The Complete Guide to Fifth Grade Classroom Transformations

If you are looking for tips and ideas for using classroom transformations in your fifth grade classroom, this is the guide for you! With this step-by-step guide to fifth grade classroom transformations, you can make math memorable and meaningful as students learn to relate math to the real world! 

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The Complete Guide To 5th Grade Classroom Transformations

What Are Classroom Transformations?

Does the thought of using classroom transformations with your class completely overwhelm you? It shouldn’t!

A classroom transformation might sound complicated and time consuming, but it is simply a temporary change in room decor and learning activities. These decorations and activities are designed to revolve around a certain theme or setting.

rainbow blow up float

Classroom transformations provide fifth graders with the opportunity to apply rigorous content standards to real-world situations in a fun and engaging way.

How Do Classroom Transformations Work in Fifth Grade?

It’s not uncommon for teachers to feel that the change in routine means that classroom transformations will negatively impact learning. However, classroom transformations are beneficial for ANY grade level and can align to any content standard! Plus, with my tips and tricks I can show you how to efficiently run classroom transformations and maximize student learning and engagement.

For example, your fifth grade classroom transformation might look like this:

Step One: Preparation

The first, and most necessary, preparations to make for a classroom transformation are actually NOT the decorations. Instead, it’s essential to consider the following in preparation for a classroom transformation:

Theme and Activities – What is your theme and what activities will your students be completing? Spoiler Alert: Later in this guide, I’ll be sharing 40 classroom transformation ideas with activities that align with fifth grade standards.

Time Frame – Once you have chosen the activities, set the time frame so that you can ensure the students have enough time to accomplish the learning tasks. Will this be an all-afternoon activity? Will they have one hour?

Method of Completion – Finally, take time to consider how your fifth grade students will complete the activities. Will they work individually? With partners? In table groups? Have this plan in place before starting so that the expectations are clear from the beginning.

Classroom transformations don’t have to be stressful if you’re prepared ahead of time. When it’s time to prepare your classroom for a transformation, give yourself a set period of time (preferably a short period of time) to get the room ready and stick to it! There is no need to spend hours outside of school hours to set up something that your class is going to enjoy for such a short period of time.

I will be sharing transformation theme ideas in this guide that have everything you need to quickly set up fifth grade classroom transformations!

Step Two: Introduction

I speak from experience that the students will be excited to see the transformed classroom and will be itching to get started! However, before starting the activity, sit down with the class and explain the learning activities.

Also, discuss the expectations for how they should act and what will happen if they behave otherwise. This communicates to the students that just because the room has changed, your expectations of them have NOT changed.

Step Three: Activity

The next phase of a classroom transformation is to complete the learning activities that you had prepared in step one. If you use one of my themes shared below, the activities are set up as stations that the students can visit. Furthermore, it is a good idea to have the fifth graders check in with you after each task to make sure they are staying on track.

christmas classroom transformation wrapped desks

Once students complete all of the challenges and mark them off on their individual recording sheets, they win!

Activities such as this will often have early finishers. This is a great opportunity for students to learn more about the theme of the day!

Step Four: Clean Up

Next to preparation time and classroom management, clean-up is another major concern for teachers who are considering classroom transformations.

Don’t forget that you are surrounded by a classroom full of helpers! Take the last few minutes of the day to clean up as a class. Review with the children what needs to be thrown away, what needs to be brought back to the teacher for storage and reuse, and what needs to be put back in its regular place. Then let the clean-up begin!

I think you’ll be surprised by the speed and ease of the clean-up process.

Fifth Grade Classroom Transformation Ideas

Are you ready to try classroom transformations in your fifth grade class, but you’re feeling stuck when it comes to finding a theme? Are you worried that your activities won’t align with Common Core standards? Or maybe you feel like classroom transformations are just too much work?

It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to make a classroom transformation SO MUCH FUN for your students! To make it easy for you to find a classroom transformation that works for your class, I have divided 40 transformation theme ideas into the different fifth grade math content areas (use the links below to jump to your desired section, or just scroll through them all):

Number & Operations in Base Ten

Operations & Algebraic Thinking

Measurement & Data

Fractions

Geometry

Seasonal & Review

Jump to Frequently Asked Questions

Number & Operations in Base Ten

Magician Day

Students become magicians in this fun and engaging activity where they can practice place value

Click here for more information about the magician fifth grade classroom transformation.

Firefighter Day

Welcome to firefighter trainingStudents become firefighters as they to practice multiplying and dividing by powers of 10.

Click here for more information about the firefighter fifth grade classroom transformation.

Weather Day

Your students will have the chance to put on their raincoats and become meteorologists!  Students will become newscasters and practice reading and writing decimals.

