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posted: 3/24/2014 8:15 AM

Williamsburg students shine at WordMasters Challenge

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  • A group of Williamsburg Elementary School fifth-graders recently participated in the WordMasters Challenge.

      A group of Williamsburg Elementary School fifth-graders recently participated in the WordMasters Challenge.
    Courtesy of Geneva Unit District 304

 
Submitted by Geneva Unit District 304

A team representing Williamsburg Elementary School achieved Highest Honors in the recent WordMasters Challenge -- a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 150,000 students annually.

The fifth-grade team scored a 178 points out of a possible 200 in the first of three meets this year, placing eighth in the nation.

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Competing in the very difficult Gold Division of the WordMasters Challenge, fifth-grader Tom Traudt earned a perfect score of 20 in the meet. Nationwide, only 16 fifth-graders achieved this result. There were also five students who helped their overall team score with personal scores of 18/20. These students were: Sean Chalmers, Evan Horvath, Annabelle Letizia, Stella Stoetzel, and Grace Henry.

Students representing other teams from Williamsburg Elementary School who achieved outstanding individual results include fourth-graders Andrien Peik, Natalia Bork, and Vivian Johnsen, and fifth-grader Audrey Brennan.

The students were coached in preparation for the WordMasters Challenge by Nancy Krasinski, Jessical Manigold, Becca Curl, and Alex Collier.

The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships.

Working to solve the analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically. Although most vocabulary enrichment and analogy-solving programs are designed for use by high school students, WordMasters Challenge materials have been specifically created for younger students in grades three through eight.

They are particularly well-suited for children who are motivated by the challenge of learning new words and enjoy the logical puzzles posed by analogies.

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