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16965 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Feb 2014 at 5:11 AM (34 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



67 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-02-23 10:23:56 PM  
How can they run out of words? I have seven ready to go at any moment.
 
2014-02-23 10:31:55 PM  
You see?  That's what happens when you start burning books...YOU RUN OUT OF WORDS!
 
2014-02-24 01:41:16 AM  
"It was legendary," said Mary Olive Thompson, a library outreach manager and co-coordinator of the Saturday spelling bee.


LEGENDARY.
 
2014-02-24 01:43:06 AM  
Two kids did so well that they ran out of words? Sounds like a win to me.
 
2014-02-24 01:55:43 AM  

hervatski: "It was legendary," said Mary Olive Thompson, a library outreach manager and co-coordinator of the Saturday spelling bee.


LEGENDARY.


We haven't seen anything this exciting since the "Two People Tried to Check Out 'To Kill A Mockingbird' at the Same Time" incident of 1993.
 
2014-02-24 05:29:26 AM  

fusillade762: Two kids did so well that they ran out of words? Sounds like a win to me.


This.
 
2014-02-24 05:30:02 AM  
FTA :

Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a "French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word."

A bilingual spelling bee?
 
2014-02-24 05:44:45 AM  
TomD9938

I made it all the way to the Florida state-level spelling bee in the mid-1980s, and got knocked-out of the running by "liaison" -- also a (borrowed) french word.  To this day, I have never forgotten how to spell it.

/also to this day, I've never heard it spoken in casual conversation
 
2014-02-24 05:45:06 AM  

TomD9938: FTA :

Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a "French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word."

A bilingual spelling bee?


Yes. Deodorant optional.
 
2014-02-24 05:53:29 AM  

TomD9938: A bilingual spelling bee?


Not necessarily, English has the tendency to mug other languages in dark alleys for spare diction.  It's very possible that the word was orginally french, and just appropriated.  Something like 30% of English words were originally French ones.  This was probably just 'obtained' a bit sooner, or it's a rarely used word that hasn't been updated in ages.
 
2014-02-24 05:58:35 AM  
lee's summit

kyanka is behind this
 
2014-02-24 06:11:35 AM  

Notabunny: How can they run out of words? I have seven ready to go at any moment.


img.fark.net
 
2014-02-24 06:11:43 AM  
Wait, we're complaining that the spelling bee couldn't stump some kids?

Like, we've educated kids so well?

This is a bad thing?
 
2014-02-24 06:17:29 AM  

WhoGAS: Wait, we're complaining that the spelling bee couldn't stump some kids?

Like, we've educated kids so well?

This is a bad thing?


While I think that two kids running the list is a great thing, when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!  So it that now a good thing?
 
2014-02-24 06:17:32 AM  

sexorcisst: TomD9938: FTA :

Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a "French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word."

A bilingual spelling bee?

Yes. Deodorant optional.


Rasors also
 
2014-02-24 06:18:00 AM  
My son and his competitor did this in the fifth grade as well.
 
2014-02-24 06:20:38 AM  

fusillade762: Two kids did so well that they ran out of words? Sounds like a win to me.


They should have started on the Seussionary.
 
2014-02-24 06:23:06 AM  
"The contest will resume March 8 at an undetermined library site. "

I don't know why but I find that sentence to be extremely amusing.
 
2014-02-24 06:23:37 AM  
Words that still stump me:
Necessary
Diahhrea (autocorrect can't help me because I'm not even close).
Can't remember which one, but always mess up the e before i or i before e ones.
 
2014-02-24 06:31:32 AM  
So, they counted to zyzzyva?
 
2014-02-24 06:39:47 AM  
Mr. Right:  when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!

While that may be true of classroom spelling bees, unless things have drastically changed during the last few decades -- and I grant that they very likely could have -- at the county, regional, and state levels, this is not the case ... I was never given a list of words in advance.  My study and preparation for those contests basically consisted of reading the dictionary, cover-to-cover.
 
2014-02-24 06:54:52 AM  

lecavalier: "The contest will resume March 8 at an undetermined library site. "

I don't know why but I find that sentence to be extremely amusing.


The Spelling Bee is going to be the opener for cockfighting and a snuff film.
 
2014-02-24 06:59:44 AM  
If only there were some book that had a list of words in alphabetical order, with the correct spelling, pronunciation and definitions, that they could have used for more words for the spelling bee.
 
2014-02-24 07:05:42 AM  

WhoGAS: Wait, we're complaining that the spelling bee couldn't stump some kids?

