Analogy Practice

Analogy Practice

September 2015 Newsletter

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September Newsletter: Stick Around App, Study Tools, 2015-16 Registration and Challenge Schedule.

September 2015

WordMasters News!

Welcome back for the 29th annual WordMasters Challenge!  It's almost time to get started -- Meet #1 word lists will be posted on our website and available for download on October 1st.
If you've already enrolled your teams, click here to read through our updated Team Leader Guide. This should answer almost any question you may have about how to administer a team and navigate our website.

If you haven't enrolled yet, it's not too late!  Just click here to Enroll Online or here to download an Order Form to fax or email to us.

Please note our new address:
WordMasters, LLC
5026 Washington Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN  46205

Our contact numbers are still the same: 888.385.5656 (phone) and 888.385.6833 (fax). Please update your system records (including your purchase order database). Thank you!

Sweet Tweets

Follow us on Twitter!
  • Challenge yourself with The Analogy of The Day
  • Share WordMasters tips
  • And more... 

Team Leader Karen Mensing from Phoenix, AZ took to Twitter to share how her class studied for Meet #3:

My class prepared for the #WordMastersChallenge by learning the vocabulary with @StickAroundApp


Click the link above for more information about Stick Around, an educational app by Tony Vincent and MorrisCooke and read Karen's blog about using the app in her classroom.

Another Team Leader shared a program review to encourage other teachers to use WordMasters.

See my review of WordMasters Challenge to see if this #vocabulary competition fits your class! #teachingenglish #edchat


Our Most Popular Study Tool

Looking for ways to help your students learn their word lists for each meet? The most downloaded WordMasters™ Study Tool is the essential: We also have many other Study Tools to add fun to learning Word Lists for each meet:
All Study Tools are on our website under Teacher Tools. Do you have a tool to share? E-mail us!

Registration is Still Open for 2015-16 WordMasters Challenge™

Visit our website,, 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.
  • You can pay using a credit card online, or we can invoice you.
  • Click the link to download a purchase order. 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!

2015-16 Challenge Schedule

Enrollment Deadline: 
September 30th

2015-16 WordMasters Challenge™

Meet #1
Word Lists Available Oct. 1st
Test Administered   Nov. 16th - Dec. 4th 
Score Reporting Deadline   Dec. 11th
Results Available  Dec. 28th
Meet #2
Word Lists Available Dec. 7th
Test Administered   Feb. 1st - Feb. 19th 
Score Reporting Deadline   Feb. 26th
Results Available  March 11th
Meet #3
Word Lists Available Feb. 22nd
Test Administered   April 4th-April 22nd 
Score Reporting Deadline   April 29th
Results Available  May 13th
Cumulative Champions Announced   May 13th 

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



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.


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 and we'll add it to the Idea Gallery.

Keep Up With Us

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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 and we'll add it to the Idea Gallery.

Keep Up With Us

Friend on FacebookFacebook
Follow on TwitterTwitter
opyright © 2014 WordMasters, LLC, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up for our newsletter at our website and/or you are a current WordMasters Challenge customer.

Our mailing address is:
5702 N. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis, IN  46220



A Thank You Note from a Parent

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We often hear feedback from teachers, and we have started to share in our blog some of the great persuasive essays written by students hoping to start WordMasters teams in their new schools, but it's just as rewarding to hear from parents. Thank you, Terry, for sharing your thoughts with us!


"My daughters participated in WordMasters for 3 years each in elementary school.  It was a large part of our elementary’s gifted enrichment program.  I am SO happy they had this opportunity.  For my oldest, an avid reader and for whom vocabulary is a cinch, this was a great self-confidence booster, and she enjoyed the friendly competition with her friends.  For my youngest, who’s not a book lover and has a weaker vocabulary, this program guaranteed 75 new, quality words per year.  AND when she excelled because we worked so hard to prepare, it made her feel really good about herself.  Also, she will test with the SCAT soon, and I am thankful for all of the analogy practice she has had.  THANK YOU!"

Terry V., Parent



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!



Meet #1 Team Leader Instructions

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First Challenge Meet

Team Leader Guide


Dear Team Leaders:

Welcome to the start of the 2013-14 WordMasters Challenge! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we worked through some of the technical glitches with our upgraded website. By now, you should have logged into the website to set up your team(s) and downloaded your Meet #1 Word Lists(s). 

If you experience any difficulty accessing your WordMasters account, please try the following before contacting us for assistance:

  • Ensure you are logged out of the system. If you see LOGOUT at the top right of the webpage (next to the SEARCH box), click it and wait until you receive a message confirming that you have successfully been logged out of the site.
  • Refresh the WordMasters Challenge page.
  • Click on LOGIN. Under "Account Sign In", enter your username (your email address) and your password. Note: Unless you created a personal password, your temporary password is your four-digit WordMasters school number (this number appears on all invoices/sales receipts).
  • If you have forgotten your password and/or cannot locate your school number, try resetting it by clicking on “Forgot your password?”. If that does not work, send us an email and we will reset your password manually.


