At Lodha World School, Palava, we were pleasantly surprised at the spelling skills our children demonstrated in the Inter-House Spell Bee competition which was conducted on 19/12/13 for students from Std I-VI competing against their peers to be the Lodha World School, Palava’s 2013 Spell Bee Champions!
The contest was filled with nail-biting suspense, the young contestants were at the edges of their seats with excitement and what to say about the parents! We were at a loss for words at the turn-out and were more than pleasantly surprised that parents were so equally and deeply involved in the proceedings, cheering and applauding their wards at every opportunity.
Why is Spell Bee conducted?
Spellings are important because if you can spell, you will have greater self-confidence, enjoy writing, write fluently, become a better writer and achieve good grades.
In 1981, Paige Kimble won the Scripps National Spelling Bee by spelling the word “sarcophagus,” a word that presently any student who has studied a chapter on Egyptian history and on the boy king Tutankhamun can use with aplomb. If we compare that with the words asked to the bee’s 12-13 year old 2009 finalists: Laodicean, Maecenas, menhir, apodyterium, herniorrhaphy, we would find that even a computer spell checker doesn’t recognize them, much less us. What’s happening here? We see that words are getting harder because the level of competition has risen. There are more children spending more hours studying more words, all for “the opportunity to shine on a national stage”.
Indeed, at Lodha World School, Palava, the twenty four final contestants are high achievers in everything they do: They challenge themselves and attribute their success to hard—really hard—work. They’re the kind of kids that teachers say sparkle at everything: they are motivated, articulate, eager, resourceful, and charming. They were selected from among their peers by virtue of having performed best in the first round which was conducted in each class.
The rounds that were conducted were highly innovative and exciting, even challenging. The competition was kicked off by the picture round, in which children of Std I were asked to identify and spell the picture. This was followed by other rounds for other classes like dictation, spelling a word with missing letters, making of new words from a given word in a 3 minute time limit, alphabetical arrangement of words, anagrams, antonyms/synonyms, spotting and spelling the difference and the competition ended with a rapid fire round. The children were also asked to spell some sounds they were asked to hear – most of which were common, easily identifiable sounds but which tested their spelling mettle. They were also asked to spell the names of some objects they were shown. None of the rounds was easy, so to speak.
The auditorium was full with eager parents who were “tension-packed,” the audience let out sighs of “nervous exhalation,” young faces “drooped” when they misspelled but it was all as part of a happy experience for kids which broadened their knowledge. They learnt that the best spellers aren’t memorizers. They’re word sleuths. They learnt that most successful contestants are kids who learn about language patterns and have an incredible sense of how language is put together. The one common denominator among the finalists was that they read—a lot. Newspapers, cookbooks, novels, travel magazines, nonfiction – pretty much everything.
The Drive to Compete
This was a competition which showed us that we must not fear competing. As they say, participation is the key to winning. As parents, we should teach our children to not be wary and suspicious of competition and should help our children embrace and welcome the idea that hard work will always pay off and will always be rewarded. Why indeed not?
Congratulations to the Lodha World School, Palava
Spell Bee Champions for 2013 !
APOLLO (RED) – WINNERS
Std I – Tanushree P.
Std II – Aditi Mamdyal
Std III – Priyanjali C.
Std IV – Nirmiti Borole
Std V – Parth Mahadik
Std VI – Anto Jovin
AEOLUS (YELLOW) – RUNNERS UP
Std I – Samidha L.
Std II – Sahil Mehra
Std III – Lokesh Iyer
Std IV – Vishal Rai
Std V – Aditi Mishra
Std VI – Vaishnavi and Shreya