Spelling Bee + Vocabulary
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Thread: Spelling Bee + Vocabulary

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    Default Spelling Bee + Vocabulary

    Spelling Bee Champs May Get Stung by New Vocabulary Questions - ABC News

    Should spelling bees include a vocabulary test?

    ~Bonita~

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    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    I'd rather watch a Definition Bee over a Spelling Bee any day of the week. I'm more impressed by kids who know what words mean and how to apply them than kids who can spell but don't know what the heck they're spelling.
    blather likes this.

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    Alyssa was in the lowest level of this competition this year. Only the older students had the option to move on though. It would hugely change the competition to add in vocabulary. Not necessarily a bad change, but it would completely change it.

    ~Bonita~

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    I'm not familiar with exactly what all is involved with the competitions (yet), but it sounds to me like it would be a good thing to add it in.
    ~Mary

    DD 2/'07

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    Right now it is just spelling. The new rules would add in vocabulary. There are a lot of kids that are good in spelling that would not necessarily be good with vocabulary and the other way around.

    ~Bonita~

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    Not sure I agree. I'm a fairly decent speller but to actually give a coherent definition of a word is not something I'm great at. . I know what the word means but I am awful at giving a true definition for a word if that makes sense.

    I know what they are getting at but I think if you can spell the word you often know how it is used or can be used.

    How many kids do you know are great spellers but don't know what these words mean?
    Mom to Elizabeth (6) and Corinne (4)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica80 View Post

    How many kids do you know are great spellers but don't know what these words mean?
    Lots. There were words on the list from Alyssa's spelling Bee that I have never heard of before and could not even say. Even DH who is a 4.0 student did not know what some of the words meant.

    ~Bonita~

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    Sorry, I was writing 2 different things and didn't merge the sentences correctly when I did an edit.

    I meant to say how many kids who are great spellers don't have a great vocabulary (they may not know the exact words they are spelling in the Bee)

    I did some informal spelling bees in middle school and most of us also had a decent and in some cases extraordinary vocabulary.
    Mom to Elizabeth (6) and Corinne (4)

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    I've never really understood the benefit of knowing how to spell a word that one does not understand the meaning of.
    Spacers, FLSunshineMom and blather like this.

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    Online Community Director MissyJ's Avatar
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    I think that those should be two totally different competitions. One strictly for spelling and one that is a Vocabulary Quiz bowl with either defining upon request or doing both -- spelling/definitions.

    The benefit of being able to spell words that are otherwise unfamiliar without necessarily learning the definition is that it often can be a game of deduction and reasoning -- skills that are terrific to teach / rely upon later in life. Part of the official rules for national spelling bees offer the participant (speller) the chance to request additional information -- including origin, pronunciation, definitions, root words, use in a sentence, etc. The student then can use that information as parts of a puzzle to correctly spell the word(s).

    Is it important to have an extensive vocabulary? Absolutely -- and many of those participating in spelling bees *DO* grow their vocabulary as a part of the process of studying. Still, for most students it is impossible to review every single word in the English language -- thus those lessons in deduction can aid them in being able to spell the word. (Alternate tips / tricks can help in defining words through their knowledge of roots and origins.)

    Other benefits of participating in spelling bees include promotion of literacy, improved public speaking abilities, increased language comprehension, marked improvements in study skills. Through their exposure on stage also aids in being a confidence builder for those that may be otherwise more quiet and studious than peers.

    I would LOVE to see the vocabulary competition grow... but not while doing away with something also important. Beside - those lessons come in handy for Scrabble!

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