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 -
- Area Carpets and Interlocking Mats
- Big Joe Bean Bag Chairs
- Pillow Chairs
- Kid's Balance Ball Chair on Amazon
- Assorted furniture at Ross
- Lap Desks
- Floor Pillows and Cushions
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
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org