Like, we've educated kids so well?

This is a bad thing?


"We" don't educate spelling bee winners. Contestants are sent home with a giant list of words to study. They're on their own to educate themselves on the words.

I competed and placed junior year without studying, and decided to make an effort senior year. I studied and won.

Studying for me was usually maybe fifteen minutes every few days looking at the words and saying them out loud. That's it. I assume most spelling bee winners are the same way.

Since I realize how arbitrary it is to be born with the ability to memorize spellings, I don't really feel compelled to point out people's typos on the Internet.

I'm way more impressed by science fairs and other things I sucked at... Probably because I sucked at them lol.
 
2014-02-24 07:11:28 AM  

noazark: Mr. Right:  when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!

While that may be true of classroom spelling bees, unless things have drastically changed during the last few decades -- and I grant that they very likely could have -- at the county, regional, and state levels, this is not the case ... I was never given a list of words in advance.  My study and preparation for those contests basically consisted of reading the dictionary, cover-to-cover.


Scripps publishes lists of study words.  These are the same lists that are used in competition.  Students are not bound by those lists, but they are provided.  However, if teaching to the test isn't bad enough, these poor kids are forced into rote memorization.  Oh the horrors of it all!

I'm just pointing out that, if the test is good, teaching to it isn't bad.  Just like rote memorization isn't a bad thing in some areas, such as spelling or multiplication tables.  Certain areas of education are absolute and creativity is not acceptable.  If everyone wants to spell in their own way, communication is destroyed.  Do you want the kid who "adopts a thinking process" that allows 5 - 2 = 1 to be counting change to you?
 
2014-02-24 07:14:43 AM  

noazark: Mr. Right:  when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!

While that may be true of classroom spelling bees, unless things have drastically changed during the last few decades -- and I grant that they very likely could have -- at the county, regional, and state levels, this is not the case ... I was never given a list of words in advance.  My study and preparation for those contests basically consisted of reading the dictionary, cover-to-cover.


Where are you from? The words my district used didn't appear in any dictionary I had access to at home. Many of the words were of foreign origin and very rarely ever used. I had never heard of about 90% of the words on our list. We used British spellings.
 
2014-02-24 07:23:42 AM  
Mr. Right

As I said ... that's a change from the way it used to be done; my 11-year-old self would probably have considered it "cheating" to know which words would be asked, in advance.

I still studied and memorized the spelling of thousands of words ... but then again, I was a huge nerd when I was in middle school.

/and in high school, and in college, and
 
2014-02-24 07:31:56 AM  

Cerebral Ballsy: noazark: Mr. Right:  when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!

While that may be true of classroom spelling bees, unless things have drastically changed during the last few decades -- and I grant that they very likely could have -- at the county, regional, and state levels, this is not the case ... I was never given a list of words in advance.  My study and preparation for those contests basically consisted of reading the dictionary, cover-to-cover.

Where are you from? The words my district used didn't appear in any dictionary I had access to at home. Many of the words were of foreign origin and very rarely ever used. I had never heard of about 90% of the words on our list. We used British spellings.



As I'd stated earlier in the thread, I reached the Florida state-level spelling bee competition, in 1982.  And I did get bounced-out on misspelling a french word: liaison.

But -- if there was an official list of words to "study" to, for that competition -- someone forgot to hand me a copy (or even tell me it existed).  -_-
 
2014-02-24 07:34:37 AM  
If only there were a large book containing tens of thousands or words, this wouldn't have happened.
 
2014-02-24 07:35:48 AM  

Resident Muslim: Words that still stump me:
Necessary
Diahhrea (autocorrect can't help me because I'm not even close).
Can't remember which one, but always mess up the e before i or i before e ones.


I before E except after C, when sounding like A the neighbors may sway.........
Isn't that weird?
 
2014-02-24 07:44:34 AM  
25.media.tumblr.com

Whether/weather would have solved this.  Sadly, no one gets the hot plate.
 
2014-02-24 07:47:56 AM  
kroxeldiphibic
 
2014-02-24 07:48:33 AM  

noazark: As I'd stated earlier in the thread, I reached the Florida state-level spelling bee competition, in 1982.  And I did get bounced-out on misspelling a french word: liaison.

