On Friday I got to be "Queen Bee" in my fourth grade classroom. Our balloon countdown spirit day was "Be a Bee" in honor of the year-end spelling bee! Many of the students joined me in dressing in yellow and black -- we were the queen bee and worker bees!
With about 30 spelling lists of 20 words each, the students have learned 600 spelling words over the course of the school year! I narrowed it down to a list of about 130 for them to study, and only 48 words were used in the spelling bee itself. I chose words of increasing difficulty for each round of the bee. All 10 participating students made it through the first round, and several made it to the final round (round 8) to compete for first place.
To accommodate different learning needs and to keep students accountable for every word in the bee, all students wrote every word on a piece of paper. When all pencils were down (within 30 seconds), then the speller in the spotlight would spell that word aloud. Other students would not be eliminated if they spelled that word wrong, but I was able to later see students' overall scores. Several students who were eliminated early in the bee actually scored higher overall than the finalists!
Of course, the spelling bee champ (from the verbal spelling bee) and the overall best speller (from the written test) both enjoyed their chocolate bar prizes. Mmmm, M-I-L-K-A!