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SPELLING BEE INFORMATION SHEET AND RULES 2011-2012 Introductory Notes: 1. This year’s Spelling Bee will be held on Friday, November 11, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. sharp, at St. John Gualbert’s school and gym. Please arrive at the gym at 9:00 a.m. for prayers, directions, lavatory break, and gym (Activity Room) set-up. 2. There is a $2 fee/child for the Spelling Bee (maximum of $10/family) to cover the costs of medals, ribbons, activity room supplies and facility fee. 3. Spelling word lists are the same as last year for all Groups (including Groups 4 and 5). If you do not have these lists, they were attached to the introductory email. They can also be found on the Children of Mary Website under the “members only” section. 4. The main purpose of the Spelling Bee is for the children to get together and participate in a friendly competitive atmosphere. 5. There will be 5 groups of spellers: GROUP 1 (Grades Pre-K, K, and 1): For the first round of competition, each child will be asked to recite the alphabet. After this round, the children who do not wish to spell the words in Group 1’s word list will go to the Activity Room (gym) with their parents for fun crafts and games. Before leaving, each child will be awarded his Participation ribbon. The remaining children will pick numbers and sit in order. The Judge will record names and then the Pronouncer will narrate words from Group 1’s word list in order from the beginning, following the National Spelling Bee rules listed below. These spellers usually make it through only the first and second columns of the word list, though in some years they have gone further. (If more words are needed, we will use Group 2’s word list.) The top three spellers will receive an Olympic style medal – gold, silver, or bronze, in addition to their Participation ribbon. Children in this group (particularly Pre-K and K) may want their parents nearby. This is encouraged. We want these newest spellers/alphabet-reciters to be happy and confident. However, the parents cannot be too close to the proceedings. The Pronouncer must have the total attention of the participants. This is the only group where parents are permitted in the room to watch the Spelling Bee. Once a child has completed his participation in the Bee, he and his parents will retire to the Activity Room (St. John Gualbert’s gym). GROUP 2 (Grades 2 and 3): Upon entering the room, each child in this group will pick a number and sit in order. The Judge will record names and the Pronouncer will begin narrating words from Group 2’s word list in order from the beginning. (If more words are needed, we will use Group 3’s word list). This group also follows the National Spelling Bee rules listed below. Each child will receive his Participation ribbon once he has misspelled a word. The top three spellers will receive medals. GROUP 3 (Grades 4 and 5): Same procedures as Group 2, above. (If more words are needed, we will use Group 4’s word list). GROUP 4 (Grades 6, 7, and 8): This group will be participating in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Group 4’s word list is based on the Latin word list and the challenge word lists in Spell-It, which is the Scripps word list booklet. After the spellers are seated in order (by picking numbers), the Pronouncer for this group will begin narrating words from Group 4’s word list in order. If this group needs more words, Group 5’s word list will be used. Each speller will receive a Participation ribbon once he has misspelled a word. The top three spellers will receive medals. The top speller will also receive a dictionary, and the runner-up will receive a certificate of merit from The Buffalo News. From Scripps and Encyclopaedia Britannica, the top speller will receive a free one-year subscription to Britannica Online for Kids (a $69.95 value), and a free PowerspeaK12 foreign language course for the 2011-2012 school year from K12. The top speller from this group will represent the Children of Mary Homeschoolers in a written spelling test sponsored by the Buffalo News on February 1, 2012. The top twenty scorers on this written test will participate in the Buffalo News’s oral Spelling Bee on Sunday, March 4, 2012, at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Auditorium. The winner of that Bee will travel to Washington, D.C. on an all expense paid trip for the National Finals in May 2012. GROUP 5 (Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12): Group 5’s list is based on the 100 most commonly misspelled words. After the spellers are seated in order (by picking numbers), the Pronouncer for this group will begin narrating words from Group 5’s word list in order. If this group needs more words, Group 4’s word list will be used. Each speller will receive a Participation ribbon and the top three spellers will receive medals. The top speller in this group will also receive a free one-year subscription to Britannica Online for Kids (a $69.95 value), from Scripps and Encyclopaedia Britannica. Requirements for a Successful Spelling Bee: 1. Bee on time! Children arriving later than 9:30 a.m. will not be able to participate in their Group Bee. It would be unfair to the other children who have begun spelling. As a courtesy to the child, if a family does arrive late, a special Pronouncer in the Activity Room will ask the child some words from his spelling list and then present the child with a Participation ribbon. 