Is Social Media in the Classroom a Necessity or Distraction?


I recently had a telling experience while sitting at a friend’s dinner table. The mother asked her son how his class was today. He answered, “It got deleted”. Let’s be honest. Unless you are living under a rock, most of us are not only reliant on our computers for daily functioning but are also involved with social media in one form or another. In this digital era, our youngsters may no longer know the difference between something getting cancelled and something getting deleted

Though I have no doubt that by the time our elementary school students graduate high school there will be many more “new and improved” digital social outlets, social media today is more than just a way to connect to friends. It has evolved into a serious tool used for education and business as well. As many of our young people are practically born with a Smartphone in hand, is bringing social media into the classroom a necessity or a distraction? read more

Prepare to be Astounded As Your Students Lead the Way in Makerspace Design


Involve your students in planning your makerspace design and be astounded by the results.

Beautiful Makerspace in SchoolI was once trying to plan a video for a contest with my students. I am no expert in art or cinematography, but somehow this project was given to me. I had a concept, but I was having a hard time with the execution so I went to consult with the art teacher. She told me that I was going about the whole thing the wrong way. Rather than asking the students to do something very specific, which fit my idea, I should tell them what the rules of the contest were and see what they came up with. She was so right. They made a beautiful and clever clip, which was far better than anything I could have planned myself. I learned a valuable lesson about letting students lead the way, when possible. In fact, I think a lot of things in education are better when students are involved in the planning. Makerspace design is a great example. read more

Hertz Furniture Transforms Old K-mart into a Cool New School


Hertz Furniture transforms the Old Highland Kmart into a brand new charter school with active – flex seating

Watch ABC’s Channel 7 Eyewitness News video featuring Hertz Furniture’s installation of new active – flex seating in the brand new Entrepreneurship High School in Highland, California.

It doesn’t take a long to realize that this school is different. The design of the classroom tables and chairs allows for movement of antsy students according to Steve Neudorff, Hertz Furniture regional sales manager of Southern California. And check out the cool furnishings in the “Entrepreneurship Room”.  Ray Culberson, executive director of the school says that the school lends itself to creative learning. Watch the video and see for yourself! read more

Educators, Take Advantage of Your Summer!


Take Advantage of summerTime to Relax?

Anyone who works in the field of education knows how all-encompassing the job can be during the school year. We finally reach the summer months and really need some time for self-care, family, and personal projects. But once we have spent a few weeks on those things, we can really take advantage of the freedom of summer to invest in the upcoming school year. The more time you put into planning during the summer, the smoother your year can be. Instead of worrying about prep all the time, you can focus on the individual students and all of the other tasks, such as grading and meetings, which can’t be done in advance. read more

SUNO Students Are In Love With Their New Upbeat Library


Some of the amazing things Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) students are saying about the newly designed library and media center:

  • *the colors are amazing
  • *awesome environment
  • *creative, calm setting
  • *like a home
  • *stands out
  • *goes with college students

See the fantastic new furniture designed by Hertz Furniture and hear more from the students themselves. Watch and then tell us how your library measures up!

5 Questions Every Teacher Should Be Asking About Classroom Furniture

Collaborative Desks For Your Classrooom

It is so easy to get used to whatever classroom furniture you already have, especially if you are an experienced teacher. When we were in school, there was no such thing as collaborative desks or soft seating in the classroom, so it’s easy to get used to the idea that students don’t need these things to learn. No matter how easy it is, don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the rut of the status quo! Even if the classroom furniture you have right now is fine, why should you settle for satisfactory, when you could have fantastic? These five questions will help you evaluate what you have and how it can be improved to give your students the best learning environment possible. read more

No More School Bells


SSchool Bell Ringsince it opened in 2013, Rancho Mirage High School, near Palm Springs, California, has never used bells. An audio recording of a rattlesnake, which is the school mascot, can be heard in the hallways at the beginning of the school day, the end of lunch, and when school is over. The rest of the day, students rely on their personal cell phones and watches to keep track of time. Indeed, getting rid of school bells is a growing trend that has been sweeping American schools. But just because it sounds trendy and new, doesn’t mean it is the right choice for everyone. read more

Teacher of the Year Infographic


Meet the teachers who truly stand out as some of the most effective and inspiring educators from across the country in our Teacher of the Year Infographic – 2017!

Don’t miss our Teacher Of The Year 2017 Blog post! Get more details about these 6 educators plus one outstanding principal!