  1. Make as many copies of the Word List as you will need for your students. Distribute Word Lists to your students at least two weeks before each scheduled meet.

  2. Help students learn the meaning of their words and consider possible analogies based on these words. (You should NOT expose them to the Challenge Test analogies ahead of time.)

  1. The Challenge Tests and Answer Keys will be available for download from your Dashboard on November 18th.

  2. Schedule your Challenge Meet for any 20-minute period between November 18th – December 6th.

  3. Enter your students’ scores online by December 13th. You can create a unique student record for each participant at any time by clicking on “Manage Teams & Students” from your Dashboard (no limit to number of students per team). More information regarding score submission will be sent to you before Challenge Meet tests are available for download. Important note: Due to the changes we have made to automate the score reporting process, we will no longer be able to accept scores beyond the posted deadline of December 13th. Please schedule your meet accordingly to ensure you are able to submit your scores on time.

  4. A summary of results will be posted on our website and available for download on December 27th.

  5. No need to wait until January to start preparing for the second Challenge Meet! Word Lists for Meet #2 will be available for download on December 9th.



Before the Meet

  1. Your students will get much more out of theWordMasters ChallengeTM if you actively help them master their vocabulary lists. Dictionary definitions are a good place to start, but they may not make clear to a child a word’s part of speech, the contexts in which the word does or does not make sense, the word’s positive or negative connotations, or the word’s nuances of meaning – in short, the word’s usage. For example, from a dictionary a student may learn that “abridge” means “shorten, condense or reduce,” but unless you demonstrate the word’s usage in sentences, the student may assume that dieters eat less to “abridge” their weight or that stylists use scissors to “abridge” people’s hair.
  2. If your students have not worked with analogies before, spend some time introducing them to this logicalform. We think our “Analogies 101 Plus” sets are a good place to start (available for order through our website). You can also make up simple analogies of your own to illustrate the kinds of logical relationships used in analogies.
  3. Once your students have become thoroughly familiar with their words, encourage them to make up their own analogies based on their word lists and to try their analogies out on one another. Practical discussions about what makes one analogy more satisfactory than another will help students improve their analytical reasoning – 
  4. You may also make up analogies of your own for your students using vocabulary from their Word List, but you should NOT familiarize yourself with the analogies in your students’ Challenge Test ahead of time nor make up practice analogies that resemble the Challenge analogies.
  5. Inform students that each successive meet in this year’s WordMasters Challenge will be somewhat more difficult that the one before it. At each grade level, the second meet’s analogies will feature vocabulary from both of the first two Word Lists (50 words); the third meet’s analogies will be based on all three Word Lists (75 words). Students should therefore save their first and second meet Word Lists and study materials.

During the Meet

  1. Challenge meets should last about 20 minutes (we do not impose a strict time limit) and should be conducted silently (i.e., the Team Leader should not read the analogies aloud). Students should work unassisted; they should not consult their Word Lists, definitions, or each other.

  2. There is one circumstance in which limited help is permitted: If your students
    encounter a word in the Challenge test which has not appeared on the Word Lists yet
    is unfamiliar to them, you may define that word briefly. Please be sure that any
    definition you give is not only brief and simple, but is also without reference to the
    analogy in which the unfamiliar word appears. It is
    NOT permissible to define a word
    that appeared on an earlier Word List (applies to Meets #2 and #3), nor one that is a derivative of any Word List vocabulary.

After the Meet

  1. Please take the time to report your scores to us online, whether you think your team has done outstandingly or not. Score feedback is very important to us in developing Challenge tests that are appropriate to each grade level and division.
  2. When national results and scores summaries are posted on our website, you will be able to show your students how they are doing (both as a team and as individuals) in comparison with other students in the same grade and division throughout the country. Experience has shown that, for many students, the goal of increasing your team or individual ranking can serve as a powerful motivation, especially during the later meets.
  3. PLEASE do not simply hand back corrected tests to students without discussion. Once students have been given the correct answers, engage them in a discussion of what makes each analogy work (e.g., “In what way is an aquarium being compared to a garden here?”). Encourage your students to articulate the general principle at work in each analogy (e.g., “The first word here names an action; the second word names the object receiving the action.”).
  4. Allow your students to “challenge” answers to analogies if doing so encourages them to think analytically. We will do our best to respond to students who present us with a letter or email thoughtfully questioning the logic of an analogy. (The authority on which we rely in matters of dispute is Webster’s New World College Dictionary.)

Don't forget to check out all the resources available to you through our website (Idea Gallery, Teacher Tools, FAQs, blog posts, WordMasters Basics, etc).

Good luck! 



Wonderful Words: And the answer is... Lilliputian

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If you are reading this blog, you clearly have some interest in words, their origins and their usages.  In that case, you should be following WordMasters on Twitter, as we tweet an Analogy of the Day (AOTD) from the WordMasters Challenge archives.  On Monday, we tweet an analogy that originally appeared on a fourth grade Challenge test.  The vocabulary gets progressively more difficult as we finish out the week by tweeting an analogy from an eighth grade Challenge test every Friday.  We also tweet the correct answer the following day.  To sign up for AOTD, follow us (@wordmasterslisa).  If you don’t Twitter, you can catch the AOTD and corresponding answers by visiting us on Facebook (click here).


