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  1. 21st Century Classroom Design for the Teacher: What It Is and How It Benefits Students, Especially Those with ADHD

    May 19, 2017  //  by Elizabeth Mack  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    21st century classroom design

    21st Century classroom design. Just the sound of it is intimidating.

    Maybe you’ve read an article discussing how the 21st century classroom design creates more opportunities for student-centered, collaborative learning.

    Or you’ve talked about it with colleagues, pretending to be a seasoned pro in that subject area.

    Whatever the case, you’re not sure what it is. Rest assured though. Because it’s a lot simpler than what you (and a lot of other people) think.

    Read on to learn what the 21st century classroom design really is and how it prepares students for the real world. Not to mention, how students with ADHD are the real benefiters of it.

    Breaking Down the 21st Century Classroom Design Using Starbucks

    Go into a Starbucks. And you’ll notice that those rounded café tables look similar to the ones in your colleague’s classroom

    You’ll also see that the famous coffee joint has many different types of seating options (or flexible seating arrangements): the communal table, rounded café tables (as we mentioned), and bar stools.

    Yep, the new and improved classroom design resembles Starbucks.

    And it’s not by accident.

    Starbucks uses the small, rounded café table so lone Starbuck goers weren’t lonely.[1]

    Plus, they’ve revamped their floor design to create a personalized café space…for their 23,000 coffee store locations.[2]

    What we’re trying to say is that the coffee chain, like the 21st century classroom design, uses a thought-out design model that creates a personalized user experience.

    In the education sector, we call it personalized learning. In the food industry sphere, it’s the customer experience.

    But both boil down to the same concept.

    Which brings us to…

    What is This New Classroom Design Model?

    As we mentioned in our article, 3 Dynamic Ways 21st Century Classroom Furniture Facilitates Student-Centered Learning, the traditional classroom design used to consist of your standard, four-legged chairs and desks in neat rows in front of a chalkboard.

    This design made it hard for students to get out of their seats for group activities (if there were any).

    The design didn’t involve very much mobility since chairs and desks didn’t have casters.

    And, with the chalkboard in the front, the design catered to a teacher-centered learning model.

    The 21st century classroom model is the opposite of this.

    It’s a model that encourages a student-centered learning style.

    This new learning style is based on equipping students with real-world skills. Or 21st century skills.[3]

    Specifically, the classroom is similar to the real world, in that students have more (age appropriate) choices.

    (It probably makes more sense now why the traditional classroom design wasn’t effective anymore. In that model, teachers made most to all of the choices. This meant students weren’t able to practice making their own.)

    One of the main choices is allowing students where they want to sit to do school work when given the option.

    Another is deciding how to go about learning—does the student need blocks for arithmetic? Or does he/she use their fingers to count?

    These two options help students create their own personalized learning environment.

    Here’s the Secret: There is No Right Classroom Design Model

    While in the education world, we refer to the 21st century class design as a single model, there really is no one-size-fits-all.

    Think of it as an overarching term that covers any classroom design that uses school furniture to help students make choices on how they want to learn.

    So, if you put two study carrels by the window for students who enjoy solitary work and Hokki stools in various corners for overstimulated students, you’ve got yourself a 21st century class design.

    Piaget’s Constructivist Learning Theory Applies

    The constructivist learning theory was created by Psychologist, Jacque Piaget.

    It’s a fundamental cornerstone in education, being used heavily. It happens to be the backbone behind student-centered learning.[4]

    The theory is “humans construct knowledge and meaning from their experiences.” [5]

    So, in the case of student-centered learning, students’ “learning styles, preferences, and interests”[6] are heavily considered.

    Again, this is the type of learning the 21st century class design emphasizes.

    How Do Students Benefit From This Classroom Design?

    Here are some reasons how students benefit from this design.

    1. It Gives Students More Responsibility

    Because the tables and chairs are on casters, you can delegate a group of students to move them to the side of the room for a lesson. (You could even assign this as a job.)

    By giving students more responsibility, you’re allowing them to practice 21st century skills such as problem-solving and teamwork.

    How are all the tables and chairs going to fit on one side without blocking the classroom entrance?

    2. Students Benefit From More In-Depth, Collaborative Lessons

    The flexible school furniture makes it easier for you to plan lessons that dive deeper into the material because you can create a collaborative space quickly.

    You can then do team-based lab assignments, group problem solving, partner work, and “turn to your neighbor” quick chats.[7]

    3. Lessons Can Apply to Students’ Different Learning Styles

    Not only can you make more space (via flexible school furniture) for collaborative group work but your lesson plans can apply to kinesthetic, visual, and auditory learners.

