Analogies

February 2015 Newsletter

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February 2015

WordMasters News!


In many parts of the country, Mother Nature pelted us with snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures throughout January and February. We understand that school delays and cancellations can wreak havoc with curriculum planning, especially for enrichment teachers who may only meet with their students weekly or bi-weekly.  At WordMasters, we try to anticipate these challenges by making the word lists available as early as possible and offering a testing window that is several weeks long.  Please understand that we cannot alter our Meet #2 score submission deadline without impacting the tight scheduling of Meet #3 testing and score reporting.  

We have begun assembling our Year-End Mailing, which includes your Champion medals (one per team), achievement certificates (ten per team) and renewal information for the 2015-16 WordMasters Challenge.  You should expect to receive your package no later than April 24th. (Please note:  Packages will not be mailed to customers with outstanding balances.  Please make arrangements for immediate payment of overdue invoices.)

As you are planning ahead for next year, check out this feedback we received from a district that had traditionally offered WordMasters exclusively to their Gifted/Talented students:
We're the Gifted and Talented teachers in our district and this year, we opened up the WordMasters Challenge to the entire 5th grade, rather than just our students.  One of our 5th grade teachers, Julie Martire, is really embracing WordMasters in her classroom. She is giving them a word each day and encouraging them to use the word in their conversations (both at home and in school) as well as in their writing.  Mrs. Martire also informed us that the kids have been discovering the words in the books that they are reading, and they are very excited when they come across one!  Thanks to Mrs. Martire and WordMasters, these students really are developing a love for and excitement about words!
Lynne Henwood and Sarah Rooney
Washington Township District Talented and Gifted Teachers

Challenge Spotlight: Laurence School

With two teams placing in the top ten for their respective divisions, Laurence School announced the achievement by sending home this "Backpack News" article.

LAURENCE WINS HIGHEST HONORS AT THE WORDMASTERS CHALLENGE!

Several students and the fourth and fifth grade teams representing Laurence School recently won highest honors in the WordMasters Challenge.  The WordMasters Challenge is a national language arts competition consisting of three separate meets held at intervals during the school year.  The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking.  The children are given a list of 25 challenging words to learn for each meet (considerably higher than grade level).  Students learn the definitions of these words and then are challenged to use the words to complete analogies, enhancing their critical thinking skills by learning how to think both analytically and metaphorically.

The fourth grade tied for fourth place in the nation, among 352 school teams competing at this grade level and in this division.  


Pictured Above: Fourth Grade Blue Team

The fifth grade came in fourth among 378 school teams. 


Pictured Above: Fifth Grade Blue Team

Laurence is the ONLY school from third grade through sixth grade to have two grade levels place in the top ten!  This is an extraordinary achievement.

Several students won highest honors for individual achievement.  Fourth graders Georgia G. and Baxter C. earned perfect scores in their meet for their grade level while only 100 fourth graders achieved this result. Fifth graders Theo M. and Beck W. also earned perfect scores.  Only 16 fifth graders pulled off this amazing feat.  Clearly earning a perfect score is an amazing accomplishment!

All of the children in both the fourth and fifth grade worked diligently to learn the definitions of the words and to become adept at solving analogies, helping their teams to place in the top ten.  Congratulations to these students who worked so hard to achieve this remarkable result.  They are all, indeed, word masters!
________

Has your team been celebrated in your school or community? E-mail us the information to share.

A Note from the Teacher:
Words of Encouragement

As we wade through the finals days of winter, some words of encouragement are sure to put a smile on a student's face. To help, an artist named Lori McDonough has free downloads on her blog, Fresh Picked Whimsy, including this great download called Notes from Teacher.




 
 

Meet #3 Study Tools

Looking for ways to help your students learn their word lists? Try one of these new WordMasters™ Study Tools: Study Tools created last year are:All Study Tools are found on Teacher Tools. Do you have a tool to share? E-mail us.

