I have, for the past few years, been a HUGE fan of Hope King, from the Ron Clark Academy, and her AMAZING room transformations! I decided that, this year, I was going to try it out myself.
So, in October I turned my room into a bat cave!
Let me just say, my students and I are IN LOVE with transforming the lab!
To create the cave, I completely covered my room with black plastic table cloths (97 cents at Walmart). I hung a really cool moon, that I bought from Target that lights up and shows the different phases, on my wall and I filled my room with the sound of bats using the SmartBoard. Throughout the week all of my grade levels completed lessons focused on bats. It was AMAZING! My students have never been more engaged! Because it was obviously very dark in the cave, I had a lantern that the kids could use if they were having trouble seeing. In hindsight, I believe that if I do this again I will get some cheap head lamps so that each kid will have one.
So I loved the bat cave so much that I decided to transform my room into the North Pole for the last two weeks before Christmas. This time I hung icicle lights all around the inside of my room and covered the walls with blue plastic table cloths....the lighting was BEAUTIFUL! Next I add some fluffy, white snow, some flocked tree limbs and snowflakes.....EVERYWHERE! (Let's just say I'm a fire marshall's nightmare...but it's all about the kids, right?) Because the back of my room is complete windows and I have blue, green, and pink curtains, the light shining through makes it look like the Northern Lights.
Both times I have done a transformation, I have made sure that all of my lessons are focused on and built around my room. In the bat cave all grade levels did some type of bat research or activity. As for the North Pole transformation our lessons were a little more whimsical. For example, the third graders have been hired as Santa's new Reindeer Caretakers and must complete a training course filled with research, close reading, and coding to get their first paycheck!
My lessons are really the same that I would do without the transformation, but working in another place just makes the lessons SO MUCH BETTER! The transformations can be as simple or as complex as you'd like and they make a huge difference! So what are you waiting for??