Click here for more information about the weather fifth grade classroom transformation.

Royalty Day

Fifth graders become royal palace members in this fun transformation! In this activity, students will practice comparing decimals.

Click here for more information about the royalty day fifth grade classroom transformation.

Candy Shop Day

Get ready to eat some candy because it’s time to hit the candy shop! Students become candy shop owners in this engaging transformation and get to practice rounding decimals.

Click here for more information about the candy shop fifth grade classroom transformation.

Realtor Day

The whole neighborhood is for sale! Students become real estate agents in this real-world activity and will multiply whole numbers around the neighborhood.

Click here for more information about the realtor fifth grade classroom transformation.

Veterinarian Day

Your students will need to put on their scrub caps as they become veterinarians in a pet hospital! As students help sick animals, they will practice solving division word problems with large numbers.

Click here for more information about the veterinarian fifth grade classroom transformation.

Bowling Day

Put on your bowling shoes because it’s time to hit the bowling alley! Students become bowlers for this classroom transformation and will practice adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals. 

Click here for more information about the bowling fifth grade classroom transformation.

Race Car Day

It’s time to hit the race track! Students become race car drivers in this real-world activity as they practice adding and subtracting decimals

Click here for more information about the race car fifth grade classroom transformation.

Zoo Day

Students become zookeepers for the day! Kindergartners will take care of zoo animals in this activity as they practice multiplying and dividing decimals.

Click here for more information about the zoo fifth grade classroom transformation.

Boot Camp Day

Hup-2-3-4! Students become recruits in this activity as they practice numbers in base ten concepts.

Click here for more information about the boot camp fifth grade classroom transformation.

Operations & Algebraic Thinking

Grocery Store Day

Are you ready to go grocery shopping?! Students become shoppers in this real-world activity as they practice solving problems including brackets and parentheses

Click here for more information about the grocery store fifth grade classroom transformation.

Doctor Day

Your fifth graders should grab their stethoscopes because it’s time for math surgery! Students become doctors in this engaging activity as they practice order of operations while writing expressions.

Click here for more information about the doctor fifth grade classroom transformation.

Ice Cream Day

Get ready to scoop some ice cream! Students become ice cream shop owners and will practice with order of operations, graphing numerical patterns, and writing simple expressions. 

Click here for more information about the ice cream shop fifth grade classroom transformation.

Coffee Shop Day

 Students become coffee shop owners in this fun and engaging activity that will help them practice solving and plotting numerical patterns.

Click here for more information about the coffee shop fifth grade classroom transformation.

Measurement & Data

Construction Day

Your students will put on their hard hats and get to work in this classroom transformation!  Students become construction workers and practice completing measurement conversion challenges.

Click here for more information about the construction fifth grade classroom transformation.

Sports Day

 This is the perfect classroom transformation for your students who love sports! Students become athletes and will practice with line plots

Click here for more information about the sports day fifth grade classroom transformation.

Scientist Day

Put on your safety goggles because it’s time for some experiments! fifth graders become scientists in this real-world activity and will practice finding the volume of rectangular prisms.

Click here for more information about the scientist fifth grade classroom transformation.

Safari Day

Students will embark on an African Safari in this fun classroom transformation! Students will practice measurement and geometry concepts.

Click here for more information about the safari fifth grade classroom transformation.

Fractions

Donut Day

You donut have to stress with this fun transformation! Students become donut shop owners as they practice addition and subtraction of mixed numbers with unlike denominators.

Click here for more information about the donut fifth grade classroom transformation.

Party Planner Day

Your students will plan the ultimate party and make sure it’s perfect! Students become party planners in this real-world activity and will solve adding and subtracting fraction word problem challenges.

Click here for more information about the party planner fifth grade classroom transformation.

Space Day

This classroom transformation is out of this world! Students become astronauts as they practice how to interpret fractions as division equations. 

Click here for more information about the space fifth grade classroom transformation.

Farm Day

It’s time to get to work on the farmStudents become farmers in this real-world activity as they practice multiplying fractions in a variety of ways.

Click here for more information about the farm fifth grade classroom transformation.

Circus Day

This activity will make your students feel like they’ve been transported to a true circusStudents become performers in this activity and get to practice fraction multiplication as scaling

Click here for more information about the circus fifth grade classroom transformation.

Chef Day

Heat up the oven because it’s time to hit the kitchen! Students become chefs in this restaurant-themed transformation that helps them practice multiplying fractions.

Click here for more information about the chef fifth grade classroom transformation.

Camping Day

It’s time to grab a sleeping bag and go camping! Students become campers in this transformation and will practice dividing unit fractions by whole numbers or vice versa.