    By combining several of the Thumbprint tables, you can have groups of students paint types of orcas and dolphins on large poster board after going over the ocean mammal life chapter for biology.

    Visual and kinesthetic learners would benefit from such an activity.

    How the 21st Century Classroom Design Appeals to Those With ADHD

    While the 21st century class design helps to create a community of diverse learners, it especially benefits students with ADHD.

    Read on to learn why and how.

    ADHD in a Nutshell

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common mental disorder that affects roughly 5% of kids and 2.5% of adults in the US.[8]

    Students with this usually have trouble focusing and are impulsive and moving constantly in the classroom.[9]

    How the New Classroom Design Helps

    1. Additional Storage in the Furniture Alleviates Clutter

    The storage space in the functional furniture, such as the Soft Seating, provides more organizational space for things (i.e. books, educational games…) that otherwise may have been stacking up.

    Better yet, perhaps you could assign the student with ADHD one of the Soft Seating separable sections. The landscape storage could specifically be his/her storage spot.

    This is important since disorganization is one of the ADHD symptoms.[10] You could help the student stay on top of clutter by assigning a designated spot, “better” than the regular cubbies.

    Plus, less clutter means less stress for the student (and yourself).[11]

    2. Assign the Student a Seat

    Several students with ADHD do better closer to the teacher, next to “well-behaved” students.[12] You could wheel the Soft Seating close to you.

    And, depending on the behavior, give him/her the option of another seat. That way, the student still has some form of personalized learning.

    3. Utilize the Hokki Stool

    This 21st century stool was made for over stimulated students. In fact, you may find the student can better focus since the “excess energy” is being released by bobbling on the stool.


    • While 21st century classroom design may sound intimidating, it’s not.
    • In fact, you’ll notice that the thought-out types of furniture and use of space in Starbucks is similar to the 21st classroom design.
    • Both use the design to facilitate user experience. (Food industry—customer experience; education—personalized learning.)
    • Which brings us to what 21st century classroom design really is…
    • It’s the opposite of the traditional design. It’s based on equipping students with real-world skills.
    • In other words, 21st century skills.
    • The traditional design, on the other hand, is teacher-oriented, with the students sitting in hard, four-legged seats and desks, always facing the teacher.
    • This design gave most (if not all) choice to the teacher, who didn’t need practice making responsible decisions.
    • Furniture helps facilitate the 21st design.
    • But know that there is no one-size-fits-all with this design model.
    • Think of it as an overarching term.
    • So, if you have furniture that emphasizes personalized learning, your classroom design is 21st century.
    • Student-centered learning, the learning style the design is about, was based on (famous psychiatrist) Jacque Piaget’s constructivist learning theory.
    • The theory takes into consideration a person’s learning style, interests, and preferences.
    • Overall, the design is beneficial to students, as it gives them more responsibility and ways for them to practice 21st century skills.
    • That and students learn more because teachers do more group work, using the collaborative space.
    • And can present information to a diverse range of learning styles (i.e. auditory, visual, kinesthetic).
    • ADHD is a common mental disorder in which people have trouble staying focused, among a number of other symptoms.
    • The 21st century class design is beneficial because designated yet flexible seating and organizational space helps students with ADHD stay attentive and organized.
    • And the Hokki stool is great to manage any excess energy that needs to be released.


    Questions and Comments

    What’s your experience like with the 21st century class design? How has it facilitated you and your students in personalized learning? Let us know!

    Image Credit via Unsplash

    [5] The University of Sydney: Constructivism

    [6] Edutopia: Bridging the ADHD Gap

    [8] American Psychiatric Association: ADHD

    [9] American Psychiatric Association: ADHD

    [10] American Psychiatric Association: ADHD

  2. The Brass Ring: Grabbing for the American Dream

    Jun 10, 2015  //  by admin  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    The American Dream. It starts with our first job, whether it be babysitting, mowing lawns, or sacking groceries at the local store. Whatever it is, we work toward the dream of college, a dream job, the perfect family, a dream house, living the dream life, and, finally, retirement. The American Dream.

    So when did we quit dreaming? Or how did our dream become a nightmare somewhere along the way? Why have we determined that the dream is unattainable?


