Construction Room Transformation

Posted on November 5, 2019. Filed under: educational, Grade 1 & 2, room transformation |

Last June, I did a construction themed room transformation, and I am just getting the time to blog about it now! It was a great success! I encourage other teachers to try it!

Photo 2019-06-12, 12 12 14 PM

The idea came from the outcome- CC2.4-

Write stories, poems, friendly letters, reports, and observations using appropriate and relevant details in clear and complete sentences and paragraphs of at least six sentences.

The indicator was “Polish at least eight pieces through the year.” So the I can statement was- “I can polish at least 8 pieces this year.”

In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have left ALL the students’ editing to the end of the year, but I did… So I decided to turn it into a 2 day construction site, where we were going to be doing a lot of CONSTRUCTION on our writing.

This was the feel for the classroom environment; I had bought caution tape from the dollar store, I borrowed orange pylons from our gym, the two big pylons from our caretaker, and the orange scaffolding was what held our Phys Ed mats.  I had borrowed construction books from my local library, found some free printables from Pinterest and that was all I had! This classroom transformation cost me a total of $4 for the construction tape. The best part was the concerned students from other classrooms asking what happened to our classroom and if everyone was ok!

Photo 2019-06-12, 12 50 16 PMWe started off the first day by reading/looking through the library books to get a feel for what construction is, and all the different tools a construction worker might use.

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I decided to have the kids start editing their oldest writing projects first. The ones from the beginning of the year needed the most work, and at the beginning of the first day, the students had the most stamina and excitement. By the end of the second day, we were finishing up the most recent writing project. This writing was considerably better than what they wrote in September, (duh) so there weren’t as many edits.

I used little construction writing cards to help them edit. Photo 2019-06-12, 11 46 13 AMWe talked about all of the different things that needed editing: Sentence structure/content, uppercase/lowercase letters, punctuation, spelling, Photo 2019-06-12, 11 46 18 AMletter sizing and spacing. They had to look at their writing, identify what needed work, and then choose the correct “tool” for the job. These cards were literally pictures of tools. The kids loved the choice of what to edit. When they were editing written work, I had them staple the tool into their book so I could see which page/writing piece they had edited. Photo 2019-06-12, 3 27 03 PMWhen they were editing their Book Creator books on the iPads, they took a picture of the tools they used, and the book they were working on.

 

 

I was shocked at how much they got done in those two days. By the second day, the students were wearing their own construction gear to school,Photo 2019-06-13, 3 35 48 PM and they really bought into the whole idea! Who knew editing writing could be so much fun?Photo 2019-06-12, 1 34 57 PM I had borrowed my friend’s ‘real life construction vest,’ and once the students had edited their work, we had a sharing time, where they were allowed to come up to the front, wear the construction vest and share with the class what they had fixed.

Again, who knew so many kids wanted to share their editing process! But as soon as they got to wear the vest, they were ALL OVER IT.

At the end of the second day, we worked on another construction project. Father’s Day was coming up that weekend, and so we made our dads little string hearts. Photo 2019-06-12, 7 27 22 PM The students had to pound the nails in themselves, and they loved using real hammers. (I had borrowed the kids hammers from my dad who runs a kids club at his church where they make wood cars as a project.)

They drew on the heart, wrote dad at the top, and then pounded in nails in the shape of the heart. I’m not exactly sure what the dads will do with these creations, but the students loved making them and using real hammers to pound in the nails!

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Upon reflection, the biggest thing I would change about this experience would be not leaving all the editing until this day. Even though they did awesome, it wasn’t as comprehensive as I would have liked!

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