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April 2014 Newsletter

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WordMasters News!

By now, all our teams should be headed into the homestretch of the 2013-14 WordMasters Challenge. In fact, a few schools have already administered Meet #3 and entered their scores! Keep in mind that although the Challenge Schedule indicates that Meet #3 should take place between April 7 and April 25th, it's okay to postpone the test until the following week as long as scores are submitted by midnight on May 2nd. PLEASE NOTE:  WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCEPT OR ENTER ANY SCORES AFTER MAY 2nd! We have a very tight turnaround to process Meet #3 scores as well as cumulative results by May 16th. Although your school may be in session until July to make up an abundance of snow days (!), we have schools in many parts of the country that complete their academic year mid to late May. We appreciate your cooperation in getting your scores in before the deadline.

Thanks to some eagle-eyed Team Leaders, we have caught and corrected typos on the 7B Challenge Test and the 3G Answer Key. Any files downloaded since April 9th are correct. If you downloaded either of these files prior to April 9th, please note the following:
  • On the 7B test, #13 should read: SUBSERVIENT : IMPERIOUS :: ABJECT : _______________. The original file incorrectly used IMPERVIOUS in the first word pair.
  • On the GOLD ANSWER KEY, the answer to #16 should read (e) a trace. The original file incorrectly stated the answer as (a) a trace.
We apologize for any inconvenience these errors may have caused.

The end-of-year mailing with your medals and certificates is heading to the Post Office today (see below for details). As a reminder, you receive one Champion Medal and ten Achievement Certificates for each team you have enrolled. It's up to you to determine how to award or distribute these items. If you need extra medals (sold separately for $6) or certificates (sold in groups of 5 for $5), please place your order online for immediate shipping. Remember that merchandise orders must be prepaid with credit card or linked to a school purchase order.

WordMasters™ Spring Mailing

Watch your mail for a packet from WordMasters™ that will contain:

  • One Champion Medal for each team you have enrolled (with blue or gold neck ribbon)
  • Ten Achievement Certificates you can fill out and distribute as desired
  • Re-enrollment instructions for the 2014-15 WordMasters Challenge™ (includes order form if you need to request a Purchase Order)

The mailing is scheduled for Friday, April 11th. If you have not received your packet by May 1st, please contact us.

Celebrating Meet #2 Success: WordMasters™ Press Release Template

After each meet, WordMasters™ prepares and sends press releases to the primary school contact for each team placing in the Top Ten within its division, as well as to schools with one or more students earning a perfect score of 20.

To share your team's success with your school or local media, we have created a WordMasters™ Press Release Template, in the Teacher Tools section, which can be downloaded from the website and customized in Microsoft Word for your school. 

Student Spotlight:
Richmond, VA WordMaster Prepared for National Spelling Bee

Tejas Muthusamy, a fifth-grader at Rivers Edge Elementary School, has achieved a perfect score of 20 on each of the first two WordMasters Challenge meets this year. He also is preparing for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May. Good luck, Tejas! We're all cheering you on.

Click here to read the article about Tejas which ran in the Richmond Times-Dispatch in March.

WordMasters™ Team Leader, Deb Gribben, told us about her outstanding student, Tejas. E-mail us with information about your outstanding students as well. We'd love to put them in the spotlight.

"The Key to Innovation: Making Smart Analogies" by Annie Murphy Paul

Recently, Annie Murphy Paul shared a copy of the speech she gave at the 2014 Sandbox Summit in her "Brilliant Blog". In her speech she highlighted how useful analogies can provide new theories to test and also help make sense of unexpected results. All of which leads to new discoveries.

Click here to read her speech and to follow her blog--she's one of our favorites.

2014-15 WordMasters Challenge™ Calendar

Enrollment Deadline: September 30, 2014

Meet #1
Word Lists Available Oct. 13th
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 Test Administered:
April 7th - April 24th

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.



Meet #1 Challenge Tests and Answer Keys available for download!

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The Challenge Tests and Answer Keys for Meet #1 are now available for download through your Dashboard.  If you have not already done so, please schedule your meet for any 20-minute period between now and December 7th.  You can click here or go to Team Leader Instructions for Meet #1 under the "What's Happening" box on our homepage for detailed instructions regarding administration of the Challenge Test.

After you have administered and scored the tests, you can input your students' scores online.  Please follow these instructions:

  1. If you have not already created individual student records, click on "Manage Teams & Students" from your Dashboard.
  2. Click on a team in the "Teams" list in the left-hand column.  At the bottom of the "Team Details" box, you will see a green circle with a "+" sign and "Add Student". Click here and enter the first and last name of the student for whom you wish to submit a score, then click "Save".  Repeat this process for all students for whom you are reporting scores.
  3. You can enter scores for as many students as you would like with our new scoring system.  Please be sure to create a record for any student you want to track for all three meets (i.e., you are no longer limited to reporting only the top ten scores); this will enable the system to calculate cumulative scores for an individual student at the conclusion of the 2013-14 WordMasters Challenge™.
  4. Once your students have been added to your team, return to your Dashboard and click on "Submit Scores". Select your team from the "Teams" column.
  5. Click on a student's name and enter the number of correct responses (0-20) in the box and hit enter.  You can edit scores until the Score Submission Deadline (December 13th).
  6. When you have finished entering scores, you can click on "EMAIL RESULTS" if you would like to send a copy of the team's scores to anyone (or yourself!).
  7. Important Note:  You will NOT be able to enter or edit scores after the Score Submission Deadline of December 13th.  Please schedule your Challenge Meet accordingly.  The system will automatically calculate team scores and standings at midnight on 12/13/13, so we will not be able to accept any late scores.

That's all there is to it!  Results for Challenge Meet #1 will be posted on the website by December 27th.  You can begin preparing for Meet #2 as early as December 9th, when the Meet #2 Word Lists will become available for download through your Dashboard.

We continue to post new templates on our Teacher Tools page and the great ideas you have shared with us in our Idea Gallery.  Keep them coming!

Good luck on your first Challenge Meet!


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

– 6th grade teacher from Florida

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