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February 25, 2008

The Albuquerque Tribune Spelling Bee is now the Albuquerque Journal/Newspapers in Education Regional Spelling Bee.

The Tribune has closed, so I can't be reached through the Trib e-mail or phone any longer.

I can be reached at nmbee@comcast.netin the future.

I'm excited to say I will be staying with the regional bee.

Let me know how I can help. I'm still around for that.

Thanks, Trib, for being the BEE in New Mexico for 60 years.

I'll miss that connection, but keeping the regional bee going is the most important thing for me and for New Mexico spellers.


Posted by Jan at 09:47 AM | | Comments (0)

2008 Regional Spelling Bee participants

February 08, 2008

Here are the champion spellers who will compete in the regional bee on March 8, 2008.

Aguino, Raquel - Laguna Middle School; Cibola County
Bauer, Morgan - Kirtland Elementary, San Juan County
Begay, Kayla - Indian Hills Elementary, McKinley County
Brow, Jared - Bosque School, Albuquerque
Chavez, Krista - Ranchos Elementary, Taos County
Chavez, Madeline - Sarracino Elementary, Socorro County
Darvasula, Maya - Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque
Diamond, Dayna - Jefferson Middle, Albuquerque
Evans, Matthew - Home school, Albuquerque
Garsparlin, Cullen - Eagle Nest Middle, Colfax County
Haley, Scott - Hermosa Middle, San Juan County
Jones, Michaela - Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque
Johnston, Brandon - Reserve Junior High, Catron County
Kasky, Katie - Daniel Fernandez Elementary, Valencia County
Kelley, Megan - Los Alamos Middle, Los Alamos County
Lucas, Miranda - Laguna Middle, Cibola County
McLelland, Rachel - Southwest Secondary Learning Center, Albuquerque
Montgomery, Molly - Wood Gormley Elementary, Santa Fe County
Muniz, Corey - Wagon Mound Junior High, Mora County
Munsey, Connor - St. Charles Borromeo, Albuquerque
Murray, Kili - Bosque School, Albuquerque
Pai, Lelani - South Mountain Elementary, Torrance
Peever, Bryce - Eagle Ridge Elementary, Rio Rancho
Phan, Annie - Bosque School, Albuquerque
Peterson, Abby - Eisenhower Middle, Albuquerque
Ramsey, Isaac - Grant Middle, Albuquerque
Romero, Andrew - Pecos Middle School, San Miguel County
Rothrock, Grace - Sunset Mesa School, Albuquerque
Salas, Andres - Home school, Valencia County
Sandoval, Christiana - Thoreau Elementary, McKinley
Singh, Rajat - Pinon Elementary, Santa Fe
Vasquez, Mark - Inez Elementary, Albuquerque
Williams, Diane - McCurdy Elementary, Rio Arriba County

Posted by Jan at 11:19 AM | | Comments (0)

Regional Spelling Bee stats

2008 Regional spelling bee statistics

Total number of spellers: 33

Girls: 19
Boys: 14

Grade 4: 2
Grade 5: 8
Grade 6: 8
Grade 7: 9
Grade 8: 6

Age 9: 1
Age 10: 3
Age 11: 14
Age 12: 4
Age 13: 8
Age 14: 3

Public: 23
Private/parochial school: 8
Home school: 2

Two-time repeaters: 3
Three-time repeater: 1
Six-time repeater: 1

Eligible in 2009: 25

Posted by Jan at 10:52 AM | | Comments (0)

County and cluster bees

February 02, 2008

Now that the deadline for county and cluster bee champions to be registered with the regional bee has passed, I can offer suggestions about how to handle bad situations before you get into a mess.

1. Enroll your school with the Scripps National Spelling Bee before Oct. 15, 2008, for the 2009 bees. The national bee was very lenient this year about taking enrollments well into January, but don't expect that to happen next year.

2. Home-school students must enroll individually either by family ($10) or with a group ($99).

3. Students not enrolled or part of an enrolled school or group will NOT be allowed to compete in the regional bee in March 2009. Don't put the regional bee in a position to have to turn your speller down after that speller has been declared champion of a county or cluster.

3. Use the School Pronouncer Guide for your list of words, both at the school level and county or cluster level. You pay for four of them with your enrollment fee. They give the diacritical markings for pronunciation of each word, the definition, the origin and a sentence.

4. Your pronouncer should have access to the School Pronouncer Guide well ahead of time. He or she can -- and should -- cross out and not use any words that are unfamiliar or confusing.

5. If a word is mispronounced, it should be corrected immediately. If it isn't restated correctly, an appeal should be filed. If the judges decide it affected the speller's understanding so that he or she misspelled it, that speller should be reinstated into the bee and take his or her previous place in the next round. In other words, that misspelled word should be counted as being correct.

6. Put together a set of rules. National has a suggested set and regional has a suggested set. I prefer the regional rules because they pertain to our type of bees in New Mexico and prepare your spellers for participation in the regional bee.

7. The judges should be familiar with the rules and ready to make decisions based on them. However, the judges should also be willing to give the benefit of the doubt to spellers.

8. Judges should be in complete control of the bee, and their decisions should be final. The easiest way to do this is to have a method of appeal available. Our rules at regional say a written appeal must be made before the speller's next word would be given in the next round. Only ONE adult -- a parent or teacher -- can make the appeal. We have an appeals judge who is responsible to take the appeal to the judges after one speller finishes his or her word and before the next speller is given a word. Stop the competition, make the decision, then tell the audience the nature of the appeal and the decision. That should be the end of the discussion.

9. Judges should not consider an appeal that seeks to unseat a speller from the competition. The only correct appeal is to reinstate a speller.

10. If a speller asks to begin spelling the word after saying one or more letters, the speller should be allowed to start over. However, the speller must use the letters already stated. None of the previous letters can be changed.
In four different bees this spring, this situation came up causing quite a fuss at three of them. Make certain you address this situation in your rules.

11. Provide a copy of the rules to parents and teachers as they enter the bee or send it to them days ahead of time. It takes care of lots of possible troublesome situations.

12. My personal feeling -- and it's strongly held and hard-learned -- is that no speller should be asked to spell a word that another speller has already attempted. The second speller has an advantage in knowing how not to spell the word. Each speller should have his or her own word in each round.

13. Lastly, and I may take heat for this, but I also think it is the responsibility of the adults -- parents, teachers, administrators -- to find out when bees are, where they are and if their speller is eligible to participate.
We had several situations this year where principals, teachers and parents insisted they were unaware of the dates of bees, the location, who to contact or eligibility requirements. It's your job to find that out before your speller's heart is broken.
Bee officials can't fix your mistakes. Set an example for your students. If they have to turn in their homework on time, so do you.

Posted by Jan at 08:11 AM | | Comments (0)