Glow Day!

When I decided to do glow day in our classroom, I 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 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 ideas for the classroom

Glow Day Decorations

We already have LED lights in our classroom that we use daily. The cool thing about these lights is that they make things glow when they’re turned blue. This was an unknown effect until we did a neon day one year, and we all glowed! Who knew?! We also added five blacklights. We used these lights for other activities, such as a bat cave and our home on 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 invite 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!

simple glow day lessons for kids

For the ceiling, we hung 12 neon slinky toys and some glow sticks. The glow sticks 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 work with highlighters because they glowed! You can do a glow day using our recording sheets, highlighters, and blacklights. You can even get some glow sticks at the Dollar Tree for 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!

Student Materials

The students each received a hat, a vest, recording sheets for the activities, and a bag of supplies. The bag contained two dice, three glow sticks, and two 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 materials

Glow Day Activities

We did our entire glow day in the morning before lunch. We started immediately after the morning meeting. When it was lunchtime, 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, So I decided we would do some academic skills and work on our handwriting using highlighters. 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 the learning activities, but they were so into it because…highlighters glow in blacklight. Who knew?! LOL

We did name writing, letters and sounds, phonics, addition, and subtraction. All of the activities have a recording sheet where students write their answers. I constantly moved 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. 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. We had a “glowball” fight when we finished all the words!

ideas for glow day in the classroom

For phonics, we used the cards from our No Theme Centers resource. We printed them on neon cardstock. Then we used our headbands and made a glowbands game! Students walk around, say the word, segment the sounds, spell the sounds, and finally read the word. Look at the science of reading on glow day!

Glow Day Math Ideas

To make a counting game, we used paper plates and neon dot stickers! Students counted the dots and wrote the numbers. We simply passed the plates around the circle so everyone got all 20 plates!

For addition and subtraction, we used neon plastic cups. To add, we built towers of two colors, wrote the equations and answers, and then read the equations. We built a tower of cups to subtract and then took some away.

glow day math games

We also used glow-in-the-dark dice to make a fun addition game! Students roll the dice, count the dots, and color the number!

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 detailed directions on how we did the activities are included in our GLOW creation!

For more ideas, activities, and inspiration, check out these posts:

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