2. Volunteers. If a child is signed up to participate in the Spelling Bee, his parent(s) must also participate in one of the Spelling Bee roles (as Pronouncer, Judge, Alternate, or helping in the Activity Room). We will need three parents assigned to each of the five groups of spellers (as Pronouncer, Judge, and Alternate). A parent usually cannot have his/her child in the group for which he/she volunteers. Dads and Moms without toddlers/babies are especially helpful in these jobs. 3. Activity Room. Parents with little children are assigned to help in the Activity Room (St. John Gualbert’s gym). The Coordinator of the Activity Room will contact the volunteer parents ahead of time to organize the Activity Room stations so that everything runs smoothly. There will be a toddler area, plus art, craft, and game stations for the older children. The Activity Room has been a fun consolation to the children after the disappointment of missing a word in the Bee. All parents in the Activity Room can help by encouraging the children to keep busy, but quiet, while the Spelling Bees are going on in the rooms. Children will not be allowed outside the gym until the Bee is completely over and medals have been awarded. Lessons Learned from Past Spelling Bees: 1. Everyone will wear nametags (available at the sign in table). 2. Make sure your children have visited the lavatory before we pray together and separate into spelling groups. 3. Encourage your child, when practicing at home, to repeat the word he is asked to spell. At the Bee, this habit will help him avoid spelling a wrong word. 4. The Pronouncer may offer a three-minute break after a certain number of rounds or amount of time, to stretch or to use the lavatory. 5. Only three medals will be available for each Group. Therefore, there cannot be ties for First, Second, or Third places. 6. After a participant has misspelled a word, he is to go to the Activity Room. No one is allowed back in the room to observe. The exception to this are children in Group 4 (6th, 7th, and 8th grade), and Group 5 (high school), who may stay in the room QUIETLY to observe once they have misspelled their word. (If disruptive, a child will be asked to leave.) A child who has left for the Activity Room after he has misspelled his word may not return to the Spelling Room to observe. Fun Tips: 1. Use the Merriam-Webster website: wordcentral.com for fun spelling and vocabulary games. You may also be interested in Merriam-Webster’s website: myspellit.com especially the “Now You Try” activities they include at this site. 2. Have weekly Family Spelling Bees to practice being a good sport, enunciating each letter carefully and remembering that if you start spelling a word over, you do not change any of the initial letters or their sequence. (see rule #7 below!) 3. Use the computer; set on large font for the words your child has trouble with. Kids love to type and see the large words (spelling is very visual!). 4. Group 5’s list includes the one hundred most commonly misspelled words. This great website has some memory tips to help: http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/misspelled.html Spelling Bee Rules: 1. The Pronouncer will pronounce each word to be spelled, use it in a sentence, and pronounce it a second time. 2. We would like the speller to pronounce the word before beginning to spell it. This will let us know that he has heard it correctly. The Judge may not disqualify a speller for failing to pronounce the word either before or after spelling. 3. The spellers are cautioned to be sure they understand the word, and, if they have the slightest doubt, they may ask to have it repeated or request a dictionary definition of the word. The Pronouncer shall grant all such requests until the Judge agrees that the word has been made reasonably clear to the contestant. The Judge may disqualify any speller who ignores a request to start spelling. 4. Please remember to spell slowly and pronounce the letters clearly. 5. The role of the Pronouncer is to correctly pronounce the word and give a sentence, definition, and other information about the word at the speller’s request. The role of the Judge is to determine whether the contestant has spelled the word correctly. The role of the speller is (1) to gather as much information as possible to help spell the word correctly and (2) to spell the word correctly. The Judge may not disqualify a speller for asking a question. 6. Before eliminating a child from the Bee, both Pronouncer and Judge must agree upon what they heard as a misspelling. Otherwise, they must have the child repeat his spelling of the word. 7.** A most important rule is this: Once a speller starts spelling a word, he may stop and start over, retracing the spelling from the beginning, but in the retracing there can be no change of letters or their sequence from those first pronounced. If letters or their sequence is changed in the respelling, the speller will be eliminated. 8. Capitalization of words is not a requirement. Thus, if a word is given which is ordinarily capitalized, and the speller neglects to capitalize it in his correct spelling of the word, the word will be judged as correctly spelled. 9. The contest shall be conducted in rounds. 10. Upon missing the spelling of a word, a speller immediately drops out of the contest. The next word on the Pronouncer’s list is given to the next speller. 11. When only two spellers remain, if a word is misspelled, that same word will be given to the other speller. If he spells it correctly, he will be given another word to spell, and if he spells the second word correctly, he will be declared the winner. If he misspells the second word given to him, that word will be given to the other speller, who, if he spells it correctly, will be given a second word to spell, etc. 12. The speller who correctly spells both final words given to him will be the winner. MAY GOD BLESS YOU AS YOU STUDY!
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