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:
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MEET #1
The Challenge Tests and Answer Keys will be available for download from your Dashboard on November 18th.
Schedule your Challenge Meet for any 20-minute period between November 18th – December 6th.
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.
A summary of results will be posted on our website and available for download on December 27th.
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.
NOTES TO TEAM LEADERS
Before the Meet
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 –
- 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.
- 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
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”).
- 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).