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From Coffee to Classroom: The Starbucks Classroom Transformation

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

I will start by saying this was not all my idea. However, I want to share how I used Natalie Blackman's version to inspire my classroom transformation. I thought setting up a classroom transformation would be pricey and time consuming, but I am so glad I was able to make it work.

What is a Classroom Transformation?

A classroom transformation is a teaching strategy that involves modifying the physical classroom environment in order to engage students and enhance their learning experience over the course of one day or several days. This can be as simple as rearranging furniture to creating themed decorations that reflect the subject being taught. You can do a transformation that is directly related to the material you are teaching, spirit day on your campus or a holiday. The one I am sharing today will be related to a test review day.

Supplies I Used for My Starbucks Classroom Transformation

This can cost as little as $0 if you would like. I added a little pizzaz so it was a little more, but in the long run...I won't have to purchase most of these materials again.


  • Starbucks Items: Cups, pastry bags, and handle bags were used for students or decorations. All of these items were DONATED from different Starbucks locations.

  • Starbucks/Coffee Posters: Used as decorations around the room. Created in Powerpoint and printed in color. Download them for free HERE! Natalie Blackman has some great ones as well.

  • Starbucks name tag: Created in Powerpoint and printed on cardstock.

One time purchases (Amazon):

Cost each time:


Let's get set up!

Starbucks has become more than just a coffe shop over the years; it has become a place of creativity, productivity, and community. The cozy atmosphere, comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi, Starbucks became a go-to spot for students looking for a change in scenery while getting some studying done.

This can be easily set up. Luckily, I have last period conference this year so I set up the day before because there is no way I get to school early enough to set up the day of. I am also fortunate that I have a co-teacher who helped set up, so even less time spent. Take a look at the process.

The first thing I did for this transformation was move my desks into groups of 4. This helped that coffee shop collaboration vibe. Once your groups are made, cover them with the green table cloths.

Next,I put out the handle bags. I was able to get enough bags (8) so that each table has its own to serve as the “centerpiece”. I added a little pizzaz with gold speckled tissue paper. Obviously that part is not necessary, but it really brings more of that Starbucks feel into the classroom. On the tables, I added a menu with puns that my teacher bestie made and it really transforms the classroom to have that coffee shop feel.

Now it is time for you to start deciding where you will hang your posters for decor. If you were able to set aside a table or two for a main focal point, hang a green tablecloth there to use a backdrop. This area can include some or all of the posters. The main table is where you can arrange any pastries, cups, straws, etc. so that they are like a “display”. I completely skipped this part since I didn't have food.

Lastly, rock your “barista” outfit for Starbucks Day and play a chill vibe playlist!

If you have fun, then your kids will have even more fun. The purpose of a classroom transformation is to transform your student's learning experience.

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