    Dream. Grab for the brass ring – that symbol of the past that today represents striving for the prize. The brass ring – that past practice of rewarding one who succeeded in reaching for and acquiring the goal. Everyone gets a shot at the brass ring. Anyone can attain the prize who legitimately and persistently strives to achieve it. The dream is alive. It is within your reach. Hard work and team work bring realization. You can make it happen for you.

    The brass ring is a stretch. The American Dream is a grand one. It’s a worthy aspiration. It deserves your best shot. YOU deserve your best shot. Your loved ones do, too. Is your brass ring to climb the ladder where you are? Is it to start your own business? Is working for yourself your means to the American Dream? Live your life to its fullest potential. Stretch for the brass ring. Grab the American Dream.


    Culver-Newlin, a school and office furniture company, understands the brass ring concept. We grabbed for it ourselves. And for over fifty years we’ve been providing excellent service to schools and businesses in Southern California. Customer service is the focus and foundation of our family owned and operated business. With complete furnishings for the modern and ergonomic workplace, or the perfect-fit furniture for the classroom, our sales team and design staff will help you choose and set up your new office or study space. For more information, call 949-288-6739 today, or visit our website.


    Culver-Newlin can tell you the American Dream exists. It may be elusive, but it exists. And you can make it yours. Don’t give up. Never give up on your dream. Lay claim to the prize. Go for the brass ring. Grab the American Dream.

  3. Speaking and Reading Body Language Fluently

    May 11, 2015  //  by admin  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    “Parlez-vous francais?”  “Habla usted espanol?”  “Do you speak English?”

    Communication is carried out in every language, and also without words. From smoke signals to flag signals and sign language, we practice many forms of communication regularly. Are you fluent in speaking and reading body language? If you’re in business, you should be. Whether you command the top of the corporate ladder, or are busy climbing it, speaking and reading body language fluently is vital to continued success.

    Body language speaks loud and clear, sometimes drowning out or contradicting our spoken communications. Your continued upward career could well depend on the body language you “speak,” or portray, and how well you “read” others.  It’s in your best interest to know the power of unspoken signals in communication.


    • Making and maintaining eye contact is important. Hesitance or refusal to make eye contact may signal a lack of self-confidence, a lack of respect for the other person, or worse, intent to deceive. When you look down, you lose the power of the point you’re making, and portray yourself as self-conscious and uncomfortable. Don’t stare, but keep friendly eye contact. Look your world in the eye and convey confidence in yourself and what you have to offer.
    • Maintain good posture. Poor posture indicates poor self-esteem and a lack of confidence, almost a closing in on one’s self. Poor posture can also signify low energy levels. Stand and sit upright with confidence in yourself and what you have to put on the table.
    • Extend a firm handshake. Is there anything worse than taking hold of a limp hand you are obligated to shake during an introduction? A weak handshake indicates a lack of authority, or self-confidence, or training. One’s handshake reinforces his word, so you want to present a good grip when shaking hands. Too strong a handshake comes off as aggressive and one-upmanship.
    • Give the one speaking your attention. Clock-watching suggests impatience. Fidgeting reveals boredom or anxiety. Looking at or for someone else indicates disinterest. Giving your attention to the speaker signals your being in the moment and your good manners.
    • Keep your arms unfolded. Crossed arms imply a closed-off mind, or lack of interest, or worse, arrogance.  Present yourself as open to others and their ideas by letting your hands rest in your lap or on the desk. Let your arms hang at your sides when standing.


    We can misread the body language others present: no one is infallible. But we need not confuse or offer body language ourselves for others to misinterpret. “Say what you mean and mean what you say” should be a motto for both spoken and body language. We don’t want anything to trip us as we climb the ladder to success in business or life in general.

    When you’ve climbed high enough to furnish your own office, contact Culver-Newlin. We are Southern California’s premier school and office furniture showroom and distribution center, having been in business for over 50 years. Our sales team and design staff can help you choose and set up your new executive office. Call us at 949-288-6739, or visit our website. And congratulations on your bright future in business! We read you loud and clear!

  4. Contemporary Church Furniture at its Finest

    Oct 10, 2014  //  by admin  //  blog, Uncategorized  //  No Comments


    Culver-Newlin is the complete source for your church furnishing needs.  If you are ready to up-date your worship center, need more flexibility in the use of your space, or are starting new, call us at 949-597-0123.  Our sales team and design staff will work with you and within your budget to set you up with what will serve you best.


