MAKING WORD LISTS FROM READING

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! There is a huge argument to be made from the benefits of reading when trying to become an expert speller. Simply put, reading will expose you to a wide variety of words. And unlike poring over simple word lists, reading will improve your vocabulary. Why? Because you see a word in its proper context. Even if you can't learn the exact dictionary definition of a word, you often get a clue as to what it means. If you…

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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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PREPARING FOR THE 2019 SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE – THE ROUND 2 LIST

Photo credit: Mark Bowen

The 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee is quickly approaching for nearly 600 spellers. If you are one of these spellers, my highest congratulations to you! I hope you have celebrated your success appropriately...because a very daunting task looms ahead. Each year, every qualifying bee champion receives the Round 2 List: a list of 600 words to learn. One of these words will be your first oral round word (in Round 2), and another will be used as a vocabulary word in your written test (in Round 1). Both will be…

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THE SIMPLE ART OF MEMORIZATION

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was as a mystery, cryptic, undecipherable. This was before a time of language patterns, of etymology, of roots, prefixes, and suffixes. And the only way to learn the Word was to just plain memorize it. Really, when you think about it, this was how we all learned language as children. We heard sounds, and learned to put them to letters when we started reading. Many times, we could relate sensory experiences to the words and sounds we were trying to learn.…

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MAKING WORDS MATTER…OR “WHAT IS A SPRINGBOK?”

School is just on the verge of beginning again for the 2017-2018 year. For spellers across the nation, this means learning Spell It and the school word lists provided by Scripps. Preparing for spelling bee season is about to begin! And spellers will be more prepared now than ever. Why is this? Spelling and studying in the past One of my students once commented that winning words in years past seem a lot easier than they do nowadays. And this is absolutely true. Consider the likes of therapy, knack, and…

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