Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop

Hey everyone! Today I'm participating in a super fun blog hop! A bunch of teacher bloggers are sharing their best "bright ideas" for the classroom. Be sure to join in on the fun by following the hop!

My bright idea for this week actually is literally "bright"! :)
You know those tap lights that people put in closets or other places? Well they are also great for classroom use!

My coworker, Megan, uses them at her guided reading groups. When she is meeting with a group, she taps the light "on" to tell other students that she is busy and cannot be interrupted. It's a great visual and really teaches the kids that their time in reading group is very important and sacred.

A while back I started using mine during Daily 5 for Read to Someone. I noticed that some of my kiddos had a hard time Checking for Understanding, a simple comprehension strategy where they retell what they just read. In came the tap lights. Each pair that does Read to Someone during a round of Daily 5 gets a tap light. They place the light on the floor in front of them. One partner reads a page of the book. The other partner then taps the light on and says "I just heard you read" and tells the who and the what. I've had the little check bookmarks that Daily 5 recommends but I've found that the tap lights add an element of fun!

I did some searching during my long snow break this week and found more adorable tap lights at Dollar Tree. How cute are star and heart shaped ones?

Here are a few other ideas I've heard of or thought of using tap lights:

Create A Caring Classroom - Use the heart shaped tap light at morning meeting to allow students to share what's on their heart. A great way to create a positive classroom atmosphere where students feel safe and loved.

Phonemic Awareness - Use multiple tap lights for students to show the sounds in words - tap a light for each sound you hear.

Shining Student - Stick a light to your whiteboard/chalkboard/wall. When you're teaching a lesson and a student has a well thought out answer or goes above and beyond in their thinking, have them tap the light on as a special reward.

Math - Students can practice math facts using flashcards. The partner who is flashing the cards and can see the answer turns the light on each time their partner says the correct answer.

Story Retelling - Have different shaped/colored tap lights represent story elements - character, setting, problem, solution, author's message, etc. When reading aloud to your class ask students to raise their hands when they hear about each story element. That student then gets to go push that light on. We've been studying authors as mentors for our writing lately and doing this with post-its but I think my kiddos would love using our lights!

Do you have any other awesome ideas of how to use tap lights in the classroom? Please, please, please share in the comments! I'd love to hear what ideas you have!

If you are looking for more great ideas, continue on to Horizons & Dreams. Have fun finding more bright ideas for your classroom!


  1. This is a FABULOUS idea, Julie! I Love it. I think I'm going to go to the Dollar Store today and see if I can find some of these lights. I love the idea of having a student with a bright idea taping the light on! They would eat that up! I am LOVING this hop!

  2. Oh my, my head is spinning with all of these great ideas. I love the star and heart shaped lights, and had never seen those before. I am heading to Dollar Tree today. Thanks so much for this idea.

    Mrs, Rios Teaches Second Grade

  3. Never thought to use tap lights in such creative ways! Thanks for taking time to share your ideas and planting the seed!

  4. Thanks for this bright idea! How long do the lights last? I adore you idea about Shining Student.
    My Second Sense