Pictured above: Jonathan Cardosa and Carmen Corona (5th Grade Finalists). Read their interviews below!
Huge shoutouts to Charles Stemmle (first place!!!) and Max Stemmle (second place!) for their performance in the Bee. The last 2 words in the bee were "extricate" and "garbanzo."
From Katie Bishop, 2nd grade teacher @ Caliber: Beta Academy:
The spelling bee was an excellent opportunity for 1st-5th graders to use the skills they have been learning in their reading and writing classes. They have the opportunity to integrate these skills in a different way and different context. The whole thing started out as a written test and we had two winners for every homeroom class. We came up to 10 finalists after a long process, and had a semi finals round to come down to the final. Our students used the SMART pillar by integrating phonic sounds and new vocabulary word acquisition. 1st graders were spelling words like “gremlin” and “Fiji” and this was really amazing! It was also a family event, because a lot of families were practicing at home with the students. So the whole family was exercising our SMART pillar as a result of our school spelling bee!
A recent interview with Jonathan Cardosa and Carmen Corona (5th Grade Finalists)
Tell me more about how you prepared for the spelling bee:
Jonathan: “Well everyday I would get home and practice the words with my mom and my sister or by myself. It was really stressful because I had to study everyday knowing that the more I studied, each day kept getting closer. I felt like I had to rush."
Carmen: “In the beginning when I was doing it for the class, I was doing a few words every night, but for the school wide one I practiced less because I didn’t know it was going to take place that soon! I would write down the words 3 times, then spell them out on my own and then have my parents ask me how to spell them. I stayed up late without my parents knowing, it was fun!”
Tell me, why do you think it’s important for students to participate in a spelling bee?
Jonathan: ”I think it's great because you practice your grammar, your reading, your writing, everything! If you don’t know how to spell, you can’t do any of these things. You learn through practicing and I think it helps all students in all of their classes.”
Carmen: “I think it's important because we are little, but we can expand our vocabulary a little more and practice speaking in public. My teacher told me that when I get older this will help me when speaking to large groups.”
What was the hardest word you had to spell, what helped you spell it?
Jonathan: “I think that studying was hard because I didn’t know what words they would pick! Instantaneous was the hardest word for me, at first I didn’t know how to spell it and then I picked it up- once you know the hardest words, it gets easier.”
How did the spelling bee encourage you to practice the SMART pillar?
Jonathan: “I used strategies I learned in class and others that my mom taught me. I would rewrite words all the time to remember how to spell them. I think my writing class also helped me a lot for the spelling bee.”
Carmen:“ Mr. Davis helps us a lot with pronunciation and syllables, and I think that the spelling bee as a whole brought these up and made it easier to study. It also connects to the SMART pillar because it expands your vocabulary.”
If you could share one piece of wisdom or insight related to this what would it be?
Jonathan: “If you can’t spell you can’t read and if you can’t read, you can’t do anything in life!”
Carmen: “Don’t think about how great your opponents are, just think about how far you got and don't fear the outcomes.”