As an educator, this has been such a fun contest to oversee!Â I loved seeing how fellow teachers used the magic of Disney to make their learning environments warm, inviting, and fun!
Please review the photos and written descriptions below.Â The written descriptions really help to understand the ways in which the decor supplements the educational nature of the Disney decorations.
Once you have seen all the entries, please cast your vote for the teacher whose classroom you think did the most magical job of “going Disney.”Â The winner will receive a box of Disney-themed classroom supplies as well as a WDW Radio prize pack.
Thanks and have fun!!!Â 8:)
Entry #1: Lisa “I teach 1st grade, and each year have added more Disney things to my classroom. I made everything myself. My rules have Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy over them, and my big bulletin board has a Farmer Mickey that I painted. It says ‘Mrs. Stith’s Garden’, and I display students’ art work on it. My shelf is filled with Disney characters that I have or were given to me over the years by my students, and on the top shelf are Pluto, Minnie, and Daisy that I painted. Our behavior system is a Green, Yellow, Red system. They start the day with their clip on Green. It has Mickey smiling, saying ‘I’m having a great day!’ If they make bad choices they move to yellow, where Goofy says ‘Oops, I slipped up, I’ll do better’. If they continue to make bad choices, they move to Red where Donald says ‘I quacked up, I’ll do better tomorrow’. My Word Walls have Mickey heads at the top, and I display the vocabulary words on the strips hanging under them. I have Mickey bulletin board that looks like he’s holding the board. I also have Disney quotes posted, and on their name tags have the characters and Mickey heads on them. One of my favorite things are the Mickey balloons that I made and painted a few years ago. They represent the team colors. I love teaching, I love Disney, and I love sharing Disney with my students! :)”
Entry #2: Caren “Here’s my Disney classroom.Â I use a Disney theme every year – more for me than the students. Â I can ‘escape’ in a small way when things get rough, and with teaching in a high poverty school, things often get rough.Â Having a Disney theme is nice on the first day of school.Â It puts the kids at ease and makes me seem like an approachable person.Â The Seas with Nemo and Friends is one of my granddaughters’ favorite rides in Disney World.Â We ride it numerous times per trip.Â They love seeing the sea animals after the ride.Â It was a joy to decorate the classroom this year.Â Some things were handmade, and some were bought in Disney World.Â It makes me think of the sweet timesÂ my family hasÂ together every time we go to our very happiest place!Â I am submitting three pictures, but I am having to leave out a really cool beach scene thatÂ runs alongÂ the back bookcase.Â It has a sandcastle, a lifeguard Mickey, and a palm tree.”
Entry #3 Jill “I am a huge fan of WDW Radio and I listen to every podcast so I may live vicariously through y’all in between my WDW trips!Â I have three examples of how my classroom has ‘gone Disney.Â 1st: (I am including 2 pictures of this) In 1994, McDonald’s had a series of toys featuring Epcot.Â Along with these toys, they had some SUPER CUTE boxes that illustrated the many Epcot pavillions.Â Back in 1994, (when I was 10 years old) I convinced myself that I would use these boxes one day so I kept them.Â Fast forward to 2007 and I started my first year of teaching.Â I was cleaning out some old boxes and I ran across the McDonald’s toys and matching boxes.Â They fit perfectly in my classroom!Â 6th grade social studies in Georgia focuses on world geography and cultures!Â My students ask me about them every year, and I tell them my story.Â They love looking at the boxes and talking about Epcot.Â 2nd: Coins from around World Showcase!Â About 4 years ago, my Mom visited Epcot (sadly, this was without me).Â BUT she did buy me a great souvenir!Â She purchased a plastic covered set of coins.Â This set included an authentic coin from each of the countries in World Showcase.Â When we discuss our standard about ‘currencies from different countries,’ I am able to bring out this set and pass it around the room.Â They love it!Â 3rd (and finally):Â I have a YouTube channel for my class and my most recent video (titled: Population Density) is about why people move to certain places.Â In this video, I reference how Orlando’s population exploded after Walt Disney made his announcement in 1965.Â I was able to show them that, although central Florida is naturally humid and swampy, Orlando is one of the most densely populated areas of Florida.Â I even drew Mickey and sang a few notes of the Mickey Mouse Club anthem.Â Here is a link to that video: http://youtu.be/-YizEhRtRVo (Disney reference is around [6:20] mark)Â Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!Â Have a magical day!
