PANDA SPELL – SPELLING COACHING SUSPENDED

As stated on the front page of the Panda Spell website, I have decided to suspend spelling coaching as of August 1, 2020. I have contemplated this decision for a long time. Spelling coaching has been a fascinating, exciting, and fulfilling field. I have worked with over 50 students, and have seen many of them qualify for Scripps. A few achieved high enough rankings that they were worthy of the trophy; with the tables tipped slightly, they could have easily taken top honors. Each of them learned a tremendous amount…

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AFTER THE BEE…THAT NEVER WAS

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! I’ve been thinking a lot about the event – or rather, non-event – of the last week of May this year. No Scripps National Spelling Bee. For the first time since World War II, on April 21st, Scripps cancelled the bee outright, along with the fun events that would have comprised Bee Week. Some spellers created petitions, pleading to allow the eighth graders who might have participated this year to get one last chance, either next year or…

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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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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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