Calendar Reminders


Meet #2 Reporting Deadline: 
February 27th
Meet # 3 Word Lists Available: 
February 23rd



2014-15 WordMasters Challenge™
  
Meet #2
Word Lists Available Dec. 8th
Test Administered   Feb. 2nd - Feb. 20th 
Score Reporting Deadline   Feb. 27th
Results Available  March 13th
  
Meet #3
Word Lists Available Feb. 23rd
Test Administered   April 6th-April 24th 
Score Reporting Deadline   May 1st
Results Available  May 15th
  
Cumulative Champions Announced   May 15th 

To find the entire 2014-15 WordMasters Challenge Calendar click here or the Challenge Schedule can be found under the Resources tab on the WordMasters Challenge website.

In This Issue

What Works in Your Classroom?

Share your successful teaching tips, photos, or videos. E-mail us at lisa.kennedy@wordmasterschallenge.com and we'll add it to the Idea Gallery.

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January 2015 Newsletter

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January Newsletter: Meet #1 Results, Meet #2 Testing and Meet #3 PreparationIs this email not displaying correctly?
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January 2015

WordMasters News!


Meet #1 is "in the books", as they say and preparations for Meet #2 should be well underway.  If you haven't already marked your calendars,  Meet #2 Challenge Tests will be available for download next Monday, February 2nd.  The final day to submit scores online is Friday, February 27th, so please keep that deadline in mind (as well as potential weather delays and cancellations) when you schedule your Meet #2 tests.  While you're at it, mark your calendars with these three important Meet #3 dates:  Word Lists available 2/23/15, Challenge Tests available 4/6/15, and score submission deadline 5/5/15. We need to maintain such a tight schedule during the spring semester because many of our participating schools are wrapping up by mid-May!

This is a good time of year to do some early "spring cleaning" of your team account.  You may have noticed an option to "Archive Students/Team Leaders" when you are on the Manage Teams & Students page.  This function allows you to delete teachers who are no longer involved with WordMasters and to archive students who are no longer in your school or participating on your teams.  Just click on "Archive Students/Team Leaders", select "Archive Students" or "Archive Team Leaders", then click on Archive for any individuals not currently participating.  This will prevent that individual from appearing in the dropdown list for Team Leaders or when adding students.

If you haven't already reviewed the results of Meet #1, you can find a summary posted under the RESULTS tab at our website.  You can also log into your Dashboard, click on View Reports, and select "2014-15 Meet 1".  If you choose "All My Teams & Students", you receive a report that lists all the scores submitted, broken down by teams with students listed in order from highest to lowest score.  To determine your team score, just sum the top ten individual scores for a team. 

Newsela: Current Events for Every Reader

If you're looking for ways to incorporate reading current event into your classroom, try Newsela. Newsela is a website which offers each news articles at five different reading levels so the entire class can read the same article at each student's individual reading level. You can assign articles to read, test comprehension, and more. Click this link, for more information.

Tracking WordMasters Word Lists in the News
Here are two Study Tools for WordMasters students to use to track their word list in conjunction with reading the news:










 

 

Idea Gallery Sharing: WordMasters Hall of Fame

To recognize hard work and keep her students motivated, one Team Leader created a WordMasters Hall of Fame wall in her classroom. Students who score a 13 or higher on any meet have their name added to the wall. Students scoring a 19 or 20 get a special treat. A cookie from the cafeteria does the trick for her team. Modify as needed for your class!

Resources for Meet #3 Preparation

Checkout some Team Leader favorite resources for the following:

Word definitionsNote: The authority on which we rely in matters of dispute is Webster’s New World College Dictionary.

Creating flashcards
Practice analogies

Calendar Reminders



Meet #2 Testing: 
Feb. 2 - Feb. 20th



2014-15 WordMasters Challenge™
  
Meet #2
Word Lists Available Dec. 8th
Test Administered   Feb. 2nd - Feb. 20th 
Score Reporting Deadline   Feb. 27th
Results Available  March 13th
  
Meet #3
Word Lists Available Feb. 23rd
Test Administered   April 6th-April 24th 
Score Reporting Deadline   May 1st
Results Available  May 15th
  
Cumulative Champions Announced   May 15th 

To find the entire 2014-15 WordMasters Challenge Calendar click here or the Challenge Schedule can be found under the Resources tab on the WordMasters Challenge website.