I teach map skills using guide maps from the Magic Kingdom. Each student receives a map and then spin the â€œattractionâ€ wheel.Â Students need to write directions to their attraction from Main Street USA. Notice in the background popcorn buckets. They make excellent holders for pencils, markers, and highlighters.
Following directions is an important part of school. Who better than to help with this than the Doorknob from Alice in Wonderland?
Another important thing I teach in my classroom is everyday magic. This is a wall of inspiration. The pictures were taken from the book Disneyâ€™s Add a Little Magic Words of Inspiration. These quotes inspire students to do their best, manners are important, and anything is possible. I couldnâ€™t imagine going through the day with a little help from my favorite mouse!Â Have a Magical day”
Entry #5 Kristi “I have been teaching for 6 years so my room started off Disney because I have been a fan since before I can remember. I was even married in Disney world!Â As you can see I have Mickey head labels for my supplies, a Mickey tank for our fish, Rudolph (the kids didn’t take my suggestion of Nemo for a name), and the collection of Mickeys my students have given me over the years because he is my favorite character with some Minnies thrown in for good measure. My bulletin boards are decorated with Mickey wrapping paper and crate paper as a border.Â I even have a rewards systems where I give out Mickey dollars I copied from my Mickey Monopoly game if the children bring in homework, are a good example, etc.Â You can see some of our class reminders in the Mickey heads above the black board where the earning and rewards amounts are listed for Mickey dollars. Our reminders spell out MICKEY: Make an effort, Inquire of others, Check all your work, Keep trying, Encourage others and You can do it!Â The one thing you can’t see is the children making Mickey ears on their head with their hands to show me they are ready to come to line, or to lessons or any kind of transition in our day.Â They are very cute! If I’m not the most Disneyified teacher around, then I guess my principal should stop calling me Mickey every time she sees me. It must be the Mickey jewelry and Mickey head crocs I wear to school.Â Thanks for thinking of this contest.Â I didn’t think anyone, besides my students, would appreciate my Disney classroom!”
Entry #6 Laurise “Enter our classroom as we celebrate “A Wonderful World of Learning and Fun!”
Our meeting corner this year has Mickey and Minnie reading buddies and a Mickey shower curtain, which we use as our sitting mat. Our morning corner encourages this yearâ€™s Kindergarteners to explore the world around them through songs and books.
Our Mickey class rules make following directions so much more fun! It has a 3-D effect: we listen with our ears, we raise our hands before we speak, and we walk with our ‘cotton ball’ feet.”
Entry #7 Christina “I am a Kindergarten Teacher in the Greater Las Vegas Area. I am also a HUGE Disney Fan or Geek to those who enjoy my enthusiasm for Disney. I have always wanted a Disney themed classroom. This year, I was granted a larger room which allowed me to follow my dreams and create an amazing classroom with Disney themes everywhere.
I have 5 tables in my room representing each land in Disneyland and each land has a coordinating color to go with it. Each table has a picture of each land above it including the names of each land; Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Main Street U.S.A. My library area is named the Hundred Acre Woods Library with Winnie the Pooh hanging from a tree and his red balloon floats above him. Pooh is surrounded by honey bees that are hanging as well. Right next to the library is Tiggerfic Work Wall where Tigger watches over the students who are working hard on their worksheets. My desk area has Disney everywhere. My own bulletin board behind my desk has my name written out in Mickey Ears!
My centers are Disney themed as well. My literacy centers are called Alice’s ABC Wonderland. There are buckets that are labeled and numbered with Mad Hatter Hats for each bucket. Next to Alice is Dumbo’s Listening Circus, where the students have their listening center. They can read their books using their Dumbo Ear Headphones. There is a WORLD OF COLOR center, where the students match colors.
There is a WOODY’S ROUND UP center where the students are learning there shapes. The math centers are called CARS Land. There are buckets that are labeled and numbered with Piston Cups for each bucket. Lightening McQueen watches the students race around the track in their race cars when they are counting to 100. (Bulletin board in the area of the math centers) The word wall is called ITS A SMALL WORD WALL with the poster of It’s a Small World hanging right next to it. The writing center is themed for Pinocchio and is called Geppeto’s Writer’s Workshop.
