Students at Fort Hunt Elementary School put a substantial effort into studying for the WordMasters Challenge, going without nourishment and not surrendering to their desire to play video games.
They braced themselves for the fact that only determination would get them to their urgent goal of scoring well in the meets. They could not get flustered or put a meager amount of work into this task. They needed to fortify themselves and study a medley of words such as the above italicized words.
These students, representing Fort Hunt Elementary School, recently won highest honors in the WordMasters Challenge — a national language arts competition entered by over 225,000 students annually.
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 relationships. Working to solve the Challenge analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically.
Students participate in three separate meets held at intervals during the school year.
COMPETING IN THE GOLD Division of the Challenge — 293 school teams participate at this level and in this division — the school's fifth graders placed fourth in the nation in the year-end cumulative standings, after tying for third place in the year’s final meet.
Four of the school's students won highest honors for year-long individual achievement as well. Fifth grader Emily Hauptle, who earned perfect scores in all three of the year’s meets, was one of the eight highest-ranked fifth graders in the entire country in the year-end standings. Brooke Kanarek, Erin Slatery, and Nicole Weinberg were among the 20 highest-ranked fifth graders nationwide; each of them made only one mistake.
Other students who also achieved outstanding results in the third meet included: third graders D. J. Litts, Max Filion, Jack Riesenberg, Maria Stebbins, and Monica Thompson; fourth graders Joanna Morgan, Connor Phillips, Sophia Spriggs, and Claudia Lovegrove; fifth graders Todd Ferri, Joey Hemingway, Julie Seeley-Hall, Abby Jacobs, Michael Abney, Nell McKeown, Sean Trenchard, and Owen Jones; and sixth graders Suzy Kirby, Callie Jacobs, and Laura Reynolds.