diy Learning Space Projects

Teachers have been doing diy (do it yourself) classrooms since the beginning of classrooms. What we are featuring here at GROUPWERK™ is the concept of teachers bringing home and office furniture into their K-12 classrooms. This includes removing much of the 10-30 year old standard desks and chairs for every student. It also removes the uniformity of design and function from everybody in rows or set clusters of assigned seating. Teachers craft diy learning spaces by often spending their own money or fund-raising to create an eclectic learning environment for their students. This diy spirit models the collaborative work environment common in many 21st century businesses combined with the cozy furniture and meeting spaces found at Starbucks and local coffee houses.

 Lego Wall in a MakerSpace

Here is an idea I first got from Chip and Joanna Gaines from their show Fixer Upper - The Barn House Episode. In one of the rooms, Joanna builds a lego wall in a child's bedroom using gray 10"x10" Lego plates. My daughter, Shawna McIntosh and Rodger Ashworth both thought this was a great idea for us to build a similar lego wall. Read more...

Wafuu translates from Japanese to English as "Japanese Style." To make a wafuu table you will need a table with short legs. In the example here, we used a round activity table where we have simply taken off the adjustable legs. Add some durable soft pillows and you have a traditional Japanese style table in your classroom. 

Big Joe is our recommended manufacturer of affordable ($30) and very durable (stain and water resistant) canvas bean bag furniture. 

IKEA Hack: Elementary Makerspace Butcher
Table w/ Casters
Here is an IKEA hack using Service Caster Corporation heavy duty casters with an IKEA butcher block table and adjustable legs.

IKEA Hack: Couch on Casters

Here is an idea I've had for a long time. I've always wanted to put heavy duty casters on a couch for a classroom and an opportunity finally presented itself. About 7 years ago, I helped Washington Elementary in San Diego create cozy furniture spaces in their library and several model classrooms. I'm back this year to help the school again and found one of the red IKEA Klippan couches (that I had previously ordered) hanging out in a hallway with all of the legs missing. 

I will update how the motor and table hold up over time.
Purchased Oct. 2015

1 year 10/16 - Perfect!

IKEA BEKANT Sit/Stand Desk Table

I'm a big advocate for students and adults standing for part of their learning or work day. Last October (2015), I decided to walk the talk and get an electric motorized desk for my work space in my home office. In doing research for K-12 on sit/stand desks, most motorized electric height-adjustable tables start at around $800 and are not affordable for classroom use. For my home office, I decided to go with the IKEA BEKANT sit/stand table because it was the cheapest I could find(@ $489) but was comparable to several other $800-$1000 tables on the market.

Like all IKEA products you have to put this electric motorized desk together. I cost factored my time in doing a complete diy project and feel this is a very competitive solution for the total price and time compared to piecing together and making one from scratch. Here is my photo slide show of the install process and my new workstation in my home. I also bought one for my business partner, Bill and put it together in his office in Seattle. He loves it!

For classrooms, here is a crank style self adjustable table from IKEA called SKARSTA ($239) along with SIGNUM cord management system ($12). Crank height adjustable tables are probably where you want to start  price wise. 

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