I took my rules and made them Disney. They are called Jiminy’s Rules with a picture of Jiminy Cricket on it. Each rule has a picture of a character demonstrating the rule for the students. There is a Jiminy Cricket plush that sits on my easel watching the students follow the rules. I took two plushes from A Bug’s Life, Dot and Princess Atta, and they are my tattle bugs. The students have to tattle to them when they have a tattle problem. I count the days with my students using 101 dalmations, saying that we have 101 dalmation days of school.
My Open House Bulletin Board has Mickey Mouse and all my students wearing Mickey Ears with the quote; To Those Who Come To This Happy Place… Welcome, Room 1 is Your Land. I adapted Walt Disney’s speech to fit my classroom setting this year. He was an inspiration to my classroom. I love coming to work and being able to share the magic of Disney with my students.
Thank you for taking the time to read my ideas and inspirations on how my classroom went DISNEY!!!”
Entry #8 Kathy “My music classroom hosts over 600 students every week.Â Their ages range from 3 to 8 and they are filled with imagination, enthusiasm, and creativity.Â My job is to light that little â€˜sparkâ€™ and give them a place to be creative.Â We sing songs, play instruments, make up stories, play games, and have a lot of fun.Â I am blessed to spend my days with such joyful company.
I just redecorated the music room over the summer, after sharing it with another teacher for years.Â Now that itâ€™s all mine, I wanted to give it my personal (Disney!) touch.Â I used things that I already had on hand.Â The Mickey on the wall is a great way to display some of my favorite drums.Â The clock was a clearance item at an office store.Â I bought it and added some paper Mickeys to dress it up.
The posters over the bookshelves hold an educational and decorative purpose.Â When the second grade classes study Japan, we take a close look at the pictures and maps from Tokyo Disneyland.Â The students are fascinated by the Japanese writing and the cultural differences, including the different flavors of popcorn sold!
The potato heads get a lot of use in our classroom.Â Students receive a part and may place them on the potato head if they sing by themselves.Â The students love discovering different parts each time we play the Potato Head game.Â Their favorite is definitely Darth Tater.
My Disney collage poster was made from pictures cut from a Disney-A-Day calendar.Â It took a while to put together but was definitely worth the effort.Â My students have a great time looking for their favorite movies and trying to guess the unfamiliar ones.
You canâ€™t hear it through the pictures, but there is music playing in the background.Â My favorite tracks come from the Adventureland background music â€“ by the Balafon Marimba Ensemble.Â There is nothing like starting a day sharing music and smiles with a bunch of great kids.”
Entry #9 David “Welcome to my Disneyfied classroom! When my students come into our classroom, they get a little slice of Disney each day. Even before entering our classroom, students see a Disney â€œCharacter Crossingâ€ sign outside the classroom and my name and our classroom number printed on top of a
background featuring the Partners statue and castle. Some mornings we start the day off with the ‘Good Morning Song’ that is heard at the Magic Kingdom each day. Other days, itâ€™s just a random Disney song. Once inside our class, students see â€œThe Incrediblesâ€ bulletin board (see photo) that states ‘Make this year â€¦ incredible!’ This Incredibles theme is carried over into other areas as well. All of our computer backgrounds feature the Incredibles logo, we play an Incredibles game that I created each Friday afternoon for the first few weeks of school, and the kids pick their favorite character which I then
Photoshop their faces onto and feature on our classroom website (http://www.mrbarber.com/students.html). Each group of student desks is also named after a different Incredibles character, whose picture then hangs over their pod of desks. As a special class get-together to celebrate the beginning of the school year, I invite my class and their families over to my house and show ‘The Incredibles’ movie outside on our giant inflatable Mickey Mouse movie screen.
In my classroom, students keep checkbooks and can use their money for special rewards or prizes. One popular reward is to dress up our Disney Mr. Potato Head collection. I have a tub of Disney parts from the Once Upon A Toy store at Downtown Disney that the students can use to dress up our Disney Potato
Heads (see photo).
