How I Am Running A Glow Day for Under $25
It’s no secret I love a good classroom takeover. But MAN can the cost add up. I don’t know how things run where you are, but in Massachusetts as a teacher you need to have started (but many districts complete) your master’s degree within the first five years of teaching. Now, many of us are still paying back our undergrad loans and then must take on more debt to stay at your job. Plus, we have about thirty other roles as a teacher. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I LOVE what I do, I love where I work, and I love that I am encouraged to get as creative as possible. But being honest, these takeovers add up. So why even do takeovers? They aren’t expected, sometimes I am the only one doing them, my kids would never know the difference if I just taught my regular way.
The answer is simple. Engagement.
The more engaged our students are the more they are going to learn. I say this ALL the time, because simply put it’s the truth. Also, my kids DESERVE IT. They deserve to have every over the top, fun, engaging experience that makes them LOVE coming to school, and love learning.
On a serious note, I work in a district where many of my students are receiving free or reduced lunch. Like me, I know not every student in my school has the option of going off to college for free. I know what it’s like to not be the star athlete and still stress daily over student loans. How can I make sure as a fourth grade teacher that if a student wants to go to college, they won’t have to stress about bills one day? I provide them with a solid foundation to love learning and a strong education that will help them find success in the future, a great start towards earning some big scholarships one day.
So, for me takeovers are a no brainer. If it makes my kids love learning, its worth doing. But if I can add a few more coins to my piggy bank (yes, I still have one a friend bought me in college) then I am going to take full advantage!
First, I did what I ALWAYS do. I taught my students and communicated with families. I use ClassTag in my classroom and I truly love using it. I have had three or more different languages in my classroom since I started teaching. I honestly can say I have never found a more teacher/parent friendly app than ClassTag. The biggest perk of using it though (outside of translating for me…because if you have to do that you know that saves me HOURS a week) is the free stuff. I usually log into the rewards about once a month to see what I can get for my classroom. I have received free tons of free offers through the program (without spending any points) plus I have received Amazon gift cards!
Full disclosure, it took me about two months of using the app to build up enough points to earn the gift card (I wasn’t pushing too hard though). I used the Amazon gift card to buy a black light. I am well on my way to getting a second Amazon gift card and plan on buying this same black light again. Mind you I didn’t do anything but use the app to email and text parents (it lets the parents choose how they receive communication).
I think you could do this takeover with just two blacklights…I tested it out (not plugged them in and took a few selfies) in my parents’ basement which has a similar size of my classroom and it worked just find.
I did find two additional black lights at my local party store. The store was actually going out of business and I only spent $5.30 per light! (If you are doing the math, I (will) have only spent $22.58 so far) I went to my local Michaels for some glow sticks (because come on how could I not give them some glow sticks) a pack of 15 is only $1.00, I bought 2 packs with my teacher discount of 15% (there is usually better coupons but I was using mine on bigger items) so add an additional $1.70 to that total and make it a grand total of $24.28 I have spent on my classroom transformation.
I will be adding to this transformation with some things I already have. I will be using highlighters I already own to write with and I am printing off these invitations to send home. (If you haven’t sent home an invitation-TRY IT, kids won’t want to miss those days)
To be 100% real with you, I do plan on spending another $10 or so. I would like to create a few glow day games where I may be buying tape, plastic spoons, and simple dollar tree things, but these things come with time, and they are only worth it if I can use it for EVERY time I use this takeover. I have seen several glow days just using every day curriculum pages and highlighters. THIS WILL ENGAGE kids, that small change will draw students in!
The best part of this, you can reuse it SEVERAL times a year! Add to it as you go when you find things for a dollar or two so you aren’t busting open your piggy bank to engage your students. This will make it more exciting and engaging every time!
Have you done a glow day? Want to learn how to save money on more takeovers? Let me know below!