Sparta students master word challenge

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:12

    SPARTA - A team of students representing Sparta Middle School recently won highest honors in the second meet of this year's WordMasters Challenge - a national language arts competition, entered by over 240,000 students annually which consists of three separate meets held at intervals during the school year. Competing in the very difficult Gold Division of the Challenge, and coached by teachers Amy Delcoro and Michele Lloyd, the school's seventh-graders placed first in the nation among 165 school teams competing at this grade level and in this division. Six of the school's students won highest honors for individual achievement as well: Brynna Bolger, Tierney Greene, Caitlin Jascewsky, Max Matiash, Anthony Onwuasoanya, and Courtney Penna all earned perfect scores in the meet, where nationwide only 55 seventh-graders did so. Students at the school who achieved outstanding results in the meet included Zach Breakstone, Jamie Dalcourt, Bill Donahue, Melissa Gabilanes, Amanda Garger, Megan Lang, Arthur Murch, Greg Ramirez, Russell Rowen, Dan Lovero, Sean Zensen, Kandace Pollison and Paul Vidal. The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking which first encourages students to become thoroughly 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. The reasoning ability developed by students participating in the Challenge is like the aptitude measured for high school juniors and seniors by the verbal SAT I exam. The WordMasters word lists and analogies, however, have been specifically designed to challenge younger students in grades three through eight. They are particularly well suited for able and interested children, who rise to the challenge of mastering new words and enjoy the logical puzzles posed by analogies.