This year, I promised my students and their families during virtual learning: when we return to in-person learning, I would give the class THE BEST KINDERGARTEN YEAR EVER! And that has meant pulling out all of the stops to make our learning fun and messy and full of laughter. So this year was the perfect year for the first-ever GLOW DAY! And let me just say, we had a BLAST! But I also didn’t want a glow day that took hours to set up and prep for. You know, here at TKS we love simple so I wanted our glow day to be something you could easily do with your students. And let me just say this: my class had an EPIC blast at our simple and low-key glow day. It just goes to show that they don’t always need over-the-top stuff!
Glow Day Decorations
We already have LED lights in our classroom that we use daily. The cool thing about these lights is that when they’re turned blue, they make things glow. This was a totally unknown effect until we did a neon day last year and we all glowed! Who knew?! We also added 5 blacklights. We had used these lights for other activities like a bat cave and our home at Halloween. Here’s the thing: send an email to your school and ask if people have blacklights you can borrow. Make a Facebook post and ask your friends and family. You’d be amazed at how easy it is to borrow some blacklights so you don’t have to buy them. That said, most of the stuff we bought for our glow day was saved and will be re-used! And this: set-up took me about 45 minutes. Clean up took about 15 with the kids!
For the ceiling, we hung 12 neon slinky toys and some glow sticks from the ceiling. The glow sticks from the ceiling were large glow sticks that we pulled down at the end of the day and the students took them home!
We added a fun neon curtain behind our smartboard but it was disappointing so I won’t be using that again!
I want to say this: you don’t need any of this stuff. All you need is some blacklights, highlighters, and recording sheets. The extra stuff is great, but my kids were excited to do work with highlighters because they glowed! You can do a glow day using our recording sheets and highlighters and blacklights. You can even get some glow sticks at the Dollar Tree for super cheap. We added extra but please know you don’t need it. The highlighters were such a hit that I’ll be doing some “highlighter” days from now on for practicing skills!
The students each received a hat, a vest, recording sheets for the activities, and a bag of supplies. The bag contained: 2 dice, 3 glow sticks, and 2 highlighters. The vests, dice, and highlighters were kept to be reused year after year. The students got to take their hats home. Each student also received three glow sticks/bracelets that they got to keep. The recording sheets are included in our GLOW! creation!
Glow Day Activities
We did our entire glow day in the morning before lunch. We started immediately after morning meeting. When it was lunch time, we cleaned up and the classroom was back to normal!
I knew I wanted our glow day to be a review day but I also wanted it to be simple and it had to adhere to our COVID protocols. So I decided we would do some academic skills and we would work on our handwriting using highlighters. Yall, all you need is some recording sheets and highlighters. I’m not even kidding. The kids were bonkers about the highlighters glowing. I was worried they wouldn’t like doing the learning activities but they were so into it because…highlighters glow in blacklight. Who knew?! LOL
We did: name writing, letters and sounds, sight words, addition, subtraction, and phonics. All of the activities have a recording sheet where students write their answers. I was constantly moving around the room monitoring their work and helping as needed. The handwriting was a must because this is an area of struggle and challenge for us this year because of virtual learning. The activities were all chosen based on data that showed what we needed to work on!
To practice sight words, I wrote the words we needed to practice on neon paper (index cards work great too) and we read the word, spelled the word and they wrote the word. See how we hit those multiple strategies and modalities?! And after each word, I wadded up the paper and threw it at the kids. When we finished all the words, we had a “glowball” fight!
For addition and subtraction, we used neon plastic cups. To add, we built towers of two colors, wrote the equations and answers then read the equations. To subtract, we built a tower of cups and then took some away.
We ended our glow day with a glow dance party!
Glow Day In Action
Here’s a mashup video of our glow day in action!
We purchased all of our GLOW DAY materials on Amazon! Click the image to see all of the items on Amazon!
All of the recording sheets and detialed directions on how we did the activities are included in our GLOW creation!