Make Sunshine Indoors!

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

When the weather outside is abominable…

“I’ve got a bright idea. Let’s make sunshine indoors. We know how to light things up!”

Make Sunshine Indoors!

Kids love the concept.

They know that teachers can’t actually bring sunshine indoors. No problem.

Your actions and intent show an awareness of how dreary weather can negatively affect moods.

Attention-getting sunshine-making tricks:

  • brighten students’ spirits.
  • help the class focus at the start of a school day.
  • serve as effective hooks into lessons.

FLASH A RAY OF SUNSHINE – If you have an easel in your room, set a large poster that features the sun on it with the picture hidden from view.

At the start of a bad weather day, announce to the class that you want to begin by making sunshine indoors.

While students stare at you, flip the poster on the easel and dramatically gesture to the picture of the sun. “There it is, everyone, we’ve brought sunshine indoors!”

How else can you make sunshine indoors? Try…

SHINING A SPOTLIGHT ON LEARNING – Bring a flashlight to class and shine the handy tool around the room.

"Spotlight on good work!"

“Spotlight on good work!”

Tell the class that on a rainy day the ray of a flashlight can be like a ray of sunshine.

Explain that you’ll be on the lookout all day for where to spotlight good student work.

When kids are busy writing, doing math, or completing a spelling test, walk around the room to supervise their work.

At the completion of the lesson time, walk around again and shine the flashlight on students’ papers that show work well done.

Add an attention-getting dramatic flair by calling out, “Spotlight on good work! Well done _______________(student’s name here).” 

SUNSHINE RAY ON THE CLOCK – Use the flashlight to help students transition from one activity to another.

When rain or frozen precipitation falls outside your windows, turn the flashlight on and towards the classroom clock. Announce, “Spot on the clock, it’s time to stop ________________ and get ready for __________________.

Follow up by saying, “This is another way to make sunshine indoors throughout our school day.” Just hearing the words “make sunshine indoors” lifts students moods.

Obviously, a flashlight’s yellowish glow shows up best in the dark, but you can still draw attention to a spot with a flashlight in a room that is fairly well-lit. Try it!

Georgia O’Keefe, A Sunflower from Maggie, 1937, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfred Stieglitz Collection-Bequest of Georgia O’Keefe, © 2007 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Photograph © 2012 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfred Steiglitz Collection - Bequest of Georgia O'Keefe, C 2007, Photograph C, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Georgia O’Keefe, A Sunflower from Maggie, 1937, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfred Stieglitz Collection-Bequest of Georgia O’Keefe, © 2007 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Photograph © 2012 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfred Steiglitz Collection – Bequest of Georgia O’Keefe, C 2007, Photograph C, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

STUDY SUNNY OBJECTS – Keep some bright sun-related teaching resources on hand to incorporate into your lesson plans on days when the weather is gloomy.

For example, during science study, tell the class that you want to brighten the day by making sunshine indoors with the addition of sunflowers.

Hold up a poster of sunflowers.

Or project an online photo on a SmartBoard of sunflowers painted by famous artists, like Georgia O’Keefe, an American painter, whose single sunflower lights up any room.

Integrating the arts into other subject areas is an important part of the Core Curriculum.

This trick offers the extra benefit of making sunshine indoors.

FIND and SHARE MORE SUNSHINE ONLINE

Google search “sunshine” and discover a world of ways to make sunshine indoors.

Invite students in upper elementary grades to research sunshine, including how sunshine factors into cultural celebrations around the world.

Ask students to find visual images and icons that are sun-related.

CREATE ART THAT MAKES SUNSHINE INDOORS – If the forecast in your area is for an extended stretch of bad weather, brighten school days by copying artistic images of the sun or sunshine.

Give a copy of your sunny graphic to each student.

Invite kids to create their own sun-related drawings on construction paper or white paper.

Use writing time for students to compose a poem or write a story about the sun

…all to make sunshine indoors, help students cope with dreary weather, and get good work done in school.

Whether or not the weather is a pleasure, please stop by on Monday for Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers.

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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  1. […] a Song of Science – Challenge students to write a poem about a science subject, like weather, with words that go with the melody of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little […]

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Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Students continue to use lackluster verbs in their writing.

Solution: Show toy cars and pretend to make them zip across a page, telling the class that good writing includes action words (verbs) that have "zip." Ask the class for examples of "zippy" verbs like zoom, race, flash, rush, etc.

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