Engaging Students through Classroom Transformations, by Gina Lester, 5th and 6th Grade Math Teacher

Posted by Adam Moore on 1/22/2018



Getting kids to enjoy coming to school every day can be a daunting task! Even as adults, we often become bored with the monotony each day can bring. Whether it be a visit by a friend, a boss buying you lunch, or a coworker bringing you a cup of coffee, everyone enjoys a surprise thrown in from time to time. Room transformations creatively engage students into learning content while making them LOVE coming to school.

In the book, The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator’s Breakthrough, author’s Wade and Hope King explain “Kids will naturally be drawn to and focus their attention on things they enjoy.” Transforming a classroom brings learning to life and gives students a reason to enjoy school. Room transformations are one of the many strategies used to engage students in the learning process at Woodland.


Recently, I transformed my room into a huge game of Candyland. Fifth and sixth grade students reviewed math content for an upcoming test by competing against their peers in the life-size board game. Small groups worked at their own pace answering leveled math questions. When questions were answered correctly, a card was drawn from the Snow Queen (me), and the group moved their game pawn on the game board. It was amazing to see the level of excitement in the classroom while the students practiced math!

Kim Bearden, cofounder of the famed Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, recently said “The more you see creativity, the more it starts to blossom inside of you.” At Woodland, one of our educational philosophies is to provide experiences that allow for growth intellectually and creatively. Room transformations are one of the innovative techniques many Woodland teachers use to bring lessons to life and encourage growth both intellectually and creatively.

Other recent room transformations at Woodland:

  • Contraction Surgery
  • Pumpkin Exploration
  • Spy Day
  • Courtroom Debate