Yesterday’s AOTD was:

gauche : tactful :: titanic : Lilliputian

I think this is a great example of why students need to understand literary references and how they make their way into our vocabulary.  In case you’re mystified by “Lilliputian”, it is a reference to Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726). Gulliver is washed ashore after a shipwreck and finds himself a prisoner of a race of tiny people, less than 6 inches tall, who are inhabitants of the island country of Lilliput. “Lilliputian” can be used as a noun to name a native of Lilliput, or more commonly, as an adjective meaning trivial or extremely small. 

Even if your students haven’t read Gulliver’s Travels, it is important that they recognize and understand the literary reference of “Lilliputian.”  When asked why they looked this word up on Merriam-Webster’s website (, respondents answered “Crossword puzzle” and “GRE vocab word.”  (By the way, Gulliver’s Travels is available as a free download through and other websites!)



WordMasters Basics: How does the WordMasters Challenge™ work?

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At each grade level, the competition consists of three 20-minute analogy-solving meets, which are held at your school three times during the academic year (December, February and April).

Prior to each meet, students are given a list of 25 challenging vocabulary words, which are customized for each competition level that will appear in the meet analogies. Excellence in the competition will require both a mastery of the word meanings and thoughtful reasoning about the relationships between the word list vocabulary and more familiar language used in the competition’s analogies.

Try one for yourself from our sixth grade blue division:

GARB : REPAST :: ___________ : ___________



(c) EAT : WEAR

(d) THIN : FAT

(e) SEW : COOK


We hope you learned a new word, or maybe a new usage for a word you already knew, as you thought your way through the choices. If you're curious, option e was the correct answer.



Wonderful Words: Sardonic

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After last week’s blog about POLTROONERY, I started thinking about how much fun it is to learn about the origin of words, and how that knowledge can really help you remember the meaning and usage of a word.  I was perusing a book I purchased last year called Grammar Girl’s 101 Words to Sound Smart by Mignon Fogarty, and came across this entry for SARDONIC (a WordMasters word in 1991 and 2009):

Greeks coined the word sardonic from the name of the island Sardinia (now part of Italy), where a plant was said to grow that, if eaten, would force face muscles into a grimacing smile—not a smile of happiness, but a smile of pain—a sardonic smile.  Scientists in Italy recently reported that they believe a Sardinian plant called water celery is the lethal herb the Greeks had in mind.

Sardonic means cutting, cynical, and disdainful and is often used to describe a kind of humor.

Now try to solve this WordMasters Challenge from our analogy archives:

COMMENT : SARDONIC :: __________________________




Wonderful Words: Poltroon

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One of the best parts of running the WordMasters Challenge is that I am constantly learning new words myself.  Several months ago, the Analogy of the Day (follow us on Twitter now to start receiving the AOTD!) read as follows:

FANATIC : ZEALOT :: QUISLING : ___________


Hmmm….Fanatic…check.  Zealot…check.  Quisling…quisling?  Poltroon??  So I did what any true WordMaster would do and I looked up the definitions.  A quisling is a traitor who collaborates with an enemy force occupying their country.  The word was coined during the Nazi occupation of Norway in World War II when Major Vidkun Quisling, serving as Minister-President, backed Germany’s Final Solution.  After the war, Quisling was found guilty of murder and high treason, and was executed by firing squad in 1945.  The word quisling became synonymous with traitor. Okay, so now you’ll never forget what a quisling  is, right?

But I wasn’t done researching.  I also learned that a poltroon is an utter coward.  The term dates back to the 16th century, and is likely derived from Old French poultron or Old Italian poltrone meaning lazy or good-for-nothing.  Okay, not quite as memorable as the quisling story, I admit.  However, one dictionary website suggested linking poltroon with poultry, and remembering that a coward is just a big chicken.

So this summer, I have been reading Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants, which is chock full of historical references to European politics during World War I.  I came across the following passage, which contains actual excerpts from a speech delivered by David Lloyd George to the British House of Commons in 1916 upon becoming Prime Minister:

“Any man or set of men who wantonly, or without sufficient cause, prolonged a terrible conflict like this would have on his soul a crime that oceans could not cleanse.”

         That was a biblical touch, Ethel thought, a Baptist-chapel reference to sins being washed away.

But then, like a preacher, he made the contrary statement. “Any man or set of men who, out of a sense of weariness or despair, abandoned the struggle without the high purpose for which we had entered into it being nearly fulfilled, would have been guilty of the costliest act of poltroonery ever perpetrated by any statesman.”

Poltroonery!  I experienced the thrill our students enjoy when they encounter a WordMasters word in literature or the media.  Now I’m just waiting for the perfect opportunity to work quisling or poltroon into conversation….

Have you come across any WordMasters words in your summer reading?



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

– 6th grade teacher from Florida

Challenge Schedule

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