Click here for more information about the camping fifth grade classroom transformation.

Detective Day

Do you have your magnifying glass ready? In this transformation, students become detectives and will practice 5th grade fraction error analysis math challenges.

Click here for more information about the detective fifth grade classroom transformation.

Geometry

Pirate Day

Arggggh! Ahoy, mates! Students become pirates in this activity that allows them to complete coordinate graphic activities.

Click here for more information about the pirate fifth grade classroom transformation.

Pilot Day

Get ready for takeoff! Students become pilots in this real-world activity and get to practice coordinate grid math questions.

Click here for more information about the pilot day fifth grade classroom transformation.

Under the Sea Day

Grab your scuba gear because it’s time to go under the sea! Students become scuba divers in this real-world activity and will practice identifying and categorizing geometric shapes.

Click here for more information about the under the sea fifth grade classroom transformation.

Artist Day

Grab your apron! Students will become artists in this engaging activity as they draw, identify, and categorize geometric shapes in geometric hierarchies.

Click here for more information about the artist fifth grade classroom transformation.

Seasonal & Review

Fall Themed Day

Fall is in the air during this classroom transformation! In this engaging activity, students become squirrels and will practice multiple fifth grade math skills.

Click here for more information about the fall fifth grade classroom transformation.

Halloween Haunted House Day

This activity will welcome your students into a haunted house filled with 10 spooky characters in this fun fifth grade classroom transformation! As they become guests at a Halloween party they will practice a variety of 4th grade math standards.

Click here for more information about the Halloween fifth grade classroom transformation.

Thanksgiving Parade

Get ready for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Rigorous fifth grade Thanksgiving math activities like this are sure to keep everyone engaged during the holidays. This transformation is filled with Thanksgiving math activities!

Click here for more information about the Thanksgiving fifth grade classroom transformation.

Santa’s Workshop

It’s time to help Santa prepare for Christmas Eve in this fun Christmas classroom transformation! Students become elves and will practice multiple fifth grade math standards.

Click here for more information about the Christmas fifth grade classroom transformation.

St. Patrick’s Day

This St. Patrick’s Day math activity is a leprechaun family reunion! Your students will meet all of their “relatives” as they practice many fifth grade math standards.

Click here for more information about the St. Patrick’s Day fifth grade classroom transformation.

Dinosaur Day

Beware of dinosaurs!! Students become paleontologists for a day as they collect fossils and practice a variety of fifth grade math standards. Perfect for an end-of-the-year review!

Click here for more information about the dinosaur fifth grade classroom transformation.

Hawaiian Vacation

Grab your suitcase for summer vacation! Students become vacationers and “go to Hawaii” as they practice a variety of math skills. This is a perfect year-end review!

Click here for more information about the Hawaii fifth grade classroom transformation.

Rock Star Day

Get ready to ROCK! Students will become rock stars as they practice a variety of fifth grade math skills. This is a great classroom transformation for year-end review!

Click here for more information about the rock star fifth grade classroom transformation.

The Floor is Lava

Oh no!! The floor is lava! SERIOUSLY! Students will become explorers and pretend that the floor is lava! They cannot touch the floor as they practice a variety of fifth grade math standards.

Click here for more information about the floor is lava fifth grade classroom transformation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Can/Should I Do Classroom Transformations?

It is completely up to you! Since I use the ready-made classroom transformation themes listed above, I am able to easily do one classroom transformation each week! I call my transformation days Monday Funday because it gives my students and I something to look forward to when we’re coming back to school after the weekend. If the idea of a WEEKLY classroom transformation seems unrealistic, you’ll definitely want to check out this post, where I show you how I’m able to do it!

Are Classroom Transformations Expensive?

They don’t have to be! There are many ways to reduce the out-of-pocket cost for fifth grade classroom transformations, including reusing certain items. I also have an entire blog post devoted to cost-saving tips for classroom transformations!

Should Classroom Transformation Activities Be Completed Independently or in Groups?

That’s totally up to you and your students! Any new learning activity requires scaffolding and support as the children learn how to work independently. Classroom transformations are no different. Fifth graders are quick to catch on to the rotation set-up of classroom transformations and can comfortably work independently. However, if there are students in your class who would benefit from partner or group work, the activities I shared above can easily be modified for that.

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Additional Resources for Fifth Grade Classroom Transformations

Are you ready to get started with fifth grade classroom transformations? I’m here to help! Be sure to check out my additional posts with classroom transformation tips and follow me on Instagram where I share even more resources and tips for teachers.

I know that you and your students will love learning through the engaging activities of classroom transformations!

Want to add some fun decorations to your next room transformation? I’ve got you covered right here with my Classroom Transformation Decoration Lists!

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