February 1, 2017
Herndon — A fourth grade team from The Nysmith School in Herndon achieved Highest Honors in the recent WordMasters Challenge—a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 150,000 students annually—scoring an impressive 185 points out of a possible 200 to place third in the nation.
Rishabh Kumaran (of Herndon) and Nicholas Toskey (South Riding) each earned a perfect score, making them two of only 22 fourth graders in the country to do so. Nysmith’s Ananya Kakayadi (Reston) also recorded an outstanding score competing in the event’s highly competitive Gold division.
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 high school students, WordMasters Challenge materials have been specifically created for students in Grades 3-8.