In This Issue

What Works in Your Classroom?

Share your successful teaching tips, photos, or videos. E-mail us at lisa.kennedy@wordmasterschallenge.com and we'll add it to the Idea Gallery.

Keep Up With Us

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Follow on TwitterTwitter
  
 





 

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October 2014 Newsletter: Resources to Prepare for the WordMasters Challenge!

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October Newsletter: Packed full of resources to get the 2014-15 WordMasters Challenge started!Is this email not displaying correctly?
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October 2014

WordMasters News!


By now, all Team Leaders should have downloaded the Meet #1 Word Lists through their personal Dashboard. Please see the Team Leader Guide below if you need help getting started.  

We have heard from a number of Team Leaders who are able to log in successfully, but cannot access the "Manage Teams & Students" page.  Often this occurs because someone other than the Team Leader completed the online enrollment this year, and his/her email address is not synched with the existing school account.  In other words, our computer system doesn't recognize the email and creates a brand new account for the order.  No worries -- it's an easy fix to synch the order with the original school account.  Just send us an email saying that you have enrolled in this year's WordMasters Challenge (an order number or PO number is very helpful!) and we will make the necessary adjustments so you can access your teams via your Dashboard.

Team Leader Guide

Find instructions for:
  • Accessing your dashboard
  • Setting up you teams
  • Setting up student records, and
  • Downloading materials
Click here for a print-friendly PDF document of the Team Leader Guide to help you get the 2014-15 WordMasters Challenge started.

Welcome Kit for New Team Leaders (or those wanting a refresher)

Is this your first year with WordMasters? Or are you looking for a refresher? Make sure you review the Welcome Kit which includes:
  • Welcome letter
  • Ten-Step Checklist
  • Parent letter to send home
  • Student sign-up sheet
If you would like to customize the parent letter and student sign-up sheet, Word document versions are found on the Teacher Tools pages.

If you need to present this information to a group, there is also a PowerPoint presentation you can use.

Resources for Meet Prep

In response to our customer survey, Team Leaders graciously shared some of their favorite resources for the following:

Word definitionsNote: The authority on which we rely in matters of dispute is Webster’s New World College Dictionary.

Creating flashcards
Practice analogies
A comprehensive list can be found in Teacher Tools, towards the bottom of the page. E-mail us with your favorite and we'll include it on the website!

New Study Tools

Looking for ways to help your students learn their word lists for each meet? Try one of these new WordMasters™ Study Tools: Study Tools created last year are:All Study Tools are found on Teacher Tools. Do you have a tool to share? E-mail us!

Updated Idea Gallery

Teachers shared their successful WordMasters™ tips, games and activities. Make sure you visit the Idea Gallery to see what's new!

E-mail us with your favorite learning technique and we'll add it to the Idea Gallery!

Calendar Reminders


Meet #1 Word Lists Available:  October 1st



2014-15 WordMasters Challenge™

Meet #1
Word Lists Available Oct. 1st
Test Administered   Nov. 17th - Dec. 5th 
Score Reporting Deadline   Dec. 12th
Results Available  Dec. 26th
  
Meet #2
Word Lists Available Dec. 8th
Test Administered   Feb. 2nd - Feb. 20th 
Score Reporting Deadline   Feb. 27th
Results Available  March 13th
  
Meet #3
Word Lists Available Feb. 23rd
Test Administered   April 6th-April 24th 
Score Reporting Deadline   May 1st
Results Available  May 15th
  
Cumulative Champions Announced   May 15th 

To find the entire 2014-15 WordMasters Challenge Calendar click here or the Challenge Schedule can be found under the Resources tab on the WordMasters Challenge website.

In This Issue

What Works in Your Classroom?

