Are you interested in trying classroom transformations for kindergarten but aren’t exactly sure where to start? This is the post for you! With this step-by-step guide to kindergarten classroom transformations, you can make math memorable and meaningful as students learn to relate math to the real world!
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What Are Classroom Transformations?
Classroom transformations sound complicated and time-consuming, but they really aren’t!
Simply put, classroom transformations temporarily change room decor and learning activities to revolve around a certain theme or setting.
Classroom transformations provide kindergarten students with the opportunity to apply grade-level content standards to real-world situations and engaging examples.
How Do Classroom Transformations Work in Kindergarten?
Some kindergarten teachers might be hesitant to use classroom transformations with their young students, thinking that it might make classroom management more difficult. However, classroom transformations can work for ANY grade level and can align to any content standard!
A typical classroom transformation for kindergarten might look something like this:
Step One: Preparation
Believe it or not, the most important preparations for a classroom transformation are NOT the decorations. The first preparations to make are actually the following:
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 kindergarten standards.
Time Frame – Once you have the activities decided, set the time frame so that you can ensure the students have enough time to accomplish the learning tasks.
Method of Completion – Also take time to consider how your kindergarten 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 in 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.
Spoiler Alert: The themes I share later in this guide have everything you need to quickly set up kindergarten classroom transformations!
Step Two: Introduction
Your students will be very excited when they first see the classroom. Before starting the activity, sit down with the class and explain what they will be doing. Kindergarten students benefit greatly from visual examples, so be sure to show the students the activities they will be completing.
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
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. I suggest having the kindergarten students check in with the teachers after each task to make sure they are staying on track.
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, clean-up is another major concern for kindergarten teachers who are considering classroom transformations.
Don’t forget that you are surrounded by over twenty helpers! Take the last few minutes of the day to clean up (as a class!) whatever was used for that day’s classroom transformation. Review with the children what needs to be thrown away, what needs to be brought back to the teacher for reuse, and what needs to be put back in its regular place. Then let them get started!
Kindergarten students love to be helpers, so it’s a win-win situation!
Kindergarten Classroom Transformation Ideas
Are you ready to try classroom transformations in your kindergarten class, but you’re feeling stuck when it comes to finding a theme with activities that align with Common Core standards? Or maybe you feel like classroom transformations are just too much work?
You don’t have to spend hours of your time setting up a classroom transformation or spend lots of money to make it SO MUCH FUN for your kindergarten 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 math content areas (use the links below to jump to your desired section, or just scroll through them all):
Counting & Cardinality
Get ready for takeoff! Students become pilots in this real-world activity and get to practice counting to 25,50,75 or 100.
Click here for more information about the pilot day kindergarten classroom transformation.
This classroom transformation is out of this world! Students become astronauts as they practice counting forward from any number.
Click here for more information about the space kindergarten classroom transformation.
This activity will make your students feel like they’ve been transported to a true circus! Students become performers in this activity and get to practice writing numbers from 1-10 or from 1-20.
Click here for more information about the circus kindergarten classroom transformation.
It’s time to get to work on the farm! Students become farmers in this real-world activity as they practice counting numbers and quantities.
Click here for more information about the farm kindergarten classroom transformation.
Grocery Store Day
Are you ready to go grocery shopping?! Students become shoppers in this real-world activity as they practice counting how many.
Click here for more information about the grocery store kindergarten classroom transformation.
Students become zookeepers for the day! Kindergartners will take care of zoo animals in this activity as they compare numbers within 10.
Click here for more information about the zoo kindergarten 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 more or less.
Click here for more information about the candy shop kindergarten 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 practice multiple counting and cardinality skills.
Click here for more information about the party planner kindergarten classroom transformation.
Boot Camp Day
Hup-2-3-4! Students become recruits in this activity as they practice subitizing.
Click here for more information about the boot camp kindergarten classroom transformation.
Number & Operations in Base Ten
Put on your bowling shoes because it’s time to hit the bowling alley! Students become bowlers for this classroom transformation and will practice addition and subtraction. This activity is also great review for Operations & Algebraic Thinking standards.
Click here for more information about the bowling kindergarten classroom transformation.
Welcome to firefighter training! Students become firefighters as they to practice composing and decomposing numbers from 11-19.
Click here for more information about the firefighter kindergarten classroom transformation.
Operations & Algebraic Thinking
Your students will put on their hard hats and get to work in this classroom transformation! Students become construction workers and practice addition and subtraction within 10 using pictures.
Click here for more information about the construction kindergarten classroom transformation.
Students become magicians in this fun and engaging activity where they can practice addition and subtraction within 10.
Click here for more information about the magician kindergarten classroom transformation.
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 addition and subtraction word problems within 10.
Click here for more information about the veterinarian kindergarten classroom transformation.
You donut have to stress with this fun transformation! Students become donut shop owners as they practice decomposing numbers within 10.
Click here for more information about the donut kindergarten classroom transformation.