    Are you looking to change the seating arrangement in your church auditorium from pews to chairs?  Chairs offer flexibility for different configurations, and are stackable when you want to clear the floor area for various activities.  Check out Culver-Newlin’s fine collections of chairs designed both classic and contemporary – and always comfortable.

    contemporary church furniture

    photo credit:


    Furnish your nursery, pre-school, and children’s classrooms with brightly colored, durable furniture.  Tiny tot tables and chairs and other kid-sized furnishings will provide a welcoming environment for the children at your church.


    Supply the teen area with comfy, inviting accessories.  Add a powerful sound system and video set-up.


    Choose fabrics in classic, rich colors for furnishings in the adult meeting areas and the auditorium.   And pick the overhead projection and sound systems that meet your needs for your worship center.


    Culver-Newlin can supply your lecterns, choir risers, library shelving, display products, filing and storage, computer furniture, outdoor equipment, and all your office furniture needs.  Together we will set up a welcoming center as well as the fellowship and banquet areas.  We can provide furnishings for every room of your facility.


    Culver-Newlin carries exceptional lines of quality furniture for you to choose from at excellent prices.  We work with you – answering questions, helping with design ideas, space planning, product selection, and budget quotes.  Come in and together we’ll outfit your church with the right furniture for your design and desire.  And at Culver-Newlin, we deliver and set up so you’re ready for your next meeting.  Call us today at 949-597-0123.


    Serving satisfied customers in southern California for over 50 years, at Culver-Newlin, we’re proud of our family-business reputation built on integrity and superior service.  Call us today at 949-597-0123.

  5. CN Welcomes Kevin Mack – Director of Sales & Marketing

    Apr 30, 2012  //  by Chris Newlin  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    Culver-Newlin is proud to announce another new addition to the sales team – Kevin Mack, who joins the company as Director of Sales & Marketing. Kevin has a very strong and extensive background in the educational industry, with 25+ years in sales, marketing, and management. Kevin has had the opportunity to work on the manufacturer’s side with Crayola and Acco, as well as the distributor side with School Specialty, OfficeMax, and SchoolSpace Solutions.

    Please join us in welcoming Kevin to the Culver-Newlin team!

  6. CASBO 2012 Annual Conference – San Diego

    Apr 9, 2012  //  by Chris Newlin  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    Stop by and see us at this year’s CASBO conference in beautiful San Diego, CA. We’ll be in booths #821-823 with games, prizes and the friendly CN staff, along with the newest members of our sales team, Melissa VandenBerg and Bill Wells.

    Also, we hope you’ll be our guest after the exhibit hall closes on Thurs. April 12th, 5:00-7:00pm in our hospitality suite:

    4th Floor – Gas Lamp Room 3
    Omni San Diego Hotel
    675 L Street

    Food and Cocktails will be served!

  7. Welcome Bill Wells and Melissa VandenBerg

    Apr 5, 2012  //  by Chris Newlin  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    Culver-Newlin is proud to announce a double addition to our sales team. Both Bill Wells and Melissa VandenBerg bring over 35 years experience and knowledge in the school and office furniture industry. Combined with Culver-Newlin’s long standing history and reputation, we are excited for what the future holds and the opportunities ahead of us.

    Please join us in welcoming them to the CN family!

    Marty Schlom
    Chris Newlin
    Culver-Newlin Inc.

  8. Happy Holidays

    Dec 23, 2011  //  by Chris Newlin  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    From our family to yours, we hope you have a very happy holiday…

    Please note, our offices will be closed from 12/26/11 through 1/2/12.

    See you in the new year!

    -The Newlin Family and all the Culver-Newlin/McMahan staff

  9. Marty Schlom appointed Senior Vice President…

    Nov 22, 2011  //  by Chris Newlin  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    At this time, Neil Wells is no longer with Culver-Newlin Inc. We wish Neil the best in any/all future endeavors and thank him for his time with us.

    In his place we would like to announce that our McMahan Division Manager, Marty Schlom will now be the new Senior Vice President of Culver-Newlin Inc. – He will serve in place of a company president, a position that will remain vacant at this time.

    Marty brings over 40 years experience in both the contract and K-12 furniture industries. A proven leader and manager with a strong background in sales, we look forward to growing as a company under his direction.

    -Chris Newlin
    Chief Operation Officer
    Culver-Newlin Inc.

  10. Happy 4th of July!

    Jul 1, 2011  //  by Chris Newlin  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    From our family, to yours…we wish you a safe, happy and fun Independence Day!

    Please note that our offices will be closed on Monday, July 4th.

    Thank you and have a great holiday weekend!

    ~Culver-Newlin / McMahan Staff