Share your successful teaching tips, photos, or videos. E-mail us at lisa.kennedy@wordmasterschallenge.com and we'll add it to the Idea Gallery.

Keep Up With Us

Friend on FacebookFacebook
Follow on TwitterTwitter
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May 2014 Newsletter

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May 2014 Newsletter

 

WordMasters News!


Thank you to all the teams that honored our May 2nd deadline for entering Meet #3 scores. We appreciate that for many of you, it is difficult to schedule the last WordMasters Challenge™ meet because of standardized testing and spring break. We did move the timing of the entire Meet #3 preparation/testing/reporting period up a week in response to pleas from our many schools that complete their academic year in early May. I have already received several desperate calls from Team Leaders who need results in advance of honors and award ceremonies this week!  Meet #3 finalists will be posted by the end of this week, and year-end results will be available on or before May 16th.

Please watch for an important survey we will be sending out this week via Survey Monkey.  We sincerely appreciate your input and feedback as we continue our efforts to improve the WordMasters Challenge™ program.  We are especially interested in your thoughts regarding online testing options as we plan to pilot a program next year and fully implement online testing by Fall 2015.

New WordMasters Challenge™ Individual Competition for 2014-15

While you are on the WordMasters™ website, you may have noticed a new product listed, the Individual WordMasters Challenge™.

The WordMasters Challenge™ - Individual Division was created to serve those students who are homeschooled or attend a school that does not participate in the WordMasters Challenge™ team competition. The content is comparable to our Gold Division vocabulary lists and analogies. However, the word lists at each grade level will not be the same as the word lists being used in the current Gold Division team competition.

To read more about the Individual Challenge™, click here for details.

Hard Work Pays Off

Here are the faces behind the top third grade blue team of Challenge Meet #2 from Woodland Elementary. Their story was shared in their district news. Click here to see the article.

Has your team been showcased in your local news? E-mail us and we'll share it, too.

The Buzz About "Grit" in Education

Angela Lee Duckworth, a psychology professor at the University of Pennyslvania (and former teacher) conducted research to pinpoint what makes someone successful. She evaluated people in a variety of settings; whether it be a West Point cadet, a rookie teacher, a member of a sales team, a National Spelling Bee participant or a student in a Chicago public high school.  Based on her findings, having passion and persistence for long-term goals, or grit, was the greatest predictor of success.

When the concept of grit is applied to education, can it be taught? And how is it measured? Can schools create environments where mistakes are just as valued as right answers? Can you get kids, and better yet their parents, comfortable with the idea that struggle leads to stronger learning? Several schools, such as New City School in St. Louis, MO are trying to put grit into practice by incorporating a "growth mindset". To read more about it, here is an NPR article, "Does Teaching Kids to Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead?" by Tovia Smith.

To learn more about Angela Lee Duckworth's work, here is information about The Duckworth Lab at the University of Pennsylvania or you can watch her TED Talks Education video "The Key to Success? Grit".

 

Registration is Open for 2014-15 WordMasters Challenge™

It’s simple! Visit our website, www.WordMastersChallenge.com, and click on the yellow Enroll Now button on the right-side of the screen.
  • Enrollment fee is still only $95 per team, with volume discounts for schools enrolling 5 or more teams or school districts registering 5 or more schools. See our website for details.
  • You can pay using a credit card online, or we can invoice you.
  • If you need to request a purchase order click this link, or download the order form found at the bottom of our home page (you can also find it under the ENROLL tab) and submit it to your purchasing department. We ask that you still complete the online enrollment form and select the “Bill Me Later” option to ensure we have accurate and complete contact information. We will invoice you once we receive your purchase order. It’s that easy!
Enrollment for the 2014-15 WordMasters Challenge™ closes on September 30th, so sign up soon!

