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Ananya Vinay, 12, wins US spelling bee with ‘marocain’

BBC – Staff Writer

“A 12-year-old girl from California has won the Scripps National Spelling Bee after a tense final in Washington. Ananya Vinay from Fresno correctly spelled the word marocain – a type of dress fabric – to defeat Rohan Rajeev, 14, from Oklahoma. The rivals had correctly spelled words including cheiropompholyx, durchkomponiert and tchefuncte as each waited for the other to slip up. But Rohan misspelled the word marram and Ananya got two words right to win. She said she felt “amazing” after her victory, adding: “It was just fun to see how far it would go’.”(more)

To Teach Kids To Read And Write, Sometimes You Have To Get Creative

NPR Ed – Beth Fertig, Stella M. Chávez & Jonna McKone

“Take a look at your hand, right or left, it doesn’t matter. Now imagine every finger represents a word. How many sentences can you come up with? I think therefore I am. Don’t sweat the small stuff. All you need is love. Ximena Martinez, from Texas, thought this one was good: “Las naranjas son muy ricas.” Translation: The oranges are very delicious. She’s a native Spanish-speaker and preschooler at Kramer Elementary School in Dallas. Her teacher, Jorge Ruiz, always asks his young students to speak in complete sentences. That’s because research shows that if children aren’t reading proficiently by third grade, they’re four times more likely to drop out of high school. “We’ve known for quite some time in education that there’s an incredibly strong link between oral language development and future reading abilities” — no matter what language kids speak, says Alan Cohen. He’s the brains behind this seemingly simple effort by the Dallas Independent School District to improve literacy by getting preschool through second-grade students to express themselves in full sentences.”(more)

Is your child hopeless at spelling? Don’t panic…

The Telegraph – Tom Payne

“There are many strategies for developing confidence with spelling. One is, start early. Do everything you can to encourage reading in the home – in this way, many children will develop an eye for what looks right and what looks wrong. However counter-intuitive it seems to pronounce “friend” the way we do, we become used to it. That’s something to try on everyone, but children do learn in a big range of ways. Plenty find that parts of the body other than the eyes are helpful.”(more)

Spanish-Language Spelling Bees Catch On Around the U.S.

Education Week – Jacob Bell

“The nation’s best spellers—en Español—will go head-to-head later this month in Albuquerque, N.M., to battle for the national championship title in the Concurso Nacional de Deletreo en Español, or the National Spanish Spelling Bee…The Spanish-language bees’ budding popularity, according to David Briseño, the coordinator for the National Spanish Spelling Bee, stems from a burgeoning recognition of the benefits of bilingualism for students’ academic and professional careers.”(more)

Do Growth Mindsets Spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S for National Spelling Bee Competitors?

Education Week – Evie Blad

“Some researchers have suggested that few things spell success in the classroom like a student’s approach to learning and making mistakes. And I wonder if the same is true for winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Did co-champions Gokul Venkatachalam, 14, and Vanya Shivashankar, 13, win Thursday because they are inherently great spellers? Or because they learned how to move on when they heard that cursed bell after misspelling a word at previous bees?…I don’t know the co-champions, so I can only speculate about their approach to learning. But they won the bee only after repeated trips (five for Shivashankar, the sister of a past champion, and six for Venkatachalam) and years of hard studying, which would seem to suggest a willingness to stretch, struggle, and try new approaches…So what would a fixed mindset look like at a spelling bee? It might look like spelling out one year and quickly deciding you are “not a spelling person,” in the same way a friend of mine declares she’s “not a math person” every time she asks me to split the check at a restaurant.”(more)