The Spelling Bee and Me: A Real-Life Adventure in Learning

The Spelling Bee and Me: A Real-Life Adventure in Learning
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Release Date
May 01, 2005
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This book documents the real-life story of Kendra Yoshinaga, a young speller who won her first qualifying bee at the young age of nine. Now only twelve years old, she prepared for her third bee and returned to Washington, DC where she tied for 14th in the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee! Gail Small taught Kendra for first, second, and third grades. Together they share a love of learning and discovery, and the challenges of new ideas. This book describes the spelling bee experiences from a youth's viewpoint. Young readers can delight in the world of spelling so it becomes a natural and exciting part of their lives. Secrets of a teacher, coach, and parent reveal proven tactics to foster a confident speller. These distinctive methods will inspire a love for spelling and language in lessons that go far beyond everyday practice. Launch your students on an inspiring quest for knowledge-the words will jump off the pages as the illustrations enliven the story. This book will help them to enjoy the wonders of spelling bees along with the inside moments that only those at the bee have previously experienced.A detailed spelling guide is included for parents, coaches, and teachers of spellers at all ages.

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A Real-Life Adventure in Learning
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Reader reviewed by Kim Peek

This book provides solid introductory information on how to prepare for and what to expect from spelling bees at the local and national levels.

The book follows 2004 National Spelling Bee contestant, Kendra Yoshinaga (the company's site says she's headed to the 2006 National Spelling Bee too!), and discusses what it took to prepare for the National Bee and all the qualifying Bees.

"The Spelling Bee and Me" opens with a poem about what it's like to watch a sibling compete and prepare. Next, Kendra's dad, who is also her coach, discusses practice methods. Kendra's mom shares the emotional perspective, and Kendra's 1st-3rd grade teacher (Gail Small) describes the methods she uses to each spelling in the classroom. Finally, Kendra tells us in her own words.

As of this posting, we are about one month away from the National Spelling Bee. The spelling bee movie, "Akeelah and the Bee," opens this weekend. I predict there will be a heightened interest in the National Bee this year (look for coverage of the final rounds on ESPN!).

For anyone interested in getting involved in this highly-competitive activity, "The Spelling Bee and Me" is a good primer.
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