Things You Thought You’d NEVER Hear a Teacher Say…”Have Fun at Disney!”
Chances are, for you, the new school is probably here or just around the corner. My school starts back this week! I love the feeling of the new school year! I love seeing new faces, old friends, and getting into all the fun that encompasses the year! I really do love my job! So, as I’ve strolled the stores and seen school supplies on sale, I was inspired to do a “back to school-ish” post! Today we are taking a look at what I do for my students who are going to Disney World or on a Disney Cruise during the school year!
Now, I know, most teachers would probably rather you not pull your child out for a vacation during the school year. After all, the common thought is, “why not take them during the summer!”. But, I being a HUGE Disney fan and a teacher see both sides. With less crowds, less heat, and more ride time, I am all in favor of going to Disney when it works for your family (and who are we kidding, really, I am in favor of going to Disney all the time ). You see, I think EVERY opportunity is full of teachable moments. The rich conversations born out of Disney trips makes me so excited for what my students will bring back. From mapping the trip to learning about birds from all over the world at Flights of Wonder, there really isn’t a dull moment at Disney.
I send my students to Disney with homework (keep reading, it isn’t really homework)! This “homework” works with my student’s family to create and foster that learning that so magically happens at Disney World. The cool thing is that I tailor the homework for each child. For example, for my roller coaster science enthusiast (yeah, kindergarten isn’t what it used to be!) I created homework with opportunities to rate the coasters and draw diagrams of their favorite coasters. For children who need number practice, I create many opportunities to practice writing numbers (with spiffy trace and write numerals). Whatever your child’s interest or the season, you can make “homework” that suits your child to a T! Included in this Disney World/Cruise bag are Disney themed books for reading, a packet (Get yours here), a stuffed Stitch stuffed animal, and a Disney Journal (for families to write in and fill with wonderful pictures). My students and their families LOVE getting the Disney bag and I love putting it together! It is a fun way to incorporate writing and their families into the classroom and it creates such a confidence boost as the students share from the journal when they return from their trip.
So, today I am sharing with you 3 things that you never thought you’d hear a teacher say about missing class to go to Disney…
and yes, I say these things ALL the time!!!
1. “Disney World is a HUGE classroom! You are going to learn so much!”
I truly believe this! Some of my most authentic learning moments have happened at Disney World. No lie. And that isn’t just because I am a huge Disney fan! I’ve taken facts and information mentioned in rides and attractions like The Carousel of Progress and explored beyond the ride. I crave information so, when I hear something or make a connection…I pursue it! I have learned from clear-cut learning experiences at Disney like the Conservation Station. For example, did you know that when hedgehogs encounter a new smell they chew on the smell source and then spit a foamy substance into their quills. That is gross. But that is cool. It even has a name, it is called self anointing. Yuck but coooooool! I got a brain wrinkle from Disney World! That beats any old souvenir! Okay, here’s another example; I’ve learned from time in the tank at Turtle Talk With Crush. I always share this tidbit of knowledge with my kindergarten kiddos… so all of the eggs a mother sea turtle lays will be all one sex. Either all boys or all girls. The sex is determined by the temperature of the sand in which the eggs are laid. Warm sand = all girls and cool sand = all boys! As Crush put it,”chicks are totally hot and dudes are totally cool!”. Score! Disney World is an awesome classroom!
2. “You really are going to see the World at Disney World!”
I can’t think of many places that bring the world to you like Disney World. Disney covers all your major subjects and then some! From the detailed pavilions in EPCOT’s World Showcase to the most authentic trek through Africa on the Kilimanjaro Safari, Disney really does deliver. I think we really could even include in this section the fact that so many people from all corners of the Earth join together to share in the magic. I’ve been many places, but I truly do believe that Disney World does the best job of bringing places to you! Being at Disney World is like being on the internet…you really do have the world at your fingertips!
3. “Awesome! Now, let me help you plan…”
Okay, so in defense of most teachers, I will go ahead and admit something to you… the fact that I am a Disney blogger gives me an extra boost here! When I find out my students are going to Disney World, I begin having conversations with their families! I offer up my blog and favorite sites (hint, hint: Chip & Co.) and set to task helping to create a list of tailor-made Disney experiences for that student! I LOVE making these lists, especially for Disney newbies! I love it when the children come back and share their journal entry from the Disney World journal and they are thrilled with one of the suggestions I made!
So you see, a trip to Disney World during the school year really isn’t that bad! In fact, I would go so far as to say, that when you do Disney “right” you can’t help but learn! From the experiences you’ll only get from Disney to the incidental learning along the way, visiting Disney is sure to give you something to think about!
So it is your turn to participate…
What would you say is the coolest thing you’ve learned at Disney World? List your learning in the comment section below!
As always, thanks for reading!
For more tips on making your trip to Disney World magical, visit my blog Disneydonerightblog.com
See ya real soon!