Sauk Trail contest demonstrates life lessons

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To support the values of good citizenship and playing fair, Sauk Trail recently launched a unique contest, open to all students and staff: try to guesstimate how many old markers are crammed into a fish aquarium.

The friendly competition integrates counting and estimating, plus it encourages students to work together comparing their guesses and rationale.

But it goes beyond the math lesson to reinforce valuable life skills.

“One of our themes of encouraging camaraderie this year at Sauk Trail is 'We Play Fair,' ” guidance counselor Mary Adamavich said. “Our staff works together to reinforce the hope that all students play fair, not only on the playground and gym, but in the classroom and throughout life itself. This fun contest reinforces those values.”

During the school year, teachers have been tossing old, dried-up markers in a designated box for eventual recycling.  A portion of them was rescued for the contest.

“It’s amazing to see how many markers our classrooms use in a school year,” librarian Ann O’Rourke observed. “I’m guessing…well, I really don’t want to give away my contest entry, so we’ll just say lots and lots!”

So how many markers are in the tank? Good question. A group of fourth-graders will soon count them.  Winners will be announced later this month. Prizes include certificates for free books at the Scholastic book fair to be held in May.  

And a huge thanks to MHS staff  member Tara Bradford for loaning the aquarium.

-- By Tom Kobinsky