But -- if there was an official list of words to "study" to, for that competition -- someone forgot to hand me a copy (or even tell me it existed).  -_-


Same here. I got to the state final for West Virginia in 1992, and nobody ever gave me a list of words to study. I was there with 55 other kids (one from each county) and I wound up the 6th runner up. I bombed on "piteous". I knew how to spell it...it's not exactly a high-level word. But I tongue-stumbled, and alas, there are no second chances or do-overs. God, I was ashamed of myself at that moment. I did stop immediately and spell it correctly before leaving the stage. Pride demanded it. :)

But yes, I agree--unless things have changed drastically, kids do not receive word lists ahead of time. My "study sheet" was my Dad's enormous unabridged dictionary.
 
2014-02-24 07:51:42 AM  

PainInTheASP: You see?  That's what happens when you start burning books...YOU RUN OUT OF WORDS!


Captain Beatty would like a word with you.
 
2014-02-24 07:58:17 AM  

Mr. Right: noazark: Mr. Right:  when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!

While that may be true of classroom spelling bees, unless things have drastically changed during the last few decades -- and I grant that they very likely could have -- at the county, regional, and state levels, this is not the case ... I was never given a list of words in advance.  My study and preparation for those contests basically consisted of reading the dictionary, cover-to-cover.

Scripps publishes lists of study words.  These are the same lists that are used in competition.  Students are not bound by those lists, but they are provided.  However, if teaching to the test isn't bad enough, these poor kids are forced into rote memorization.  Oh the horrors of it all!

I'm just pointing out that, if the test is good, teaching to it isn't bad.  Just like rote memorization isn't a bad thing in some areas, such as spelling or multiplication tables.  Certain areas of education are absolute and creativity is not acceptable.  If everyone wants to spell in their own way, communication is destroyed.  Do you want the kid who "adopts a thinking process" that allows 5 - 2 = 1 to be counting change to you?


The school district where I used to work thought any type of rote memorization of math concepts (like the times table) was a waste of time. Their justification was that kids would always have a calculator nearby (phone, cash register, etc).

I hope the super for the district leaves before my son is old enough to start school.
 
2014-02-24 08:00:12 AM  

TomD9938: FTA :

Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a "French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word."

A bilingual spelling bee?


scootin-fruity

that's how you pronounce it, scootin-fruity.

/obscure?
//not if you're German, I suppose.
 
2014-02-24 08:17:22 AM  

aevorea: Mr. Right: noazark: Mr. Right:  when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!

While that may be true of classroom spelling bees, unless things have drastically changed during the last few decades -- and I grant that they very likely could have -- at the county, regional, and state levels, this is not the case ... I was never given a list of words in advance.  My study and preparation for those contests basically consisted of reading the dictionary, cover-to-cover.

Scripps publishes lists of study words.  These are the same lists that are used in competition.  Students are not bound by those lists, but they are provided.  However, if teaching to the test isn't bad enough, these poor kids are forced into rote memorization.  Oh the horrors of it all!

I'm just pointing out that, if the test is good, teaching to it isn't bad.  Just like rote memorization isn't a bad thing in some areas, such as spelling or multiplication tables.  Certain areas of education are absolute and creativity is not acceptable.  If everyone wants to spell in their own way, communication is destroyed.  Do you want the kid who "adopts a thinking process" that allows 5 - 2 = 1 to be counting change to you?

The school district where I used to work thought any type of rote memorization of math concepts (like the times table) was a waste of time. Their justification was that kids would always have a calculator nearby (phone, cash register, etc).

I hope the super for the district leaves before my son is old enough to start school.


I remember the first time I had proper change ready for a clerk. 6% sales tax on a 3 dollar item. He gave me a "are you a wizard" look as I pulled out the change without him telling me what it was.

I went to the bank the other day and was disappointed to watch the teller pull out a calculator to add 2936.45 +200.00. I mean yes, we have calculators around all the time now but surely there is some math that can be done in the head.
 
2014-02-24 08:22:03 AM  

fusillade762: Two kids did so well that they ran out of words? Sounds like a win to me.


Exactly!! But there is no "winning" tag
 
2014-02-24 08:23:13 AM  

Geoff Peterson: TomD9938: FTA :

Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a "French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word."

A bilingual spelling bee?

scootin-fruity

that's how you pronounce it, scootin-fruity.

/obscure?
//not if you're German, I suppose.


/German

I can guess the word is schadenfreude but I'm lost as to the reference.
 
2014-02-24 08:28:13 AM  

Cerebral Ballsy: noazark: Mr. Right:  when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!

