Spelling Bee!

From Emily Viehland – who is coordinating the Spelling Bee. Her contact information is at the bottom of the post if you have questions.

It’s time for the PALS 2nd Annual Scripps Spelling Bee!  PALS has registered as a “school”, and will be sending our school Bee winner on to the regional competition held downtown later this spring.  Last year, our winner Owen had a great time and learned a lot at the regional bee!

The Bee will be on Wednesday February 8th, at 10:30 am.  Please arrive by 10:15, so that we can get settled and start promptly at 10:30!  In another room, there will be some Valentine’s crafts happening, and then we will all join together for a potluck.  PALS will be providing main dish items, and party-goers are being asked to brings sides and desserts to share.  (More details on the Valentine’s Party later!)
Here’s how the Bee part of the day is going to go:
In general, we will start with the easier words (ie the beginning of the list) and make our way up through the harder words.  We will go through the whole group of spellers at least twice with the very beginning words, to get everyone warmed up.  Then, we will start skipping words as the judges see fit, until they are mildly challenging our contestants.
For each turn, the pronouncer will say the name of the child who is to spell the word, then say the word.  If the word has a homonym or near-homonym, the pronouncer will clarify which one is meant.
Then, the speller may ask as many questions about the word as they see fit, from this list of possible questions:
What is the definition, please?
What is the part of speech, please?
What is the language of origin, please?
What are the alternate pronunciations, please?
Could you please use it in a sentence?
Could you please repeat the word?
Will will provide each child with these questions printed out in nice big font to hold in their hands, so no need to memorize!  Also, asking a question can break a kid out of being nervous, so it is a good idea to have them ask a question even for the obvious easy words, so they do it all of the time.
Then they spell the word.  If they are right, they stay for the next round, if they are wrong, they sit down for the remainder of the bee.
There’s some fiddly rules for figuring out who is the last speller standing, but don’t worry about them.  They were created to ensure fairness, and to ensure that the last one standing actually earned the spot by correctly spelling something in an additional round after everyone else has sat down.  Sometimes the last 2 or3 spellers end up doing a lot of sitting then standing again until the final winner is determined.
If you would like to participate, please contact Emily directly ( typhoon <dot> emily <at> gmail <dot> com ) to get the word lists.  Also, please feel free to contact her with any other questions that you may have.  There’s still plenty of time to study up for the Bee, so sign up, and invite your friends–the more the merrier!
We can’t wait for this fun, educational event!
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