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Last year I spent toooo much time teaching the kids how to draw a floor plan
with a fire escape plan of their house.
The ornaments took up too much time because I had to wait for the stragglers
to finish, so the fast workers made two. Those who wanted to keep their
ornament made two, one for the town, one for themselves.
I wrote a note to the principal, told her I did not want to do this again. I
stated facts about the fire dept contest, how many classes it took, how much
copy paper and ink were used for rules and parent letters, how kids lost
interest when they had to take home the floor plan and modify it to their
house floor plan. I didn't get that many entries in the end, either.
But we did win for 5th grade level in our town: a certificate and a small
savings bond. The winner's picture was in the town news. The grand prize of a
trip to Disney World was unattainable because the contest was USA wide. My
students saw that.
This year I am not doing any contests or ornaments. I may turn down requests,
as I get them, or I may write a note upfront: All contest announcements can
be made by the office, kids can turn in entries to the office or to their