SPELLING RULES – A DISCLAIMER

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! Spelling in the English language is one of the most difficult academic skills to master. Part of the issue is that words in English come from all over the world. Literally. Name a language, and chances are it has contributed directly or indirectly to English. To make spelling easier, many people rely on rules. However, virtually every rule in the English language has an exception! For example, how about that one spelling rule virtually everyone knows? "I before…

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WORDS OF THE CHAMPIONS (2.0)

On the morning of August 20th, Scripps released Words of the Champions to unofficially inaugurate the 2019-2020 spelling bee season. It is a far cry from the organization of Spell It - or for that matter, Paideia. In fact, it is arguably even more challenging to spellers than the original Words of the Champions was from decades ago. Here is what I have gathered, having bought the Kindle version on Amazon: There are six lists of words.Three of the lists comprise the school list. Together, they number 450 words, just…

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“CAN I HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION?”

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! A few years ago, I began noticing spellers - especially top ones - asking the question "Can I have all the information?" This happened especially toward the end of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. And I bristled every time I heard this question. It smacked of laziness. It especially annoyed me that top spellers were using this question. The curmudgeon in me thought, "Kids these days! What are they thinking?" I generally do not allow my students to…

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A FOND FAREWELL TO SPELL IT

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! In 2007, the website Spell It became the official Scripps word list for millions of aspiring spellers. This website served great purposes. It was the middle ground between shorter school lists that teachers used for classroom, school, and district bees, and the daunting Merriam-Webster Unabridged. More than a list of words merely to be memorized, Spell It contained words grouped by etymology (as suggested by the above picture). This grouping facilitated learning language patterns. For example, a search…

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