The National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational promotion. Its purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. It is administered by the E.W. Scripps Company and a local sponsor - the StarTribune, in our area. Students begin at their local school and advance to district, regional, and state competitions, and then to the finals held in Washington, D.C.
Two students from each fifth and sixth grade classroom participate in the Scandia Elementary School 5th and 6th grade bees each year. Two winners, one from each grade level, advance to the District Bee where they compete with spellers in grades 5-8 from the other elementary and junior high schools in the district.
The National Geographic Bee is a nationwide contest for schools and is open for students in grades 4-6. The program is part of the National Geographic Society. Students study the basics of geography: knowledge of place names and the location of cultural and physical geatures. But students may be asked a wider variety of geographical questions concerning landforms, climate, geographic tools, and flora and fauna of a region. Students who meet the requirements at the school level can advance to state and ultimately national competitions.
The Continental Math League is a national program that promotes mathematical problem solving. Students in grades 2-3 complete 3 CML meets and students in grades 4-6 complete 5 meets during the school year while in math class. A meet consists of the student reading and solving 6 problems utilizing various mathematics concepts. Our district mathematics curriculum provides the foundation in these concepts and the CML problems expand on that knowledge base. Teachers review the problems with the students afterwards to enhance their mathematic understanding.
The Word Masters Challenge is a national program to promote vocabulary development in students in grades 3-6. Three times a year students complete an analogy style test based on the vocabulary words given to the students for that time period. Classroom teachers encourage and support student understanding of these words through a variety of activities.