Imagine traveling to a foreign country and hearing words you cannot understand. This is a little like attending and participating in a spelling bee. After the first few rounds, the degree of difficulty quickly escalates, and the pronouncer moves past words commonly heard of, and onto words that might be spoken in Tokyo, Cairo, Amsterdam, Rome, or Calcutta.
After three years of winning the regional spelling bee in St. Cloud, Nicholas Little gained a familiarity with the amazing variety of words found all around the world.
This week in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Nicholas took to the podium once again to represent our region in the State Spelling Bee.
The tension in the room was palpable as students and families waited for “The Bee” to begin. Finally, the twenty-one winners from each region were acknowledged for their accomplishments, and the first rounds began. Unlike the local and regional spelling bees, the first round was not a practice round – everyone was spelling “for keeps”.
By the end of the ninth round, only three spellers remained: Nicholas and contestants from Big Lake and Crookston. For the subsequent 10 rounds, the three spellers were given words such as: rejoneador, Baedeker, jnana, firnification, and beetewk. In the eighteenth round, only two spellers remained.
In the final rounds 12 rounds, Nicholas Little spelled words such as nilpotent, uitlander, estriep, simaniacal, and tchotchke. Both contenders spelled several rounds of words correctly. In round twenty, Nicholas received the word capriole, and the student from Crookston received the word fluorescent. She defended her win with the word svengali.
Participation in this “Bee” was the culmination of four years, many weeks each year, and countless hours of word work. The support of the Dassel Cokato teachers, administration and the many staff who organize these Bees was wonderful and encouraging.
Nicholas and his fellow “word slayers” courageously and competently tackled word after word, and “beat the list” time after time.
Nicholas Little won the 1st Runner Up title, a trophy, an online dictionary subscription for one year, and the possible opportunity to travel to Washington DC in the event that the student from Crookston cannot attend.
This literary journey provided a rich experience that will continue to broaden Nicholas’ outlook on his world both near and far.
Activity Day is an exciting day for DCMS students. This reward day offers over 25 different activities for students to choose from ranging from a water park, to hockey, to arts and crafts, or even making beef jerky. Fourteen 5th-8th graders chose to spend their day completing acts of kindness. They began their day at Feed My Starving Children in Chanhassen. Along with 100 students from another school, these students packed 21,600 meals which will feed 59 children for a year. The meals packed this day are going to the Republic of Congo in Africa. After a lunch stop at Unhinged Pizza in Norwood Young America, the students went to the Lakeside Nursing Home in Dassel to play bingo with the residents. These young people showed great compassion and kindness throughout the day and were excellent representatives of Dassel-Cokato Middle School.
Special thanks to the Cokato-Dassel Lions for the donation towards transportation.
Students involved in these volunteer activities were: Emmanuel Johnson, Sigrid Olsen, Adelle Anderson, Josie Utecht, Drake Stenberg, Jubal Nelson, Anna Holm, Tara Siltala, Gloria Siltala, Leif Forsman, Mackenzie Potter, Chelsey Potter, Michael Williams, and Jaydn Utecht.
Dassel-Cokato Middle School 6th graders recently went to Baker Near-Wilderness Settlement (part of the Three Rivers Park District) in Maple Plain. Students took part in several activities throughout the day. During one of the activities, they learned about raptors and then dissected owl pellets to try to identify what the animals had eaten. The 6th graders learned winter survival skills and got a chance to practice building shelters and fires. They spent much of their day outside on a winter hike learning about the attributes and behaviors of animals including feeding chickadees from their heads or hands!
On February 7, 2017 ten middle school students from DCMS traveled to St. Cloud State University to compete in a regional MathCounts competition. From our region, 119 students qualified to compete. The students took math tests that required them to problem solve using a variety of strategies and multi-step figuring.
Ben Smock, and 8th grader from DCMS placed 4th out of 119 students. This placement qualified him for the State MathCounts competition on March 11, 2017. The State competition will be held in Plymouth, MN at the Crown Plaza.
This is a great accomplishment! Our DCMS Math Department is extremely proud of Ben and we know he will represent our Dassel-Cokato community well.
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