Birthdays are also an extra special Disney time in our classroom. Each trip, I stop in City Hall and tell them Iâ€™m a teacher and ask for a class set of birthday buttons. This allows the birthday person to wear a ‘Todayâ€™s My Birthday’ button that Iâ€™ve brought back from WDW to share with my students. The special
birthday person also gets to wear the special crown Mickey ears all day and keep the special birthday present Stitch on their desk that day (see photo).
Along with the above, we have many other Disney touches in our classroom such as our Enchanted Tiki Room reading corner (featuring a Tiki Hut Umbrella), many different pictures from Walt Disney World, Mickey Ear shaped lunch tags, and many other tchotchkes (such as our Robot pencil holders from the retired Plastic Works at Innovations in Epcot).
Besides all of our Disney ‘stuff’, what I think most makes us a Disney classroom is the attitude that exists in our classroom. I try to instill into my kids the same attitudes and values that made Walt into who he was. We work hard and expect the best out of everyone. I also have a few different Walt
Disney quotes up on posters throughout the room that help to create the atmosphere. Itâ€™s almost as if Walt is there guiding us every day !
Entry #10 Claudia “I’m writing to share about my son’s 2nd grade teacher, Claudia Ketcham, and her Disney-inspired classroom and teaching style:
Students are greeted by Disney onÂ her classroom door with the word ‘IMAGINE’ and a sign welcomingÂ them toÂ a ‘Magical Learning Experience.’Â There are Disney touches all over the room -Â Peter Pan and Captain Hook figurines,Â aÂ Peter Pan lunchbox, photos of Cinderella’s castle and other characters.Â One of my favorite touches, though, is a stuffed Figment (from Journey into Imagination), holding the word ‘Imagine.’Â On Back to School night, she welcomed parents to the room and used a slide show displayed on the classroom’s promethean board to cover the information she wanted to share about how the day’s schedule worked, her expecations of the students, and the school’s rules…every single slide had a Disney picture on it!
Ms. Ketcham grew up with the Mickey Mouse Club and supper in the living room watchingÂ the Disney movie was a Sunday night ritual in her childhood home.Â As a girl, she was sorely disappointed to move from Florida to New York shortly after construction began on the Walt Disney World Resort!Â She has carried her love of Disney with her through life and uses it in her teaching every day.Â She hopes to one day be able to take a Disney class for teachers, and herÂ dream is to develop educational programs for Disney.Â She cites Sully (from Monsters, Inc.) as a role model, who reminds her to be ever-mindful of how she comes across to her elementary school students.
Ms. Ketcham encourages her students to dream and imagine at every turn, often using engineering activities to spur creativity and active, rather than passive, learning.Â Â She’s building future Imagineers and sharing the magic every single day!”
Entry #11 Shari “If only I could send more than three pictures!
My momâ€™s classroom didnâ€™t go Disney â€“ it went MICKEY!Â She loves the mouse (and so do her first graders) so a heavy dose of Mickey was the perfect way for her classroom to get a little touch of Disney magic.Â She has a bulletin board full of her Disney pins, a cute seating area with a plush Mickey and Minnie and a big stuffed Mickey glove pillow.Â She has a singing Mickey doll that kids get to have on their desk for their birthdays, and a parent once told her, ‘I love coming into your room to find all the hidden Mickeys!’Â Of course, itâ€™s not all about the mouse (just mostly!)Â She has a Tinkerbell wand for a pointer and a princess crown that, when she wears it, it means everyone has to be quiet! Â They even sing â€œZip-a-dee-do-dahâ€ (with hand motions) after the Pledge of Allegiance.Â The kids thoroughly confused a substitute one day when the pledge was done and they broke into song!
Sheâ€™s been accumulating Disney items for her classroom for several years.Â When she had to completely empty her room at the end of last year (the school was getting a total overhaul, carpet to ceiling) she figured the new year was the perfect time to get her Mickey (and peace sign!) room in order!”
I am so glad I am not the one who has to choose this one!!!Â I have such a wonderful feeling about the amazing educators in our country.Â Please join me in cyber-applauding all these wonderful teachers!!!
Now, please select the one teacher who did the best job of making their classroom “go Disney.”
Thanks for your help!Â Voting runs through 10pm EDT on Saturday September 24.