Infographic of Teachers of the Year 2017

Teachers Of The Year – 2017


It takes a lot of creativity, dedication and love to be chosen as a teacher of the year. In a sense, every teacher that has inspired students, made them feel that they matter every day, and helped them attain some real academic progress, is worthy of this title. It was not an easy task, given all of the exceptional candidates, but these teachers of the year -2017 really stand out as some of the most effective and inspiring educators from across the country.

Don’t Miss Our Teacher Of The Year Infographic! read more

Say No To Peanut Free Schools


Peanut Free School for KidsWhen I was growing up, there was no such thing as a “peanut free school”, at least as far as I knew. I had a few friends who carried around Epipens, and I remember learning how to use one at the staff orientation for a camp that I worked at. Things have certainly changed in the past two decades. Now the country is full of peanut free schools, camps and play areas. It’s great that public spaces are trying to accommodate the needs of all children. However, the real question is whether any of this makes a real difference in the lives of children with severe allergies. read more

Smart Seating Charts: A Revolution in Classroom Seating Plans


Smart Seating Charts In ClassroomsEvery experienced teacher knows that there are distinct advantages to having assigned seats in the classroom, not matter what kind of seating arrangement you have. Learning clusters are great, but they are much less helpful if students are not working well together. Smart seating charts allow you to create classroom seating plans which fit your needs and preferences, without spending hours agonizing over the logistics.

Creating a seating plan that fulfills every student’s needs is quite difficult. There might be students with visual impairments who need to sit near the front, students who learn better when they are sitting near a wall, students who absolutely cannot sit together, and the list goes on. There are an unlimited number of possible parameters that can lead to the ideal layout. Once a teacher knows what is best for each student, creating a setup that fulfills the best interests of every individual in the classroom community can be extremely time consuming. read more

Allowing Fidget Spinners in the Classroom is the Right Choice


Fidget Spinner in the ClassroomIt seems like fidget spinners are everywhere I turn. I walk into a lesson, and instead of seeing faces, I just see small propellers spinning all over my classroom. While some teachers have chosen to ban spinners because they have become more of a distraction than a tool to enhance focus, I think that they can actually be helpful in the classroom, when used with the right guidelines.

Personally, I have never been so bothered by students doing small things on the side in my lessons. I don’t even mind when students eat in class, as long as they don’t make a mess or distract their friends, and they can still write and pay attention. So allowing fidget spinners in my classroom is a logical rule, as I have seen that they actually can help certain students focus, or at least zone out for a minute or two in a non-distracting way. As long as the students are writing and reading when they are supposed to, spinners offer a great way to take a mental break for a minute or two. read more

The Day the Principal Banned Tag


Banning Tag at Recess?Do you have nostalgic memories of running around the school yard, chasing after friends? Well, it looks like kids from Gold Ridge Elementary school in Folsom, California won’t be sharing those experiences. On a Friday in March, Principal David Frankel sent a message to parents stating that “students were instructed that physical contact during tag games, touch football, etc. were not allowed on the yard.” The ban on tag and other games involving physical contact raises a very important question. While the question is a complicated one, banning tag does seem a bit extreme. read more

Cheating in the Age of the Internet


Cheating With Internet TechnologyWhile browsing a local website dedicated to job listings, I recently came across an ad recruiting high-quality, college-level writing. When I clicked on the link, I found myself on a website dedicated to “helping” college students write academic papers. At first glance, the original posting looked like a legitimate job, but when I followed the links, it became all too clear that the website was dedicated to recruiting people who would write college-level papers for other people, rather than really tutoring and helping students write on their own. My experience is just one of a myriad of examples of how cheating is evolving in the age of the internet. read more

Hertz Furniture Announces Winner of 2017 New Year’s Success in the Classroom Contest


Angella Hall, of Bullhead City Elementary School in Bullhead City, Arizona is the winner of the 2017 New Year’s Success in the Classroom Contest

Colorful Wobble Chairs

To enter the contest, teachers shared their goals and plans for success in the school year on social media attaching #hertzfurniture.  Angella Hall’s upbeat winning response was :

“…in 2017 my students and I will enjoy learning, being a part of a fun, loving and caring classroom environment together.” 

Ms. Hall will receive 1 Kore Executive Stool for herself and 4 Kore Wobble Chairs for her students! These wobble chairs are the perfect addition to her 21st century classroom. read more