Glow Day Classroom Transformation

Let’s Glow!

Materials I used:

The idea of having a glow day actually came from my fourth grade students who asked for a “no lights day” for their whole class behavior incentive. I got so excited and the wheels inside my head started spinning. I went home right after school to research and plan. I knew that I could create an epic glow day classroom transformation.

I kept the element of glowing in the dark a surprise for my students. They knew I would get glow sticks for them and we would have the lights off, but they had no idea that I had more tricks up my sleeve. I purchased black lights, glow sticks, and glow glasses from Amazon as well as games that I made glow with the help of florescent tape and paint.

I painted some signs so the principal and other teachers knew that they were welcome into our classroom.

It did take time to plan but it was well worth it! I covered my windows with two layers of black butcher paper to make the classroom as dark as possible. I also hung up two black light LED strips by taping them to my wall. The black lights I bought lit up the room pretty well but next time I will purchase one more set to make the room fully glow.

Students were welcomed into our classroom with glow sticks and a Glow Activity Packet. Students still had no idea that I hung black lights and we were going to glow as they learned! We started our day going over expectations and explaining our math stations. There were a total of 4 stations in which students spent 20 minutes at each: Math Jenga, Angles Connect 4, Eggtastic math, and Dice Roll Race. This time frame is flexible and students could have stayed at each station for much longer because I provided enough problems for them to stay engaged. Once I explained what the students will be doing, I turned off the lights and turned on the black lights and my class erupted in excitement!

Math Jenga: I painted the sides of the Dollar Tree Tumble Blocks in 4 different florescent paint colors. Students took turns pulling one block and solving math problems together. If the block was yellow, students solved one of the yellow problems of their choice on their Math Jenga worksheet. Each color worked on a different skills that students have learned throughout the year. I provided scratch paper in their Glow Day Activity Packets for them to show their work. The game continues until time is up or students solved all the problems.

Angles Connect 4: I bought several Mini Connect 4 games at Dollar Tree. I found them at my local store and the website does not have them available. There are more buying options like Amazon and even 5 Below that have glow Connect 4 games. I created a card deck that included different types of angles and lines. Students drew a card and had to create the angle with glow sticks. Once their partner approves of their angle or line creation, that students could drop a piece in the Connect 4 game board. Students practiced identifying and creating angles and were able to play several rounds before time was up.

Eggtastic Math: I placed 12 eggs in a basket with a variety of math problems hidden in each egg. Students would work together to open one egg at a time and solve the math problem. I provided a worksheet inside their Glow Packets that allowed them to organize their work.

Dice Roll Race: Students can work in groups of 2-4. One students would start by rolling the glow in the dark die and seeing the number it lands on. If the die lands on a 2, the students would look on their game board and see the 2 row. They would them solve the first division equation in the sequence. If they got it correct they would put a marker on the game board. If they got it wrong they would lose a turn. Students take turns rolling and solving the problems. The student that places a marker on the last equation in the sequence on the board would win that row. The game continues until all rows are marked. The winner of the game is the one that has the most rows.

Instead of showing their work with pencils, students used highlighters! (Yellow highlighters were the best for this.)

One of the students participating in Math Jenga and showing her work with a highlighter.

In Science, we were learning about the different types of energy. Students highlighted and answered comprehension questions with a highlighter. They worked with a partner to read the passage, complete the questions, and solve a fun crossword puzzle.

We just happened to be learning about energy during this part of the year but there are so many STEM activities and other science experiments that you can research online that would get the kids excited to learn. There were so many cool and engaging activities that I found that I definitely want to do in the future.

For ELA, we highlighted text based evidence and practiced answering questions using a free article on NewsELA. It was Black History Month during our Glow Day experience and we learned about Harriet Tubman potentially being on the newly designed twenty dollar bill.

And for our class meeting time, students participated in a whole class tic-tac-toe competition!

Teaching and learning during a pandemic can be fun!

I hope this blog post helped inspires you to create your own Glow Day Classroom Transformation. If you want to play the math games my fourth graders participated in, CLICK HERE for my editable Glow Day resource that you can adjust to your unique students.