SABINA — East Clinton Middle School students recently spent several weeks preparing to compete in what some might remember as an old-fashioned spelling bee. Today’s students, however, don’t simply memorize the spelling of words — they also focus on increasing their vocabularies by understanding word definitions, identifying word patterns, and developing correct word pronunciation and usage.
To prepare for the event, teachers provided students with potential word lists from which students would study. Classrooms held practice bees, shared study words, and encouraged each other to add words to their vocabulary.
During each round of competition, individual students were presented specific words to spell. To assist them in reciting the proper spelling, students could ask that a word be repeated, ask for the word’s part of speech and definition, ask that the word be used in a sentence, and ask for the word’s origin.
Following 22 rounds of competition at East Clinton Middle School, seventh-grader Carter Carey took top honors by spelling the word “banquet”, with seventh-grader Mylah Adkins finishing a close second.
Both Carter and Adkins will receive a free one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online for Kids from Encyclopedia Britannica.
East Clinton Gifted Intervention Specialist Regina Gerber said she enjoyed working with this year’s participants.
“They are a great group of middle school students,” said Gerber. “They were very excited and nervous about standing in front of their peers for the Bee, but they all said it was fun too!”
Carter Carey said he was nervous at the beginning of the competition, but after the first round he felt much better. He was especially excited when he was the last student standing and announced as Spelling Bee Champion, which advanced him to complete an online qualifying test to see if he will compete in the regional Spelling Bee competition March 12 at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.
While in the end Carey did earn the title of Champion, it was a hard-fought competition against sixth-grade finalists Kaylynn Dato and Elizabeth Guard; seventh-grade finalists Mylah Adkins, Owen Beatty, Katie Carey, and Lydia Denney; and eighth-grade finalists Jake Howard, Emma Malone, Matthew Mitchell, Ethan Reedy, and Nate Vest. Alternates were sixth-grader Emilee Doctor and seventh-grader Alonah Hall.
Working behind the scenes to help students prepare for the competition and to organize and judge the event were Gifted Intervention Specialist Regina Gerber; Language Arts Teachers Howard Arthur, Andrea Davis, Mistie Manich, and Peggy McPherson; and Southern Ohio ESC Gifted Intervention Coordinator Curt Bradshaw, who also served as moderator.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.