For me, the end of the year always puts me in survival mode. Behavior is off the wall and engaging students is harder than ever during the countdown to the last day of school. Classroom transformations have been a great way to keep students working without even realizing the goal I’m trying to achieve. Here are my top 4 end of the year classroom transformations to keep students on task while having fun at the same time!
END OF THE YEAR CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION #1: HAWAIIAN VACATION
Travel to Hawaii! In this Hawaiian room transformation, students get to pretend they’re going on a jet plane for summer vacation! They’ll get to enjoy the sunshine while completing tasks around the room. I have my kiddos also bring in beach towels and wear their sunglasses to really set the scene.
Decorate your room with some tablecloths and leis and you’re ready to go! You don’t have to go overboard to have a great day.
This room transformation is easy to set up. Simply place the ten posters and challenges around your room, give each child a recording sheet, and you’re ready to roll! I like to give students a Hawaiian certificate or small prize at the end to finish this room transformation. You can find a step-by-step guide of the Hawaiian Room Transformation here.
END OF THE YEAR CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION #2: DINOSAUR DAY
Dinosaur Day is ALWAYS a big hit with both the boys and girls in my classroom! I make it super easy on myself and throw up a few decorations. I use green tablecloths from Dollar Tree, green leaves from Amazon, and a Dinosaur poster for the wall. It takes me maybe 15 minute to set up total.
There are ten posters and challenges included. I put the ten dinosaurs around the room and students know to find each one to solve. All of my room transformations follow the same pattern which makes it really easy to do these throughout the year without repeated instructions on my part.
My favorite part of this end of the year classroom transformation is when students get to hunt for fossils. I put each of the fossils in a bucket and students dig around like a real paleontologist to find the fossil that matches the challenge they completed. Students glue the fossil on their recording sheet. They are finished when they have all 10 fossils filled in! Read all about the details of the dinosaur room transformation here.
END OF THE YEAR CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION #3: ROCK STAR
Are your students ready to ROCK?? Rock star day is so much fun to experience and is something I look forward to every year! When students come in and are surrounded by stars hanging throughout the classroom, their faces are a pleasure to watch light up.
This classroom transformation has ten celebrities that students “meet” around the room. Students solve a math challenge and get their recording sheet signed after each challenge. The cool part is there is a twist thrown in! After every challenge, students put their hand in a bucket and draw out a card (shown in orange above). If the card says “Caught” they have to sign autographs before moving on. This means they have to solve a quick sheet of 5 multiplication facts (for older grades) or addition facts (for younger grades). If they choose a card that says “Safe”, they get to move on without penalty. My kiddos love the chance-like nature of this part of the room transformation!
Another reason I love these end of the year room transformations is the special extras you can include with them! For Rock Star day, I pull out my microphone with special effects. All day, I use it to announce who’s working hard, who’s doing a great job, and calling everyone “Rock Star ____”. My class always thinks it’s hilarious how the microphone amplifies my voice and can even alter my voice to sound lower or higher depending on what button I press. It definitely adds some extra pizzazz to rock star day! Read more about rock star day specifics here.
END OF THE YEAR CLASSROOM TRANSFORMATION #4: THE FLOOR IS LAVA
Uh oh!! In this room transformation, the floor has turned into….lava!! The childhood play-pretend game has come to life in the classroom and kids LOVE IT! Cover the floor with red tablecloths and let students use chairs to move from place to place. As long as you set clear expectations from the start, it’s easy for students to work hard and stay safe during this room transformation.
I let students use chairs to get around the room without touching the floor as you can see in the above picture. I also put other walkways for them to get around and rest zones where they can sit and work. In the above picture, yellow is sand (okay to walk on), along with dried lava (black) and green (grass).
I also print out lava rock papers that are okay to hop around on too. I use this with students who are a little rowdier. For example, this year, I have a lot of students in my class that may not make the best decisions with chairs all around the room. Because of this, I will not give them the option of using chairs to avoid the lava. They will be able to walk along the tablecloths that are not red. They will also be able to hop from (papers printed out) lava rocks so that they still get the fun experience without the risk involved.
Students jaws normally drop when they walk in the classroom that morning. It does take a little longer than usual to get ready but it’s worth it when you see the look on your class’s face. I love to set the stage to engage by putting some warning posters outside the classroom as well. You can read about this fun room transformation in detail right here.
Want to learn more tips about how to make classroom transformations easier in your classroom? Find out how here.