2014-15 WordMasters Challenge™ Calendar




Enrollment Deadline: September 30, 2014

Meet #1
Word Lists Available Oct. 1st
Test Administered   Nov. 17th - Dec. 5th 
Score Reporting Deadline   Dec. 12th
Results Available  Dec. 26th
  
Meet #2
Word Lists Available Dec. 8th
Test Administered   Feb. 2nd - Feb. 20th 
Score Reporting Deadline   Feb. 27th
Results Available  March 13th
  
Meet #3
Word Lists Available Feb. 23rd
Test Administered   April 6th-April 24th 
Score Reporting Deadline   May 1st
Results Available  May 15th
  
Cumulative Champions Announced   May 15th 

Calendar Reminders

Meet #3 Results and Cumulative Champions Announced:
May 16th



WordMasters Challenge Meet #3
Word Lists Available Feb. 24th
Test Administered   April 7th-April 25th 
Score Reporting Deadline   May 2nd
Results Available  May 16th
  
Cumulative Champions Announced   May 16th 

To find the entire 2013-14 WordMasters Challenge™ Calendar click here or the Challenge Schedule can be found under the Resources tab on the WordMasters Challenge™ website.



 

In This Issue

What Works in Your Classroom?

Share your successful teaching tips, photos, or videos. E-mail us at lisa.kennedy@wordmasterschallenge.com and we'll add it to the Idea Gallery.

Keep Up With Us

Friend on FacebookFacebook
Follow on TwitterTwitter
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Expand Your Vocabulary and Sharpen Your Analogy Skills with Twitter

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Follow us on Twitter and play along as we tweet daily analogies.  Analogies will be posted Monday through Friday, increasing in difficulty as the week progresses (like the NY Times Crossword Puzzle!).  The number that appears before the analogy indicates the Challenge level where the analogy was previously used; for example, (4B) means the analogy appeared in a 4th Grade - Blue Division Challenge.

If you are unfamiliar with analogy notation, remember that a single colon (:) means "is to" and a double colon (::) means "as".  So "black : white :: good : evil" reads "black is to white as good is to evil".  Usually, we leave just the last term out, so to solve the analogy you choose the word that makes the most sense.  Sometimes we leave the second part of the analogy out altogether, so you must choose a pair of words that have the same relationship as the first pair.

The correct answer to each day's analogy will be tweeted the following day.  

Teachers, this is a great way to keep your students thinking analytically over the summer and between Challenge meets!  

Good luck and have fun!


 

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Exciting Upgrades to WordMasters Challenge and Website

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Welcome to WordMasters' new and improved website!  We are very excited about the changes we are introducing for the 2012-13 school year.  My name is Lisa Kennedy, and I am the new Executive Director for WordMasters’ elementary and middle school programs.  In this blog, I would like to point out some of the changes we have made to serve you better.

First and foremost, we are making it easier to enroll teams, receive Challenge materials, and submit your team’s Challenge results.  All of these tasks can be accomplished online beginning with enrollment for 2012-13 and continuing with word list distribution for Meet #1 in October.   (Please note:  Scores for Meet #3 of the current WordMasters Challenge 2011-12 cannot be submitted using our online form.  Please continue to send your scores by mail or fax.  See the Submit Challenge Scores page on our website for more details.)

Second, our online format eliminates the need to make copies of cumbersome legal-size documents.  All of the Word List and Challenge documents will be downloadable letter-size PDF documents.  You will receive an email several weeks before each Meet with directions for how to download the WordMasters materials you have purchased.  Simply download the appropriate files and make the number of copies you need for your team.  When you have completed scoring, return to our website and enter your top ten scores into the Results form.  It’s that easy!

Third, we have taken many of the ideas you have shared with us in the past and posted them in our Idea Gallery under the Resources tab of the website.  We hope to continue expanding this exchange of ideas (including photos and videos) over the coming months.  Please send us your stories and suggestions regarding the WordMasters Challenge, analogies, vocabulary, verbal reasoning, lesson plans, and any any other idea you might have!

We hope you like the new look and feel of the WordMasters Challenge, and we look forward to hearing your comments. 


 

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Suddenly there’s a love affair with words in my classroom!

– 6th grade teacher from Florida

The high school program is now called
The WordWright Challenge.

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