While that may be true of classroom spelling bees, unless things have drastically changed during the last few decades -- and I grant that they very likely could have -- at the county, regional, and state levels, this is not the case ... I was never given a list of words in advance.  My study and preparation for those contests basically consisted of reading the dictionary, cover-to-cover.

Where are you from? The words my district used didn't appear in any dictionary I had access to at home. Many of the words were of foreign origin and very rarely ever used. I had never heard of about 90% of the words on our list. We used British spellings.


I lost out in the final round with the word  camoflage.  The list used by the spelling bee included both the English and American spellings of the words.  I spelled it  camouflage.  28 years later, I'm still bitter.
 
2014-02-24 08:41:09 AM  

Fano: aevorea: Mr. Right: noazark: Mr. Right:  when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!

While that may be true of classroom spelling bees, unless things have drastically changed during the last few decades -- and I grant that they very likely could have -- at the county, regional, and state levels, this is not the case ... I was never given a list of words in advance.  My study and preparation for those contests basically consisted of reading the dictionary, cover-to-cover.

Scripps publishes lists of study words.  These are the same lists that are used in competition.  Students are not bound by those lists, but they are provided.  However, if teaching to the test isn't bad enough, these poor kids are forced into rote memorization.  Oh the horrors of it all!

I'm just pointing out that, if the test is good, teaching to it isn't bad.  Just like rote memorization isn't a bad thing in some areas, such as spelling or multiplication tables.  Certain areas of education are absolute and creativity is not acceptable.  If everyone wants to spell in their own way, communication is destroyed.  Do you want the kid who "adopts a thinking process" that allows 5 - 2 = 1 to be counting change to you?

The school district where I used to work thought any type of rote memorization of math concepts (like the times table) was a waste of time. Their justification was that kids would always have a calculator nearby (phone, cash register, etc).

I hope the super for the district leaves before my son is old enough to start school.

I remember the first time I had proper change ready for a clerk. 6% sales tax on a 3 dollar item. He gave me a "are you a wizard" look as I pulled out the change without him telling me what it was.

I went to the bank the other day and was disappointed to watch the teller pull out a calculator to add 2936.45 +200.00. I mean yes, we have calculators around all the time now but sur ...


It might be company policy to always use electronics.  Mistakes happen all the time and there's no harm in taking steps in trying to minimize them.  It's the principle reason the double entry system was invented back in the Middle Ages.  Back in the day when I worked a cash register and had to count back change, it was a rare thing for somebody's drawer to to come out even at the end of a shift.
 
2014-02-24 08:48:34 AM  
What, they couldn't declare it a tie?
 
2014-02-24 08:51:23 AM  
 Geoff Peterson: TomD9938: FTA :

Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a "French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word."

A bilingual spelling bee?

scootin-fruity

that's how you pronounce it, scootin-fruity.

/obscure?
//not if you're German, I suppose.

/German

I can guess the word is schadenfreude but I'm lost as to the reference.


TFA: "Scherzo," ''fantoccini" and "intaglio" were among the words Kush correctly spelled in the late rounds, while Sophia nailed words such as "schadenfreude, "mahout" and "barukhzy."


And here I am, laughing at the organizers for being ill-prepared.
 
2014-02-24 09:03:13 AM  

Mr. Right: WhoGAS: Wait, we're complaining that the spelling bee couldn't stump some kids?

Like, we've educated kids so well?

This is a bad thing?

While I think that two kids running the list is a great thing, when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!  So it that now a good thing?


Successful ones don't (can't) memorize each and every word and how to spell it. They know the patterns in words and how they're pronounced.
 
2014-02-24 09:07:21 AM  

lecavalier: "The contest will resume March 8 at an undetermined library site. "

I don't know why but I find that sentence to be extremely amusing.


It's like a spelling rave.
 
2014-02-24 09:09:04 AM  

Arkanaut: What, they couldn't declare it a tie?


No, because one of them has to move up to the next level.
 
2014-02-24 09:17:21 AM  

Matrix Flavored Wasabi: Mr. Right: WhoGAS: Wait, we're complaining that the spelling bee couldn't stump some kids?

Like, we've educated kids so well?

This is a bad thing?

While I think that two kids running the list is a great thing, when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!  So it that now a good thing?

Successful ones don't (can't) memorize each and every word and how to spell it. They know the patterns in words and how they're pronounced.


There are patterns and that's why we ask where the word is from, but there's no way to be certain. Trust me, I memorize every word I read if I read it once or twice and I bet the others do too. It's just a photographic memory type thing.

