Collaborative Desks

Classroom Learning Dynamics

It’s not just the shape of a Collaborative Learning 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.

interchange_frameAs 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.

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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:

Collaborative Learning Desks from the Interchange™ Line.

Interchange Diamond™ Desks

diamond_deskThe 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.

Interchange 3-2-1™ Desk

321_deskThe 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.

Interchange Wing™ Desk

wing_deskThis 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.

Collaborative Learning Desks from the Planner™ line.

Huddle™ Desk

huddle6_deskThese 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.

Collaborative Learning Desks from the Flex™ line.

Arc™ Desk

huddle8_deskIts cantilever leg set allows the student to stand or sit easily without knocking knees which speeds up transitions in an active classroom. Even so, stability of the work surface is not compromised. Optional casters for easy mobility are available. Structural framing is achieved through the shape of leg sets and a cross member that supports the modesty panel.

  • Arc-8 Desks can be grouped into eight-student pods that measure 7 ft. 7-1/2 in. in diameter.
  • Arc-8 LS Desks can be grouped into eight-student pods that measure 7 ft. 8-1/2 in. in diameter. The work surface is deeper, than Arc-8 desks.
  • ADA Arc Flex Desks can be grouped into eight-student pods that measure 10 ft. 4 in. in diameter.
  •  Two-Student Arc Flex Desks can be grouped into compact eight-student pods.

Collaborative Learning Desks from the UXL™ line.

UXL Diamond™ Desks

diamond_deskThis line is customizable and broad, which allows you to maintain a consistent design scheme throughout the building. Optional casters for easy mobility are available. Structural framing adds durability.

  • Mini Diamond Desks can be collected into groups of six students per pod the diameter of the combined work surfaces is just 69-1/2 in.
  • UXL Diamond Desks can also be collected into a six-student pod – one that’s 75-1/2 in. in diameter.
  • UXL Diamond Two-Student Desk. Three go together to make a pod for six students that’s 76 in. in diameter.

Our comprehensive line of school furniture doesn’t stop here. We offer many different options for the collaborative classroom and we’re constantly developing new products to meet the needs of today’s changing classroom.

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