young children who may or may not have the strength to move a 30-lb. desk with finesse. This can cause the legs of poorly constructed desks to start wobbling early in the desk’s life.
Contrast that with the durability of a Smith System® Collaborative Learning desk. It stands up to the added stresses of being moved around quite well because it offers an engineering feature known as structural framing. Structural framing works like this: The legs are reinforced with a steel crosspiece that helps to evenly distribute and support the weight of the desktop. This reinforcement also keeps the legs from moving independently from each other, which helps reduce the stress on the legs when the desk is moved.
Smith System® offers more than 30 desk options for Collaborative Learning classrooms
From line to line, the designs vary somewhat, but each has earned high marks for durability and longevity despite the harsh realities of everyday life in an active classroom. Here are some of our most popular choices:
It may sound flowery, but the Numbers Single Student Petal Desk offers serious learning. Its unique, versatile shape works for solo study or group configurations. The desk features a quick height-adjustment mechanism and an inner leg tube that can flip between glides or casters for wheelbarrowing. It’s easy to stack, too.
• Dimensions: 29.5” x 33.5” x 24.5”–30”
• Low-range adjustable height is 19″–24.5″
• Glides or casters
• Felted backpack hooks on all 4 legs
• Bookbox option
• Stacks 3–4 high
The Interchange® Diamond Desk combines sleek, contemporary looks with very innovative desktop shapes that allow compact pods to be created. Interchange® desks can all be fitted with casters to make moving desks easier for the students. All are reinforced with structural framing.
- Mini Diamond Desks can be collected into groups of six students per pod the diameter of the combined work surfaces is just 71 in.
- Interchange® Diamond Desks can also be collected into a six-student pod – one that’s 79 in. in diameter.
- Interchange® Diamond Two-Student Desk. Three go together to make a compact pod for six students.
The Interchange® 3-2-1 Desk combines sleek, contemporary looks with an imaginative desktop shape that allows a compact pod to be formed. Optional casters make 3-2-1 Desks easier for students to move. All 3-2-1 Desks are reinforced with structural framing.
- 3-2-1 Desk, recommended for K-2 classrooms, accommodates two students, three 3-2-1 Desks create a six-student pod.
- 3-2-1 LS Desk, recommended for grade 3-6 classrooms, accommodates two students, three 3-2-1 LS Desks create a six-student pod.
This desk combines sleek, contemporary looks with a striking desktop shape that allows a compact pod to be formed or either four our six students. The four-student pod is a square that measures 48 in. on each side. The six-student pod measures 52 in. x 85 in. Optional casters make Wing Desks easier for students to move. All Wing Desks are reinforced with structural framing.
These options take structural framing to the next level and offer maximum strength and stability. Their trapezoidal desktops allow compact circles to be created for group work. Optional casters for easy mobility are available.
- Huddle-6 Desks can be configured to accommodate six students in a pod that measures just 72 in. in diameter – recommended for K-5 students.
- Huddle-8 Desks can be configured to accommodate eight students in a pod that measures 84 in. in diameter – recommended for K-5 students.
- Huddle-8 LS Desks can be configured to accommodate eight students in a pod that measures 84 in. in diameter – recommended for students grade 5 and up. The work surface is deeper, but the same width as Huddle-8 desks.