I don't know what kind of words the other got but I'd kill to find my list.. My mom would read them out to me and she couldn't even pronounce them. They are literally words that even the judges had never heard before. When you get up there to spell them, there's a real hazard you won't know what word they're calling out to you because it's not pronounced how you thought it was.

The list we got didn't include pronunciations. It was like a damn book full of these long strange words with a few you'd actually heard of thrown in. We'd look up pronunciations and the words would not even be in the dictionary.

I competed at the high school level, btw.
 
2014-02-24 09:51:01 AM  
I've always wondered what the point of spelling bees are. Is there any real world application to knowing how to spell thousands of random words? Do the contestants have better memory later in life? Dont they just forget how to spell most of the words in a few weeks?

Or is this just an attempt by parrents and teachers to keep the students virgins as long as possible?
 
2014-02-24 10:00:48 AM  

TomD9938: FTA :

Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a "French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word."

A bilingual spelling bee?



What a bilingual bee might look like.
davidcgarcia.com

I love how he pronounces "Nasonex"
 
2014-02-24 10:09:02 AM  

Cerebral Ballsy: I can guess the word is schadenfreude but I'm lost as to the reference.


There isn't one. I was making a (not so) funny quip about them including French words in the bee.

/its not French, get it?
//aisle seat, plz
 
2014-02-24 10:12:31 AM  
oh and in my 5th grade spelling bee I spelled vacuum.  I spelled it correctly (see previous sentence) and they called me on it anyway.

started a long line of anti authority acts from me.
 
2014-02-24 10:31:16 AM  

Semantic Warrior: Resident Muslim: Words that still stump me:
Necessary
Diahhrea (autocorrect can't help me because I'm not even close).
Can't remember which one, but always mess up the e before i or i before e ones.

I before E except after C, when sounding like A the neighbors may sway.........
Isn't that weird?


And on weekends and holidays and all throughout may...
 
2014-02-24 11:07:40 AM  

Mell of a Hess: TomD9938: FTA :

Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a "French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word."

A bilingual spelling bee?


What a bilingual bee might look like.


I love how he pronounces "Nasonex"


I think you mean "bisexual" bee, right?
 
2014-02-24 11:08:53 AM  
Did they include the word, "beagle"?
img.fark.net
 
2014-02-24 11:23:14 AM  

SeaMan Stainz: I've always wondered what the point of spelling bees are.

Is there any real world application to knowing how to spell thousands of random words? Do the contestants have better memory later in life? Dont they just forget how to spell most of the words in a few weeks?

Or is this just an attempt by parrents and teachers to keep the students virgins as long as possible?



Oh...I don't know. Maybe you're right. No one is really judged on spelling or grammar in the "real world". Kids should just stick to uniformed contact sports.
 
2014-02-24 11:25:53 AM  

Fermented Yak Juice: Mell of a Hess: TomD9938: FTA :

Both of them missed what Kush said was the hardest word: a "French word; I have no idea how to pronounce it. It was a long word."

A bilingual spelling bee?


What a bilingual bee might look like.


I love how he pronounces "Nasonex"

I think you mean "bisexual" bee, right?


NTTAWWT
 
2014-02-24 11:49:21 AM  

lecavalier: "The contest will resume March 8 at an undetermined library site. "

I don't know why but I find that sentence to be extremely amusing.


Must be the Bookmobile.
 
2014-02-24 11:51:25 AM  

eajc4f: Oh...I don't know. Maybe you're right. No one is really judged on spelling or grammar in the "real world". Kids should just stick to uniformed contact sports.


If they're lucky, they'll get to play for the Chicago Beers.
 
2014-02-24 12:00:08 PM  

dbrunker: Did they include the word, "beagle"?


I kept hearing "b-e-e-g-l-e" in my head reading the thread but couldn't think of how to throw it in.
 
2014-02-24 01:21:01 PM  
Have them spell in Klingon.
 
2014-02-24 02:20:25 PM  

Mr. Right: WhoGAS: Wait, we're complaining that the spelling bee couldn't stump some kids?

Like, we've educated kids so well?

This is a bad thing?

While I think that two kids running the list is a great thing, when practicing for spelling bee competitions, kids are given the list of words.  In other words, THEY'RE TEACHING TO THE TEST!!!  So it that now a good thing?


So kids learning study habits, definitions, memorization and some competitive skillsets is bad?

I'm sorry, it may not be the end-all-be-all of education but it's something more than nothing.
 
