Why a Spelling Bee?
The written Word
WHY CONTINUE TO HOLD A SPELLING BEE?
In this day and age of spell-check and writing programs that dictate our speech in perfectly spelled English words, we’re often asked by parents, Why continue to hold spelling bees, or even count spelling on written papers anyway? Kids don't need to know how to spell anymore. Shouldn't we get with the 21st century? - We always answer the same way…
WE ARE A PEOPLE THE WORD
God could have communicated His will to us via educational DVDs or interactive web-based programs. But He didn't! He communicated to us through the written word. We are a people of the Word. As a result, we should also be lovers of words and lovers of the Word. Knowing how to communicate effectively through the written word is something in which all Christian people -- especially those educated in classical Christian schools -- should be well-versed. And being masters of words -- rather than being mastered by words -- is what classical education is all about.
PARENT & STUDENT PARTICIPATION
Parents are invited to attend the Bee since we believe in the principle of In Loco Parentis. It would be inconsistent for us to tell parents they were not invited to attend an event at their child's school.
Students sit by class in the front rows of the sanctuary, and parents are welcomed to sit in rows reserved for them in the back. Parents are asked to keep silent as student spellers spell their words, as grimaces and gasps from the audience can tip off the contestants that they may have made an error and cause them to start over.
SELECTION PROCESS & ALTERNATES
In general, each class is to enter two finalists into the Bee, so that each grade has four contestants. As soon as the in-class, pre-qualifying rounds are complete and finalists are determined, teachers notify the head of school. In case a finalist is absent on the day of the Bee, teachers select a first and second alternative from their class. These are the students who placed second and third in their in-class, pre-qualifying rounds.
ROLE OF JUDGES
The annual Spelling Bee is judged by three impartial judges. Each of the judges contributes a separate and distinct job:
JUDGE ONE: Writes down what each child says as he or she spells the word.
JUDGE TWO: Compares the child's spelled words against the official Paratus Spelling List.
JUDGE THREE: Observes child as he or she spells a word to ensure that no confusion exists
NOTE: Judge 3, rings a bell to indicate that a word has been spelled incorrectly.
ROLE OF MODERATOR
The Head of School is the moderator. As such, the moderator keeps a Webster's Dictionary nearby in order to answer any questions the students may have regarding re definition, origin, part of speech, etc.
Students are video-taped so that, if the judges have a question, they may instantly review the video to make a determination. Judges' decisions are final.
At the conclusion of the Spelling Bee, winners are awarded certificates, and group photos of the winners will be taken. Following , that the Spelling Bee concludes, and students return to their classrooms.
Spelling Bee is one of our favorite events of the year. The level of anticipation and tension that is created as students spell their words in competition makes for a fantastic experience! As a result, we look forward to a wonderful Bee each year.