My First Room Transformation

I have officially jumped on the bandwagon. I am obsessed and have completely engulfed myself in every “Get Your Teach On” Twitter and Instagram account. A while ago I started reading “The Wild Card: 7 Steps to An Educator’s Creative Breakthrough” by Hope and Wade King. A colleague introduced me to the book and all the passionate teachers who make up the “Get Your Teach On” entourage. As I read the book I could feel myself becoming a more reflective teacher. With that being said, I decided to try my very first room transformation like the amazing Hope King. Although my first one was small, I feel like I am tapping into my “teacher creativity” or at least I’d like to think so.

I decided to start off small. I only had about two weeks until track out when I decided to do this and I wanted to “spice” things up a bit in my room. March madness was coming to an end and the final game would be when we returned to school after the weekend. I decided to go “all in”. Friday afternoon I told my students to dress up for the finals game on Monday–wear any kind of sports attire (preferably basketball). I told them that on Monday we would have a “march madness” day and to come with their “game faces on”. As soon as I told them I knew there was no turning back. My teacher wheels started turning and this is what I came up with…

I knew that I could not overwhelm myself and decided to try to make all my lessons centered around basketball. I borrowed a basketball jersey from a friend, created a basketball court in my room out of masking tape, bought a Nerf basketball and hoop, and brought in drinks to keep us “hydrated” throughout the day. Looking back it now, I wish I would have had Gatorade supplied for the students but juice boxes had to suffice. 🙂

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Once I got thinking the planning of activities fell into place.

Math–We were learning about different subtraction strategies. I split the groups into different college basketball teams. I set up the basketball hoop and had three different places they could shoot from. There was a one point line, two point line, and three point line. We rotated through the groups and each student had a chance to shoot the basketball at either the one, two, or three point line. Once the student shot the ball, everyone had to answer the corresponding subtraction problem with their groups. One point meant 3 digit subtracting without regrouping, two points mean 3 digit subtracting with regrouping, and three points meant they would have a 3 digit subtracting problem with zeroes. We had so much fun with this!

Social studies – We were learning about maps and how to read them. I created a google maps scavenger hunt in which they could research one of the colleges in the final game (Villanova or Michigan). They then had to navigate google maps to practice their map skills.

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Reading – We were learning about cause/effect scenarios as well as procedural steps. I had created cause/effect scenarios that students glued to a piece of scrap paper. They then crumpled them up into “basketballs” and threw them across the room. Students then had to pick up one of the “basketballs” and find the matching cause/effect scenario by walking around asking other students.

We also read “Hoop Genius” by John Coy. Students then created procedural steps on how to shoot a basketball. During Daily 5 rotations students read about famous basketball athletes and created a flip book about them. I got these ideas from the fabulous Amy Lemons –

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Writing – We had been learning about opinion writing for a few days. Students created basketballs and wrote different facts/opinions about the sport. We created an anchor chart with these and then students wrote an opinion paragraph using the different facts/opinions.

Overall I think I had a very successful first “room transformation”. I hope to have many more of these throughout the year. My students were engaged and excited. After it was all over I felt exhausted but refreshed.

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