In competition that's getting hotter with every passing month, Corkscrew Middle School of Naples, FL demolished the monthly record on the Vocabulary.com school leaderboard in January, earning more than 50 million points in play.
The Fort Myers News-Press reported on their victory, calling the banner "the academic equivalent of a three-pointer at the buzzer or a 50-yard touchdown that wins the big game." (USA Today was on hand for Brooklyn Technical High School's leaderboard win the month before.)
Best of all, Corkscrew teachers are seeing results from this vocabulary play. As Corkscrew language arts chair Sarah Ross told the News-Press, when asked about the effect of the game on her students:
Their writing is getting better, their reading skills are improving. They are...doing their homework more often than students were earlier in the year. I think it's getting them more excited about learning.
Eighth grade language arts teacher Susan Frederick concurred, adding, "They love the challenge of it...On Fridays they want to see what the next week’s words are."
"They'll rush through their schoolwork just to get to Vocabulary.com," said Heather Chansler, a sixth-grade language arts teacher. Additionally, she said, "we have seen an improvement in writing and spelling scores."
Chansler said the program has had the added benefit of pulling students away from video games even though they look at the program as a game.
Ross said the students almost beg to go online and complete word lists and don't look at it as study. "They say 'can I play on Vocabulary.com?,' not work, not study," she laughed.
Their play certainly reflects Corkscrew students' growing enthusiasm. After finishing December with a point total just shy of Brooklyn Tech's 25 million, Corkscrew came back more determined than ever, nearly doubling Tech's total to post an unheard of 50 million points in play.