Kathy McQueen and Kim Jasper have participated in the annual LAD Fair for years and have accumulated lots of tips to make it easier to enter. They shared those tips at the fall LAD meeting.
Keep the LAD entry sheet (available at ladfair.com) posted at your desk so you can easily determine which of your classroom assignments can be entered in the fair.
Run off entry forms with everything but student name and entry name and category filled in. Personal experience has proven that if you have lots of entries, this simple step saves an enormous amount of time.
Consider using colored paper or pasting stickers in the upper right corner of your entry form as a way to easily find your entries when you pick them up from the fair in April. (There are still a few of us who prefer the anonymity of plain paper entry forms.)
Be sure to cut off the corner of the entry form so the form can easily be unfolded to reveal the entrant. It saves lots of time for the people who attach the ribbons and enter the data.
Don™t wait until the March entry deadline”when you™re grading, select the four best entries and keep copies on file for the fair. Attach an entry form and have students sign right away.
If you like the piece but aren™t certain what category the piece fits in, attach an entry form and get student signature. Find a category fit when you make final preparations for the fair.
Kathy had a rubber stamp made with œMake corrections and return for LAD Fair ASAP.
Don™t spend too much time agonizing over which stories or poems should go in your class anthologies. Kathy had a lot of success just asking students for their two best pieces and placing them randomly in the anthology. Students vote on the title and an artistic student creates the cover.
Be sure to enter anthologies as a way to make sure all students are successful”each student has a piece in the anthology. If your anthology places in the contest, you can request a ribbon and certificate for each of your students.
You can check the number of entries in each category by looking at the lists of winners from last year (ladfair.com). Enter categories with few participants and increase your number of winners.
¦but don™t neglect entering categories with lots of entrants. A student who wins in a crowded category can rightfully boast about such an achievement.
Submit pieces to the LAD Fair that you have submitted elsewhere. Kathy and Kim suggested Patriot™s Pen, Letters about Literature, and Scholastic Art and Writing as worthwhile contests.
Encourage the teachers in the grades below you to participate in LAD. Students who have been winners are eager to participate again.