2014-02-24 03:21:48 PM  

Resident Muslim: Diahhrea


Diarrhea, TWO R's not two H's.
 
2014-02-24 03:25:56 PM  

WhoGAS: So kids learning study habits, definitions, memorization and some competitive skillsets is bad?

I'm sorry, it may not be the end-all-be-all of education but it's something more than nothing.


I actually think it's a very good thing.  I was being sarcastic, referring to the hoardes who decry any kind of standardized testing on the basis that teachers "teach to the test" instead of actually educating kids.  I believe that if the test is a good one, teaching to it is the way to go.  Think bar exam, CPA exam, engineer's licensing, architect's licensing, etc.  Those are tests that have been demonstrated to determine the qualifications of their various professions and there are schools, books, and study guides designed to help pass those tests.

I'm not sure there is a great job market for professional spellers but the disciplines you've pointed out that those students learn during their competition will be of value for the rest of their lives.
 
2014-02-24 06:33:19 PM  

Mr. Right: WhoGAS: So kids learning study habits, definitions, memorization and some competitive skillsets is bad?

I'm sorry, it may not be the end-all-be-all of education but it's something more than nothing.

I actually think it's a very good thing.  I was being sarcastic, referring to the hoardes who decry any kind of standardized testing on the basis that teachers "teach to the test" instead of actually educating kids.  I believe that if the test is a good one, teaching to it is the way to go.  Think bar exam, CPA exam, engineer's licensing, architect's licensing, etc.  Those are tests that have been demonstrated to determine the qualifications of their various professions and there are schools, books, and study guides designed to help pass those tests.

I'm not sure there is a great job market for professional spellers but the disciplines you've pointed out that those students learn during their competition will be of value for the rest of their lives.


Ah.  I miss sarcasm a lot.  My apologies.
 
2014-02-24 07:28:49 PM  
Ovaltine. Be sure to drink yours.
 
2014-02-24 08:01:59 PM  

WhoGAS: Ah. I miss sarcasm a lot. My apologies.


No apology necessary.  I should apologize for taking off on your eminently sensible comment.  But I have read enough threads on Fark and put up with enough discussions with supposed education professionals about the evils of standardized tests, teaching to the test, rote memorization, and how terrible it is to try to instill self-discipline - the great creativity killer - that my cynicism kicks in and I go for the sarcasm.

I am a fan of correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  I did my first gig as an Adjunct Professor in an Operations Management Course back in the late 70s.  Did that off and on until a couple years ago.  Whenever students turned in a research paper or answered an essay question on an exam, I added or deducted points for grammar and spelling.  Oh, the outrage!  So I took to making a note of my standards for writing term papers and essays on the course syllabus.  I am still incredulous that juniors and seniors in college had never heard of Kate Turabian, let alone did not have a well-worn copy of her style book.  I was assured that, as business majors, they weren't going to be judged on spelling and grammar!  I probably don't need to tell you that grammar and spelling standards did not improve during my 30 years of part-time teaching.  In spite of being labelled as an anachronistic pedant - one of  the nicer ways it was put - I stuck to my guns and if you turned in a term paper that was absolutely brilliant in theory and your understanding of the material but riddled with grammatical errors or misspellings, you were going to be lucky to walk out of there with a C.  In my full time jobs in industry or consulting I frequently criticized people for the poor communication skills that are attendant to lousy grammar and spelling.  If a person cannot communicate effectively, he can never lead or even add to the discussion.

Enough of the soapbox and I am desirous of a refill in my Scotch glass.

Thank you for being so civil - a relative rarity on Fark anymore.
 
2014-02-25 12:01:05 AM  

Mr. Right: I believe that if the test is a good one, teaching to it is the way to go.


I know I've gotten odd looks when people complain about the teachers teaching for the various tests students have to take today and my response is 'then fix the test!'.

The amount of testing some kids have to undergo is a separate issue.  I actually had one nut assume that we'd have to have a testing day every month, he didn't like it when I suggested that one a year would be more like it.  Maybe two for transfer students(incoming to get a baseline, then end of year to assess).  Use the results, compensated for by various demographics*

*Like an honors class should probably be graded differently than a remedial class, and there should probably be a point at which you stop bothering to test students - probably when they're so bad you stop bothering with a 'grade level' system.  There's an even bigger problem with achievement levels depending on ethnic group, but I have no real clue as to how to fix that.  I think a good deal of the problem is cultural, and that's sticky to fix.
 
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