December 7, 2016

IKEA Hack - Makerspace Butcher Block Table w/ adjustable legs and locking casters

For my complete diy step-by-step process for making and modifying this IKEA table for a K-5 Makerspace, go to my Groupwerk website link here -

November 15, 2016

The FAV Directory - Furniture/Audio/Visuals for Learning Spaces

The FAV Directory can be located at

The locking caster wheel as a
 game changer within Learning Spaces
The  FAV Directory is fashioned after Transformative Learning Space Design that embodies the pedagogical change from teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning. Here, the physical learning space itself plays a key role in our students mental and physical well-being and becomes embedded with a school’s overall social and emotional learning plans. Traditional learning spaces designed with a singular purpose are transformed to multi-purpose learning spaces. This transformation from 20th-century to 21st-century learning spaces uses a new lexicon to describe the metamorphosis from -

As classrooms and labs become more flexible and multipurpose, we start to look at the whole space (typically 960 sq. ft.) laid out with groupings of micro learning spaces and micro making spaces. In libraries, we typically have more area space to work with and can craft larger groupings of learning zones.

Please contact me as I would be happy to consult with you on a deeper level as a Learning Environment Consultant. In the FAV Directory, I'm advocating what I call, MobiMod™ (mobile and modular) furniture and A/V equipment to help spark activity and engagement in a variety of learning spaces that provide students a safe nest. You will also notice (with one exception), the absence of the word, desk for both students and teachers. Desks are often associated with a fixed space, whereas mobimod tables and chairs are either personalized or collaborative in flexible spaces.

November 4, 2016

Face-to-Face Learning Space diy Furniture Starter Kit

    1st Grade Teacher Stephanie Rossi, getting her new
    Reading Chair from Astoria Compass Furniture
So, you want to transform your 20th century learning space. Here are three models to follow:

1. Create a basic Action Plan as you start to transform your physical learning space.

A) Start with a short paragraph - Why you are changing your traditional space to a collaborative and personalized 21st century space. Here, you have to connect your physical learning space with your inquiry/project-based curriculum and philosophy.

B) Get your School Principal's buy-in to your plan before you begin. Your Principal (beside you), can be your first potential CHAMPION of your plan to create the transformation.

C) Hone your plan and work the long game to have one or more Champions who are closer to the money funding stream than you are, advocating your change!

2. Go to one or more local Home Furniture stores (that do not sell to the education market). Identify yourself with your school badge and ask to speak with the manager or owner. Tell the manager/owner about your school, your space and your plan. Ask if he or she would be interested in donating either furniture samples that they are about to get rid of or, any overstock items. I recommend that you only acquire newer type furniture that would meet all typical district fire retardant standards. Your Principal will also have a District donation form that the store can fill out for their tax deduction to your non-profit school. And, only except a piece of furniture that will work in your space and yes, use all your social skills in these interactions.

3. As you already know, you may have to start the process of change by spending your own money. I know, but this transformation of your learning space begins and ends with YOU and is a process based on your persistance.

4. I'm always casing out WalMart, Target, Ross (or TJ Maxx, Home Goods in your area) or the Dollar type stores. Here are some great starter furniture that I have found at a good discount -

5. Go to IKEA. Don't be afraid, not everything they sell kills your weekend putting it together. Here are some ideas.
6. Make a butcher block maker table with pipe for your Makerspace - see instructions

7. Does your District have a furniture and equipment boneyard? I’ve found some good stuff there!

8. Look for cafe style furniture that will work as a standing table in your learning space.

9. Make a Wafuu (a what) table from a school activity table - see instructions

10. Make a Lego Wall to create a very active wall space - see instructions

11. Start a KickStarter Fund online to buy several Hokki Chairs for example

12. Get your Principal to fund a magnetic whiteboard wall in your library to show everyone, you’ve got ideas and not only that, everyone can come to the Library as a brainstorming place!

Okay, so at least one of these ideas has got to be a winner here for you. Use your persistence and if you need someone to listen to your plan, you can write me at  -

June 28, 2016

The Transformation of a 20th Century Classroom into a Learning Studio

This post is linked from my Groupwerk website, you can click on it here -

Here, a learning studio is a hybrid of a classroom, a studio and a Starbucks® lounge.

For a typical K-12 classroom with a minimum requirement of 960 sq. ft., a learning studio morphs the same desks and chairs into an eclectic layout of furniture and technology. In effect, the 960 sq. ft. becomes a place of unique micro learning spaces.

March 14, 2016

Lego Wall in a MakerSpace

This post is linked from my Groupwerk website, you can click on it here -

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 in the Washington Elementary STEAM MakerSpace.

Learn how to built a Lego Wall as we take you through the step-by-step process including the materials you will need.