What in the World is a Classroom Transformation?

what is a classroom transformation

Have you ever wondered “what is a classroom transformation?” A classroom transformation changes your room into a certain setting or theme to engage students in their own learning with rigorous content. A few examples are changing your classroom into a safari, a donut shop, or a pet hospital! 

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classroom set up like a donut shop

When many people first learn about room transformation, they think:

  • This is going to take me hours to set up.
  • This is going to cost me so much money.
  • This looks so overwhelming.
  • I could never do this!

BUT, what if I told you classroom transformations could be easy to set up, fun to implement, and stress-free? 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!

classroom set up like a safari

Starting Your First Classroom Transformation

Classroom transformations can definitely be overwhelming at first! You may be thinking to yourself–“What is a classroom transformation I can do that isn’t going to take me hours to set up?” But the most important thing to remember is that YOU get to decide how much “transforming” is going to take place. And, to do a room transformation successfully, you do not need to go all out! I promise that with a few simple changes to your classroom, your students will be highly engaged and learning more than you could have ever imagined!

classroom transformation coffee shop day

Classroom transformations are possible in every classroom! I’m going to show you how fun and simple a room transformation can be.

What is a Classroom Transformation I Can Easily Do?

There are hundreds of classroom transformation themes out there for you to explore with your class. You can grab 40 classroom transformation ideas right here for free. 

Some of the easiest classroom transformation days I’ve done are coffee shop day, transforming my classroom into a donut shop, a zoo, a firefighter training day, a restaurant, a grocery store, a dinosaur bone mission, and more. 

It’s easy to use items around your house or find cheap items at the Dollar Store to make your room transformation come to life. 

kids dressed as firefighters

For firefighter day, I asked my local fire department for free hats I could hand out to my class. After they completed each academic challenge, they got to put on a ski suit I found in my closet. They pretended that they were trying to put on a “real firefighter suit” in under a minute! I also brought in my garden hose for them to practice “rolling up” in teams as one of our challenges. If you can dream it, you can do it in your classroom (for cheap!)

How Does a Classroom Transformation Engage Students?

Classroom transformations instantly engage students because they grab their attention as soon as they walk into the room. Imagine you’re a student who has just walked into a classroom where the floor has turned to lava. You definitely want to know what’s going on and what’s going to be happening in class that day!

the floor is lava classroom transformation

This is an example of my classroom during covid when I turned the floor to lava. The desks were in rows due to pandemic regulations and I simply laid the lava down between each row of desks. It took me no more than 15 minutes to set up and the kids had a blast!

the floor is lava classroom transformation set-up

This is an example of my classroom pre-covid when I turned the floor into lava. I put some extra work into it (about 45 minutes setting up the room) and my students loved it! But my question is–do you think one class had more fun than the other based on the decorations I put up? The answer is NO! Both classes enjoyed the activity equally and learned a LOT! That’s the most important takeaway!

kids standing in front of a lava backdrop

Altering your classroom environment in a few simple ways is the answer to “what is a classroom transformation”. The answer is not spending hours agonizing over the perfect room set-up. It’s also not spending hundreds of dollars making your room look fantastic. The answer is enjoying the special time with your students in an activity you don’t do every day. 

What Academic Content Should I Use?

circus classroom transformation with kids working

Whatever content you’d like! I like to do a room transformation at the end of each unit I teach. Classroom transformations can help you see which students need more practice with a particular skill and which students are ready to move onto more difficult content.

I plan the skills I would like my students to practice first and then build the activities around the skills I identify. In the above picture, students were working on multiplication strategies. To make it hands-on, I let them use popcorn to make equal groups for equations like 3×4 or 5×6. They were practicing their multiplication skills while at a circus at the same time!

My editable classroom transformations allow you to easily change the content to whatever your class needs to focus on.

What Grade Level Are You Looking For?

Kindergarten Math Classroom Transformations

1st Grade Math Classroom Transformations

2nd Grade Math Classroom Transformations

3rd Grade Math Classroom Transformations

4th Grade Math Classroom Transformations

5th Grade Math Classroom Transformations

Alphabet Letter Room Transformations

1st Grade Phonics Room Transformations

Reading 3-5 Classroom Transformations

Reading 3-5 Classroom Transformation Add-On Packs

Classroom transformations can be so much fun if you give them a chance! They are the BEST engagement technique I have found for reluctant learners and put a smile on ALL students’ faces when they enter the room. 

classroom set up like a pet hospital

I love to chat about room transformations and am here to help! Reach out anytime if you have any questions about how to implement your own classroom transformation. You can reach me at lindsaythelifetimelearner@gmail.com.


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!