YOU WILL GET A WORD YOU DO NOT KNOW

Spelling bees involve more than just studying words. It's easy to think of spelling like this: A student gets a list of words on Monday, studies it over the course of the week, then has a written test on Friday. Lather, rinse, repeat until the school year is over. That was the scene during the bucolic days of the little red schoolhouse on the prairie. but nearly two centuries later, life isn't so simple...and neither is spelling. You have to prepare psychologically to be the best. Simply learning words (and…

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STAY CALM AND STAY FOCUSED!

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! Spelling bees are notorious for their stress, rattling the nerves of spellers and audience members alike. Interspersed in the grueling pressure of bees are the occasional hilarious and spontaneous events that break the tension. One of the funniest and most memorable moments in bee history occurred in 2008, when eventual Scripps champion Sameer Mishra received the word numnah in round 8. Watch the video to see what happened. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjzrNWPul9E Pretty amusing, right? I know everyone in the auditorium appreciated…

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THE #1 RESPONSIBILITY OF A SPELLER

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! As bee season ramps up, and spellers begin to be tested on their linguistic prowess, it is good to dwell on the most important responsibility of a speller. Many spellers would half-jokingly say that the most important responsibility of a speller would be to spell the word right. That's certainly a great responsibility...after all, this is what spelling bees are all about, right? Learn about words, ideally be able to use them in conversation or writing, and most…

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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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