2014-01-29

By Jen Senna

Ketcham Elementary School is buzzing with excitement this month as we put an extra focus on literacy–literally! Thanks to literacy coordinator K.J. Moran, Ketcham will be having their first Spelling Bee this Thursday. Students, parents and teachers alike are excited to watch Ketcham’s students show off what they know. Parents have been actively encouraging the students who are participating, most of them remembering their own school days as Bee participants! Although only fourth and fifth grade winners will be allowed to continue to the Cluster Spelling Bee and compete against winners from other District schools, the younger students will move onto a Junior Spelling Bee. First, second and third graders will have the opportunity to practice and participate in hopes that they will one day go onto the Cluster Spelling Bee like the Ketcham Scholars that came before them. One second grader is particularly thrilled about her prospects on Thursday:

I’m excited to represent Ketcham and to try and do my best for my school. The Spelling Bee means a lot to me because I can show everyone how great Ketcham is. The Spelling Bee helps me because it helps me learn what the words are and that makes me a better reader. I’m excited to spell a lot of words and show people what I have practiced, because I have been practicing all of the words. I will feel bad for everyone who loses, but I hope they can be good sports.

The Spelling Bee isn’t the only thing that has Ketcham students excited about reading. The 100 Book Challenge is K.J.’s attempt to get students to understand that the benefits of reading can manifest themselves in many different ways. For the 100 Book Challenge, students are held accountable for not only reading on their own, but also for recording and writing about their reading in a Reading Response Journal. Every book they read pushes them closer to their year-long goal of 27, and they have the chance to get prizes at each 5-book milestone. Amongst those prizes? A lunch date with their City Year of choice!

One student said:

I have 17 books out of my 100. I want to get all the books so that everyone will know about my reading. I like to read a lot. I like that I get prizes when I read. I want to get the big lunch date with a City Year. I want to have lunch with Mr. Tiken. Thank you Ms. K.J. for letting me read so much!

senna_jenJen Senna, author, is a corps member serving on The Acacia Group Team at Ketcham Elementary School.

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