Bring the zoo straight to your classroom with the Zoo Classroom Transformation! A few months ago, I was thinking of ways to incorporate animals in math. Then, I thought of this classroom transformation idea and realized what a great way it would be for students to learn different math skills! This classroom transformation helped students practice math skills while also keeping them engaged. My students became a zookeeper for a day while they practiced tricky math concepts. This transformation aligns with common core standards throughout the grade levels.
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ZOO CLASS TRANSFORMATION STEP 1:
First, I set up my classroom with decorations and posters. Amazon has amazing zoo-themed backdrops. I purchased a cheap zoo backdrop to hang in my classroom to make it feel more like a zoo. Every student also wore a zoo animal mask that I found on Amazon.
I like to completely scatter the zoo animals all over my room so the kids are overwhelmed (in a good way!) by animals when they enter. I tape the zoo animals and math challenges all over the walls, their desks, the floor — everywhere you can think!
ZOO CLASS TRANSFORMATION STEP 2:
This is a little different than my normal classroom transformations. Instead of having to complete 10 math challenges, students complete 30 questions! However, the challenges are much simpler because each challenge has only one problem on it. I have students wear animal masks while they work!
ZOO CLASS TRANSFORMATION STEP 3:
Students find the animals that have escaped from the zoo around the room and decide what kind of problem the animal has written on it. After that, they solve it and bring it to the head zookeeper (you, the teacher) to check their work. If they’re correct, you sign their recording sheet. If not, the student has to solve the problem again. Those who finished quickly can move on and do the additional writing activity provided in this classroom transformation. If you have early finishers, this is very handy!
ZOO CLASS TRANSFORMATION STEP 4:
The transformation tests different math skills in each grade level. No matter what grade you teach, every kid will have a great time tracking down zoo animals and solving math problems!
ZOO CLASS TRANSFORMATION STEP 5:
After the students finished all the challenges, I always give out rewards. For a prize, I purchased animal crackers that students got to munch on while they celebrated completing their mission of rescuing all of the animals and safely returning them to the zoo. Other teachers give out dojo points, animal-themed erasers, and more!
You can check out this easy to prep Zoo Classroom Transformation HERE!
“Extras” certainly aren’t needed for room transformations, but they can be super fun if you want to include them! If you want to add any extras, you may like some of these ideas.
I also offer all room transformations in a DIGITAL format! This means students can complete the challenges on Google Slides if you’d like to save on paper. The QR codes/fun facts also come in a digital game format that students can complete and copy down online. You can learn more about how to do a digital room transformation here.
You may also find this post on Classroom Transformation Tips helpful. It lists my top 10 tips for making your classroom transformation easy and stress-free.