Holidays can be a tricky time of year for educators. We’re trying to teach content and keep behavior under control at the same time in our classrooms. Easier said than done, right? I’ve learned to embrace the “crazy” and classroom transformations have really helped me keep my class engaged while still allowing them to be excited about the upcoming holiday(s).
Below, I’ve listed 5 holiday classroom transformations that can make your life a lot easier (AND more fun) when the holiday frenzy is getting to you. Students practice the standards and you get to add some spiral review to your math time!
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FALL CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
I LOVE using this room transformation on the first day of fall if I can! In this one, students become “squirrels” and complete math challenges around the “forest” (your classroom). I also included a QR code activity where students learn fun facts about fall. It’s easy to set up and low-prep!
This aligns with multiple common core math standards.
HALLOWEEN CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
Halloween is probably the most exhausting holiday of the year for us teachers. In this classroom transformation, kids get to embrace that excitement they’re feeling for Halloween night. Students walk around and meet ten Halloween characters. Each character gives them a math challenge to solve. Each time they solve a challenge, they draw a chance card that says “trick” or “treat” on it. The “trick” cards have the students place their hand in a “feel bag” that may feel like monster toes or vampire teeth! The “treat” bag has candy inside it and students grab a piece if they get that card. I even let my class dress up in their Halloween costumes for the day which made it so exciting! It’s a great idea for holiday classroom transformations.
THANKSGIVING CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
Have you ever read the book Balloons Over Broadway to your class? It tells the story of the creator of the Macy’s Day Parade. I made a classroom transformation that aligns PERFECTLY with this! The kids travel around to each parade balloon and solve a spiral math review during the Thanksgiving season. I love to do this one the day before Thanksgiving break because I normally have several students absent. This math activity lets my students who are at school practice their skills while not requiring any makeup work for my kiddos who started their break early.
In this room transformation, students get to practice math that aligns with multiple common core standards. I love to have my kids make a turkey out of Oreos at the end as a prize.
CHRISTMAS CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
If you like puzzles, this classroom transformation is PERFECT for you! I created 10 color-by-number activities that practice math concepts. I tell students that they are Santa’s Helpers (elves!) and are checking each of the activities before they are sent out to children around the world. Each one turns into something Christmas-related (a stocking, a sleigh, a candy cane, etc) and students record this on their recording sheet. When they finish all ten math challenges, I give them some sort of small prize as a reward. This one is perfect right before Christmas break!
LEPRECHAUN CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
This St. Patrick’s Day classroom transformation is “lucky” during the month of March! Kids attend a leprechaun family reunion where each leprechaun gives them a different math challenge to solve. Each math challenge practices a math skill learned earlier in the year and also relates to St. Patty’s Day. What I find really fun about this math activity is that there are “chance” tokens included. After students solve each challenge, they draw a coin out. If it’s “lucky”, they get a check mark on their recording sheet. If it’s “unlucky”, they get an X. Once they draw a lucky coin 5 times, they are true leprechauns and have successfully completed the reunion. I gave my kiddos a small treat when they finished...chocolate leprechaun gold. It’s an exciting concept for holiday classroom transformations.
You may also find this post on Classroom Transformation Tips helpful. It gives you my top ten tips to make these fun activities run smoothly and be as stress-free as possible.