Third and fourth grade students at Walnut Grove Elementary recently won highest honors in this year’s WordMasters Challenge. WordMasters is a national language arts analogy competition entered by approximately 220,000 students annually.
Competing in the difficult Blue Division of the Challenge, third grader Rory James and fourth graders Sarah Kate Breeding and Hannah Taylor (all pictured left) earned perfect scores in the year’s first meet, held in December. In the entire country, only 23 third graders and 62 fourth graders achieved at this level. Other students at the school who also achieved outstanding results in the meet included third graders Matthew Murday, Emily Backoo, Regi Capati, Will Grubbs, Eirn McNabnay, and Isabella Zhou; and fourth graders Austin Baltes, Michelle D’Amico, Taylor Needleman, Hernan Tijerina, and William Tichenor.
To prepare for this meet, the students read regularly, bringing in the WordMaster examples from the books they are reading or other examples. This year, Ella Weaver brought in a Santa who was singing “dancing and prancing in the Jingle Bell Square!” We also had an example of the word nook with a picture of a Nook and several words from advertising examples. Working through the WordMasters Challenge allows students to think critically and metaphorically. The average student learns 3,000 words a year and it is proven that direct vocabulary instruction increases reading comprehension. The students are learning multiple meanings of words and applying their vocabulary in their writing. Congratulations to all third and fourth grade Quest students at Walnut Grove!