Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hotel Kindergarten

Joseph Campbell coined the phrase Follow Your Bliss stating that "when you do doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors".

I guess my kids were on to something when they voted to learn about hotels. Once the word was out we were invited to tour the Marcel at Gramercy due to our high ranking connections (Thank you Cindy and Lou!).

We arranged a visit with the Hotel Manager Mark Houston with a focus on answering the big question our students wanted to know "where do the people sleep?". Mark guided us to two rooms; one with two double beds and another with a king-sized bed. Both rooms had fantastic views of the NYC skyline, including the Empire State Building.

They were able to use the room key card to enter each room and once that door opened it was a bit of every man for himself! Thank goodness Mark was patient and seemingly unfazed by the bing-bing-bing blur of movement their excitement engendered. At least they refrained from bouncing on the bed(s).

This was the first time many of them had been in a hotel room and they were fascinated and full of questions regarding the safe, ironing board, toilet paper (with the fancy "M" seal), large mirrors, amenities and the LG flat screen television set.

Mark also took us up to the rooftop lounge area where the kids 'ooh'ed and 'ahh'ed over the view before settling into their lounge chairs as if they did this everyday after school.

Before we left Mark gave each student their own room key (to play with in our classroom Hotel Kindergarten) and more information about NYC hotels.

When we got back to class each child wrote about the experience. It was amazing to see the learning through their writing and detailed pictures.

It goes to show ya that kids are paying close attention even when they appear not to be. As Martha would say "It's a good thing".


Barbara said...

These kids are going to be so sad to leave your class and move on up to Grade 1. I'm sure they will always say "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" and mean it!

Gary said...

Barbara, thanks for being so kind. I appreciate it.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

What a great learning experience. I love the way you capture the excitement they bring to such outings. By the way, one of the many compelling corollaries to the command "Follow Your Bliss" is "You Must Bounce on the Beds" ;)

Pauline said...

Every time you post something like this, my desire to be a student of yours increases! What a marvelous way to teach children -

Come to think of it, each time I read here I become a student of yours :)

Steve said...

What a great outing! It's funny how something as pedestrian as a hotel would be so exciting to kids. (Then again, I never stayed in a hotel as a kid, so I can see why!)

I'll have to look up the Marcel -- I have no idea where that is.

patti said...

As always, what a great experience.

Gary said...

Lorenzo - You may have a point there about bouncing on beds as an element of FYB. I'll have to look deeper into this idea. BTW, I LOVE your header (have I told you that already).

Thank you Pauline. That is a sweet compliment. My 'kids' are quite a handful at times but always a joy.

Steve - I have a link to the Marcel in the post. Next time I need a hotel I am going to def inquire. I actually love hotels myself and am still excited when I get to stay in one. I think it has something to do with someone cleaning up after me or maybe it is simply because they are associated with something exciting/different/wonderful like a vacation or get away.

Patti - I hope to get to see you this summer. I'll keep you posted.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

what an inventive and creative idea for a field trip! give it to you gary to put it on a list for your kids to vote on and to offer the kids to vote on where to go....more inventive and creative ideas!! you are the best!!!

thanks for sharing the bliss you find in your daily work with the rest of us!

wv:regliftu - seems fitting as your posts do give a regular lift!!


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