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Spelling bee June 28, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Education.
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I watched part of the national spelling bee on TV a few weeks ago.  I might have successfully spelled 1 out of every 10 words the students spelled correctly.  Here are all of the words that have been used in the spelling bees, through 2003:

http://www.spellingbee.com/cwl.shtml

 This list includes words like:

Keep in mind that the words on the list are spelled correctly by students no older than 15.

I also recently reread a story about Scott Isaacs, who won the 1989 bee by correctly spelling ‘spoliator’.

Finally, I talked to a friend whose 4th grade daughter’s spelling list included challenging words like ‘rendezvous’ and ‘espionage’.  It happens that this particular girl is homeschooled.  That same friend mentioned that the other 4th graders in the neighborhood (the public school kids) had spelling lists that included the word ‘summer’.

I’m interested in this.  Not having had a 4th grader before, my expectations could be off.  However, I would have expected a 4th grader to be learning to spell words like ‘rendezvous’.  Words like ‘summer’ should be learned long before the 4th grade.  I think that among the two grown-ups in our home, the 5 year old soon-to-start kindergarten girl, and the 1 1/2 year old toddler, there are at least three of us that can spell ‘summer’.  The jury’s out on ‘mitrailleuse’, though.

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