Learning is Fun!

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Students at AMP used their imaginations to take a magical trip to Disney. Physical Education teacher Maribeth Miller transformed the gymnasium into a miniature replica of Disney, complete with movies, rides, and souvenirs. 

“Disney Days” incorporates the enchantment and fun of Disney characters with skills the students are learning in physical education class, and in their regular classrooms. Students in first and second grade look forward to the day each year, while kindergarteners look on in awe at their first sight of the transformed gymnasium before jumping in on the fun.

The children ride scooters around the various Disney stations, using physical skills such as balance and kicking. They use math skills as they count to ten while pumping gas into their scooters and they practice reading as they look at the names of the various stations they can visit. There was a Disney theater, library, day care (for stuffed animals), highway (for scooter riding), diner for making pretend snacks, and a souvenir shop for browsing tables full of memorabilia. 

AMP Principal Dr. Sophia Gary said that Ms. Miller spends hours of her own time creating “Disney Days” for the children. “She incorporates so many parts of the curriculum into the event,” she said. “She doesn’t just focus on physical education skills. She includes many academic skills that are part of the curriculum at this level.”  Gary added that the students don’t realize they are practicing important skills since they are too busy having fun.

Ms. Miller said that when she sees former students now in high school, they always ask about Disney Days.  “They always remember the event as one of their favorites,” she said. Although setting up the event is a tremendous amount of work, the smiles on the children’s faces and the fact that they never forget it, makes it all worthwhile for her.