This is the perfect classroom transformation for your students who love sports! Students become athletes and will practice making ten.
Click here for more information about the sports day kindergarten classroom transformation.
Heat up the oven because it’s time to hit the kitchen! Students become chefs in this restaurant-themed transformation that helps them practice adding within 5.
Click here for more information about the chef kindergarten classroom transformation.
Your students will have the chance to put on their raincoats and become meteorologists! Students will practice subtraction within 5 as they become newscasters for this activity.
Click here for more information about the weather kindergarten classroom transformation.
Coffee Shop Day
Students become coffee shop owners in this fun and engaging activity that will help them practice addition and subtraction within 5.
Click here for more information about the coffee shop kindergarten classroom transformation.
Measurement & Data
Kindergarteners become royal palace members in this fun transformation! In this activity, students will describe measurement attributes such as length and width.
Click here for more information about the royalty day kindergarten classroom transformation.
Put on your safety goggles because it’s time for some experiments! Kindergartners become scientists in this real-world activity and will practice comparing objects.
Click here for more information about the scientist kindergarten classroom transformation.
Students will embark on an African Safari in this fun classroom transformation! Students will practice counting and classifying objects (in this case–animals!).
Click here for more information about the safari kindergarten classroom transformation.
Arggggh! Ahoy, mates! Students become pirates in this activity that allows them to practice a variety of measurement skills.
Click here for more information about the pirate kindergarten classroom transformation.
The whole neighborhood is for sale! Students become real estate agents in this real-world activity and get to practice using positional words.
Click here for more information about the realtor kindergarten 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 naming shapes.
Click here for more information about the under the sea kindergarten classroom transformation.
Grab your apron! Students will become artists in this engaging activity as they practice telling the difference between 2D and 3D shapes.
Click here for more information about the artist kindergarten classroom transformation.
Ice Cream Day
Get ready to scoop some ice cream! Students become ice cream shop owners and will practice comparing 2D and 3D shapes.
Click here for more information about the ice cream shop kindergarten 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 building and drawing shapes.
Click here for more information about the race car kindergarten classroom transformation.
Your kindergartners should grab their stethoscopes because it’s time for math surgery! Students become doctors in this engaging activity as they practice forming larger shapes from geometric shapes.
Click here for more information about the doctor kindergarten classroom transformation.
It’s time to grab a sleeping bag and go camping! Students become campers in this transformation and will practice multiple kindergarten geometry concepts. Perfect for geometry review!
Click here for more information about the camping kindergarten 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 kindergarten math skills.
Click here for more information about the fall kindergarten classroom transformation.
Halloween Haunted House Day
This activity will welcome your students into a haunted house filled with 10 spooky characters in this fun kindergarten classroom transformation! As they become guests at a Halloween party they will practice a variety of kindergarten math standards.
Click here for more information about the Halloween kindergarten classroom transformation.
Get ready for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Rigorous kindergarten 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 kindergarten classroom transformation.
It’s time to help Santa prepare for Christmas Eve in this fun Christmas classroom transformation! Students become elves and will practice multiple kindergarten math standards.
Click here for more information about the Christmas kindergarten 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 kindergarten math standards.
Click here for more information about the St. Patrick’s Day kindergarten classroom transformation.
Beware of dinosaurs!! Students become paleontologists for a day as they collect fossils and practice a variety of kindergarten math standards.
Click here for more information about the dinosaur kindergarten classroom transformation.
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 kindergarten classroom transformation.
Rock Star Day
Get ready to ROCK! Students will become rock stars as they practice a variety of kindergarten math skills. This is a great classroom transformation for year-end review!
Click here for more information about the rock star kindergarten 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 kindergarten math standards.
Click here for more information about the floor is lava kindergarten classroom transformation.
Do you have your magnifying glass ready? In this transformation, students become detectives and will practice error analysis math challenges.
Click here for more information about the detective kindergarten classroom transformation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Can/Should I Do Classroom Transformations?
The frequency of classroom transformations 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?
Classroom transformations don’t have to be expensive! There are many ways to reduce the out-of-pocket cost for classroom transformations, including reusing certain items. I have an entire blog post devoted to cost-saving tips for classroom transformations!
Can Kindergartners Do Classroom Transformation Activities Independently?
As all kindergarten teachers know, there is a wide range of capability when it comes to kindergarten students working independently. You know your class best!
Any new learning activity requires scaffolding and support as the children learn how to work independently. Classroom transformations are no different. If your students are able to complete centers activities independently, they should have no problem completing classroom transformation activity rotations. However, they can easily be adapted for partners and small groups.
Additional Resources for Kindergarten Classroom Transformations
Are you ready to get started with kindergarten 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 kindergarten 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!
Looking to try out a room transformation but not sure where to start? Come join us in the Classroom Transformations with the Lifetime Learner Facebook Group to grab a free video game-themed room transformation for K-5!
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