I’ve done over 50 classroom transformations in my classroom in the past year and a half (you might have heard me call them “Monday Fundays” on my Instagram). And you may be wondering if I had to choose, which ones were my favorites overall? This blog post outlines my top ten favorite classroom transformation ideas of all time!
NUMBER 10: UNDER THE SEA CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
This classroom transformation takes students under the sea while learning about math concepts. I added some fish to the ceiling, a banner to the board, a backdrop I found on Amazon, and a blue projector that made the room feel and sound like we were under water. Best of all, my kids learned SO much geometry and actually enjoyed themselves! Geometry is one of the most frustrating third grade topics but this ocean room transformation really changed my kids’ attitude about this concept. My students love this classroom transformation idea.
NUMBER 9: ZOO CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
Have you ever walked into a classroom that looked like a ZOO? You probably have–because most classrooms do resemble a zoo! But all joking aside, this classroom transformation will make your students feel like they’re on a field trip to the local zoo. When you cover every inch of the floor, desks, and walls with animal word problems, your room will look EXACTLY like a real-life zoo!
Students go find all 26 “escaped” zoo animals and solve the math question on each one. I like to scatter them all over the room so students have to hunt them down. It aligns with common core math standards.
NUMBER 8: CIRCUS CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
What kid doesn’t like the circus? (especially when you set up a circus tent right outside your door!). This classroom transformation includes a math challenge that involves real popcorn! It aligns with common core math standards.
In this classroom transformation, the kids go around to each “circus performer” at your classroom circus and solve math challenges. I really enjoy giving out popcorn as a prize at the end of this room transformation and students sure work hard for it as well!
NUMBER 7: CONSTRUCTION CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
I hated teaching measurement for years. Students didn’t understand the marks on a ruler and the difference between ¼, ½, and ¾. The cool part about this classroom transformation is that I created my own rulers for you to use that helps students learn this tricky math concept. Not only are there 10 math challenges that practice measurement, but there are ten construction tools students measure with the ruler I made that helps them practice as well. I love seeing my class in their cute little construction hats having fun (and not even realizing that they’re learning too!). This is such a fun classroom transformation idea!
NUMBER 6: BOOT CAMP CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
This room transformation makes my list of my favorite classroom transformation ideas because this one made my class WANT to learn their multiplication facts. The value of knowing your math facts in third grade is priceless (and for years beyond). I set up a challenge for each set of math facts around the room. This aligns with common core math standards.
Kids would get in groups to practice each set of facts and then report to the boot camp instructor (me, the teacher). Then, the students had to recite 12 facts within a minute. If they knew the answers fluently, they could easily pass the challenge. If not, they had to go back and practice it as well. I also threw in some fitness challenges and an obstacle course to spice this up. It was a very fun activity and I’ll be repeating it year after year.
NUMBER 5: DONUT CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
Donut stress! It’s donut day! There’s something about donuts that just makes everyone happy! My kids worked SO hard in this classroom transformation just to earn a donut at the end. I loved the pastel theme, the blow-up donuts I found on Amazon, and the smiles on my kids’ faces all day long. This aligns to common core math standards.
NUMBER 4: CANDY SHOP CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t like candy. This Candy shop classroom transformation is all about rounding (in the third grade version!). The way I related it to the real world was explaining to my kiddos that they had to complete each rounding math challenge and then go over to one of the 10 candy jars I had in the room. Students estimated how many pieces of candy were in each jar and wrote their guess on a piece of paper.
After everyone finished their work, I revealed how much candy was truly in each jar and the closest guess WON each candy jar! I was able to get my candy for about $10 from the dollar store and my kiddos LOVED the candy I hung from the ceiling too!
NUMBER 3: PIRATE CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
This classroom transformation is pretty special because it’s pirates! Every teacher (and student) loves talking like a pirate while wearing an eye patch and saying “argh” at every possible thing. It also involves a really fun topic to teach! This aligns with common core math standards.
Students complete pirate-themed math challenges and get checked on their treasure map recording sheet. I leave “X marks the spot” posters all around the room and the kids are ultimately searching for buried treasure at the end of this math activity. It’s a great culminating activity at the end of any unit.
NUMBER 2: VET CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
I think every kid wants to be a vet for at least a moment in their childhood. I love animals so this classroom transformation has a special place in my heart. The kids become veterinarians in this math activity and have to save ten pets that need their help. Classroom transformation ideas can help students really get excited about difficult topics and this one is a perfect example.
There’s also a special twist included in this classroom transformation because a “surprise pet” shows up near the end that students have to “save” immediately (an additional challenge). I enjoy throwing in some extras as well like having the kids wear gloves, a doctor mask, and leaving paw prints all over the room!
NUMBER 1: FLOOR IS LAVA CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION
This is, by far, my favorite classroom transformation and I always save it for the end of the school year. It’s awesome for math test prep during the testing season. It aligns with multiple common core math standards. I truly believe that every kid has played the legendary pretend game called “The Floor is Lava” where you jump from couch to couch and pretend you will be “burned” if you touch the floor. This follows the same concept, except it takes place in the classroom!
Classroom transformation ideas sometimes come to me out of nowhere. I thought of this one while driving to school one day! To set it up, I lay red tablecloths down on the ground EVERYWHERE so that the whole floor is “lava”. I then print out fake rocks and place chairs strategically around the room so students can travel around and solve all ten math challenges. Each challenge is multiple choice math and reviews all common core math standards. My kids have a blast and I love seeing their mouths open in shock when they see lava everywhere first thing in the morning.
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. It also gives you more classroom transformation ideas!
Every Monday, I do a classroom transformation. I call them Monday Fundays! Follow me on Instagram to check them out