"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Preparing for the Spelling Bee

I just finished my FAQ for our homeschool co-op's spelling team, which I lead.

Part of what I do is prepare fun workshops to help improve spelling skills and build vocabulary.  One of the best places to start are with some great on-line resources.  Check them out for your aspiring Spelling Bee Champ.
First off, I love Free Rice.  We LOVE being able to practice vocabulary while helping to feed the poor.
Then check out Spelling City.  You can enter in your own spelling lists and learn, test and play games to reinforce spelling skills.
Now head over to Spelling Bee The Game for a real-life competition.  The words are incredibly challenging.
Then go to Big IQ Kids for some fun.  You need to click on Spelling Bee Free Game.  You can do all kinds of fun stuff there like US Geography, Math and Vocabulary games as well. Kids get rewarded with fun logic games for doing well.
Another site we like is Word Plays.   There are many options for word play there.

I'll post more ideas here after I present them to our team, but for now, here's the gist of how our Spelling Team works:

Who can participate?
SCRIPPS will allow any child that is in grade 4-8, up to the age of 15 (as long as their birthday was/will be AFTER 8/31).
What does it cost to participate?
I had originally projected a cost of $10 per child.  I’ve amended that to $10 per child with a cap at $15 per family.  

What does your $10 buy?
·         Access to the Spelling Team Yahoo!  Group
Participants will have access to all the group materials via a Yahoo! Group.  Invitations will be sent following payment for the family.

·         Access to the SCRIPP spelling lists and rules
All of the resources available from SCRIPPS will be available at the Spelling Team Yahoo! Group.  SCRIPPS provides lists for all the grades.  It also provides spelling guides for the difficult words we will move onto during the Spelling Bee when we exhaust the words on the grade lists.  It’s extremely helpful to use these spelling guides to prepare for our Bee and the SCRIPPS Regional Spelling Bee.   It is also imperative that the participants be aware of the rules so they are not disappointed when we move on to our practice Bees and the final Bee.

·         Participation in fun spelling workshops
Twice a month we will meet for OPTIONAL spelling workshops.  The workshops are a lot of fun, filled with games, group lessons (advanced phonograms and word etymology), practice Bees and supplemental homework.  All supplemental homework and activities will be available via the  Spelling Team Yahoo! Group.

·         Participation in Spelling Bee
We will hold a Spelling Bee at the end of January.  The judge and pronouncer’s schedule along with facility availability and speller availability will determine the date. 
Last year, the Spelling Bee took approximately 2 hours to complete.  I will allot three hours this year in case we have a great match!
We will have a small reception at the conclusion of the Spelling Bee to hand out awards and thank you’s.

·         The First Prize Winner will go on to participate in the SCRIPPS Regional Spelling Bee
The first prize winner of the Spelling Bee will receive a trophy, a free one year membership to Encyclopedia Britannica online and will go on to the SCRIPPS Regional Spelling Bee in the spring.
The second place winner will receive a trophy, a free one year membership to Encyclopedia Britannica online and will be a stand-in in the event the first place winner cannot participate.  

1 comment:

Dan said...

I was happy to discover your blog today. I was unable to find a contact link. I hope it's OK that I'm contacting you through a public comment.

Your post about spelling bee preparation really caught my interest. I've developed an educational program for Windows called SpellQuizzer that helps children learn their spelling and vocabulary words without the battle that parents often have getting them to sit down and write them out while the parents dictate to them. The parent enters the child's spelling words into the software making a sound recording of each word. Then the software helps the child practice his or her words. It really helped my children with their weekly spelling lists. I have several downloadable lists designed for spelling bee preparation on my website.

I would appreciate your reviewing SpellQuizzer in On the Road to Becoming a Scholar. If you are interested in hosting a giveaway of a SpellQuizzer license I'd be happy to supply a free license to the winner. You can learn more about the program at www.SpellQuizzer.com. There's a video demo you can watch at www.spellquizzer.com/SpellQuizzer-Demo.htm and a community site where SpellQuizzer users can share their spelling lists with one another (www.SpellQuizzer.com/Community). Finally, there's a page targeted to homeschooling families at www.spellquizzer.com/spelling-software-for-homeschoolers.htm. I'd be happy to send you a complimentary license for the software. Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you very much!

Dan Hite
TedCo Software