In a Nutshell Blog
We want to start this post by saying, not everyone enjoys spelling, and that is okay. Can you remember sitting in class as an elementary or middle school student when your teacher announced that it was time to get ready for the spelling bee? Some of us probably wanted to get up and run because of all the anxious nerves. The rest of us jumped for joy because the spelling bee was going to be a piece of cake and was the only spelling test all year that would not show up on your report card!
The age old spelling competition known as the Spelling Bee is celebrated a bit differently at Oakhill. We stepped away from the traditional Scripps National Spelling Bee type of event to create our own spelling competition that ties into our curriculum and is a fun culmination of the spelling/vocabulary words and skills learned throughout the year in Grades 1-8.
What makes the Spelling Celebration different?
For starters, the words are familiar. What is the fun in spelling a bunch of unfamiliar words that you hardly know the definitions of let alone how to spell them? So by familiar, we mean that although a student may not have seen one of the words on their spelling lists, words will contain familiar vowel sounds, similar spelling patterns as known words, maybe the word appeared in their Wordly Wise or vocabulary practice books or is a spelling word that was already tested over… there are no surprises. Each teacher conducts practice rounds and a final preliminary session in class to narrow their classroom’s Celebration participants down to three.
All students in Grades 1-8 participate in the practice rounds, mainly because they occur in the fun and comfortable environment of their classroom. If your child happens to become a finalist but decides not to participate in the Spelling Celebration, that is okay. We want that to be a decision made by parent and child. Either way, your child will be celebrated for their accomplishment of advancing to the next level.
How can you help your child prepare?
Make practice time fun! Remember that although the practice list provided to you by the Spelling Celebration Committee is good to review, try not to practice by rote memorization. The more stress put on students to memorize the word list; the less likely they are to be excited about participating in the Spelling Celebration. Use items like letter blocks or magnets, crossword puzzles, or a game of hangman to keep practice fun, light, and age appropriate. Pinterest is a great resource and has become a not so secret treasure trove for teachers and parents alike to find fun spelling activities for every age!
Oakhill's main priority is that our students enjoy the process and can celebrate the massive accomplishment of learning all those spelling/vocabulary words over the past school year. May 23 will be here before we know it, so remember, use the practice list, make review time fun, and reassure your child that no matter who ends up being the last person standing, you are proud of their hard work and success in spelling over the past school year.
Disclaimer: We will not be asking your children to spell any of these words!
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