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Systemwide spelling bee is set for Friday

POSTED: January 25, 2012 4:00 a.m.
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Cassy Dickey

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The students who recently won their schoolwide spelling bees are preparing to compete for the county title Friday.

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According to the winners, the top study strategy for contestants is orally repeating and spelling words out loud. That is how fifth graders Cassy Dickey, of Black's Mill, and Madison Coker, of Kilough, studied.

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"[My class] got a list of 450 words to study and [my mom and I] went through three columns a day," Dickey said. "My mom would say them to me orally and then if I missed them she would come back."

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Similarly, Coker, whose mother is a teacher at her school, practices by spelling the words out loud.

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As the runner-up for Kilough Elementary School's spelling bee last year she knew what to expect.

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She also has a twist to her study strategy.

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"My mom tells me the definitions so that if I was in the spelling bee I would recognize the definitions," Coker said.

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The second most popular study technique is to write the words down.

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Samantha Hafermalz, a fourth grader at Robinson Elementary, won her school's spelling bee and prepared by transcribing words "a bunch of times."

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Tori Adkins, a seventh-grader at Riverview Middle, also writes the words to practice her memorization, but she also uses the National Spelling Bee Internet site, www.spellingbee.com.

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A week before Riverview Middle School's Spelling Bee Adkins used the Internet and studied certain words.

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"I practice looking at them, saying them over in my head and writing them down," Adkins said.

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The third most popular study strategy is to read, whether its books, comics, magazines or homework assignments.

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Although Riverview fifth grader Jacob Chance doesn't practice often, he does read.

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"I am not really the type of person to like to practice, although it is a good thing to do," Chance said.

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"I read books outside of class. Sometimes I like horror books, sometimes I like funny books and sometimes I like action-packed books."

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The one characteristic all the contestants share is nerves, inculding Dawson County Middle School eighth-grader Summer Fisher.

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"I am excited but nervous for the systemwide [event]," Fisher said. "I placed second back in my third grade spelling bee but it has been so long."

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The systemwide spelling bee will be at 9 a.m. Friday at Dawson County Middle School.

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