WordMasters Blog

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 lisa.kennedy@wordmasterschallenge.com and we'll add it to the Idea Gallery.

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

– 6th grade teacher from Florida

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