Snapper was one of six 6th graders chosen to represent her school at the district spelling bee last week. We have been studying the word list--over 1500 words--since the second week in January. We've been focusing on 20 words per night. She worked diligently and faithfully, and it paid off. On Friday she competed. There were 52 6th graders representing ten schools around our region. There were similar numbers of 5th, 7th, and 8th graders, too. Parents weren't allowed in the preliminary round. Snapper went into a big room with all the other 6th graders, and they did a traditional spelling bee. They were in there for three hours, spelling down to a Top Four. Snapper lost count of how many words she spelled. One of the other girls said she thinks they went 15 rounds. I just know that the word she spelled out on--varicolored--was not even on the spelling list we studied. Snapper came in 3rd in the 6th grade spelling bee! Two other students from our school made Top Four, also!
Then came the real exciting part: the spell-off. The Top Four from 5th, 7th, and 8th grade joined the Top Four 6th graders, and they did another spelling bee for the championship. Snapper survived six rounds. The first two rounds were on the published list. After that, they went off list and there were some crazy words! Now I'm a word lover and an excellent speller, so you know that when even I don't have a clue, it's a smart bunch of kids on that stage! I had never even heard some of the words they spelled! In the end, Snapper spelled out on Wherewithal, adding an extra l to the end. She finished 10th overall. I'm so very proud of her. An 8th grader from our school won the whole thing, and another girl from our school finished 3rd. Good luck to them both as they represent our school at regionals.
P.S. I'm really glad Snapper didn't qualify for regionals...it happens the week of my due date, and I don't think I could stand another 5 weeks of studying spelling words every day!