Saturday, February 13, 2016

Spark Student Motivation: Classroom Transformation

Warning: This idea is not as simple as some of my other ideas to motivate your students. This one does take a lot of prep and some investment, but it's TOTALLY worth it!

Our school conducted a book study on Teach Like a Pirate and it's filled with ideas to engage and excite your students. The idea I bring to you today is..

A Classroom Transformation!

The week before my room transformation I piqued their curiosity by putting this message on my board. Of course, this got them excited! I told them just to bring scarves, hats, and gloves to stay warm. This simple message can work with any lesson you want to surprise your students with and gives them something to look forward to. (I purchased this light up frame at Michael's).
I've transformed my room for a day before for Halloween with black paper on the windows, a fog machine, and glows ticks, but this transformation was for the week. (I wanted to get as much use for the money I spent!) Thank you Hope King for the inspiration of this room transformation. :)

 I purchased a snow making machine to give my students the full effect! Living in Florida this gadget was VERY exciting! We turned it on every day (maybe several times a day) to play in the snow! It's like a foam that is dispensed, but it doesn't leave any residue.

I wanted to cover the furniture and walls with white sheets (which were way too expensive), so I used white plastic tablecloths from Dollar Tree. They're a little see-through, but they did the trick.

Of course, once you play in the snow and get cold, you have to warm up by the fire!
We got cozy by the fire and read our articles. (My students kept putting their paper in the fire like it was going to burn!) LOL

Each day we did a different activity with our snow theme. I focused on text structure writing. The following two lessons were inspired by food, which is the way to a student's writing hand!

S'mores were made for our sequential writing assignment. It's amazing how closely they wanted to listen to directions and steps for making something when it's edible!

 Each day we transferred what we learned into our text structure writing. I modeled examples and provided my students with frames and stems to guide them through their writing. These mini-offices are a great visual and tool for my students to use while writing.
The writing I received this week was amazing! Yes, it was a lot of work on my part, but they did their
part and gave me their best writing because of their hands on experience.
For description writing we ate snow cones. I already had a snow cone machine, so I only needed to purchase the syrup and cups. For each type of writing I had certain requirements (a specific number of points, key words, number of paragraphs, etc.). For example, the descriptive writing had to include at least one piece of figurative language. They were super creative with these "juices"!
"The snow cone was calling my name."
"Eating the snow cone was a dance party for my taste buds."

Teaching text structure writing this week will prove to be worth the time and energy because it has already transferred over to their reading. This experience gave my students such concrete examples and something to remember and relate to, they will be able to recognize these text structures with ease.

I know this week's transformations were a little extreme, but once I started on this idea I couldn't stop! I was just as excited as my students. Equally important to me about this week is that I created memories. Lifelong memories about school and making learning fun!
I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.


  1. I love the message you put up to get them excited ahead of time - that is a great idea. I can't believe you bought a snow machine - that is AWESOME. Maybe I can do the reverse, buy a heat lamp and transform our class into a beach!! Thanks for the inspiration as always.

    1. You're so sweet! Yes, you could get a heat lamp and served iced tea or lemonade! Don't forget a hammock, palm trees, and beach sand!

  2. Great way to motivate your students!!! Love how you transformed your classroom.

    1. Thank you!! They loved the whole week...and nobody was absent!:)

  3. You're such a fun teacher. I can tell you put your heart and soul into it. The message board is genius! Keep up the great work!

    1. Awww, thanks Ashley for your sweet comment! I do put my heart and soul into it, but because I do, they return the hard work.

  4. Edible lessons are a super idea!! Transforming my class like that might just tip my middle schoolers over the edge though! :)

  5. OH my goodness...I want to be in your class! This looks like so much fun!! I bet your kids (and their parents) appreciate all of the time you dedicate to teaching! :)

    Mind Sparks

  6. Is it possible to view the lessons that you did and what the students produced for writing?

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. So do the mini offices have the same thing on both sides?

  11. So now we have a pretty good record and surely this will give rise to more technical details to students to think and regard about such evident piece of ideas. grammar check online free

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