be worthy or deserving
deserved a list all his own, and everyone knew it.
(often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent
One thing’s for sure: Nick Allen had
plenty of ideas, and he knew what to do with them.
a regulator for automatically regulating temperature by starting or stopping the supply of heat
The day after that Nick turned the classroom
thermostat up to about ninety degrees with a little screwdriver he had brought from home.
a sudden jarring impact
Lincoln Elementary needed a good
jolt once in a while, and Nick was just the guy to deliver it.
causing irritation or annoyance
Without taking his eyes off his book, and without moving at all, Nick put his heart and soul into the highest and most
annoying chirp of all: “Peeeeep!”
at once (usually modifies an undesirable occurrence)
Janet, who was sitting four rows away from Nick,
promptly turned white, then bright crimson.
acknowledge faults or shortcomings or failing
Mrs. Avery knew she had made a mistake, and she
apologized to Janet.
proceeding in small stages
Mrs. Avery never figured out who was making that sound, and gradually she trained herself to ignore it.
the act of conducting a controlled test or investigation
To Nick, the whole thing was just one long—and successful—science
the general estimation that the public has for a person
In language arts, Mrs. Granger had a monopoly—and a
engraving or carving in low relief on a stone (as in a brooch or ring)
She had two skirt-and-jacket outfits, her gray uniform and her blue uniform, which she always wore over a white shirt with a little
cameo pin at the neck.
a language user's knowledge of words
All the kids at Lincoln Elementary School knew that at the end of the line—fifth grade—Mrs. Granger would be the one grading their spelling tests and their reading tests, and worst of all, their
vocabulary tests—week after week, month after month.
a feeling of self-respect and personal worth
pride and joy was one of those huge dictionaries with every word in the universe in it, the kind of book it takes two kids to carry.
absolutely necessary; vitally necessary
Good spelling and good grammar and good word skills are
essential for every student.
gain knowledge or skills
Clear thinking requires a command of the English language, and fifth grade is the ideal time for every girl and boy to
acquire an expanded vocabulary.
in an uncontrolled manner
He had heard all about her, and he had seen fifth graders in the library last year, noses stuck in their dictionaries,
frantically trying to finish their vocabulary sheets before English class.
cause to come to know personally
The first day of school was always a get-
rapid handwriting in which letters are set down in full and are cursively connected within words without lifting the writing implement from the paper
After that there was a review paper about
cursive writing, and then there was a sample sheet showing how the heading should look on every assignment.
an unconditional commitment that something will happen or that something is true
Nick was an expert at asking the delaying question—also known as the teacher-stopper, or the
begin with vigor
At three minutes before the bell, in that split second between the end of today’s class work and the announcement of tomorrow’s homework, Nick could
launch a question guaranteed to sidetrack the teacher long enough to delay or even wipe out the homework assignment.
using speech rather than writing
Nicholas, will you do some research on that subject and give a little
oral report to the class?
based primarily on surmise rather than adequate evidence
This was not the way school was
supposed to work.
represent or express something abstract in tangible form
Without question this modern American dictionary is one of the most surprisingly complex and profound documents ever to be created, for it
embodies unparalleled etymological detail, reflecting not only superb lexicographic scholarship, but also the dreams and speech and imaginative talents of millions of people over thousands of years—for every person who has ever spoken or written in English has had a hand in its making.
a component of a mixture or compound
It was sort of like trying to read the
ingredients on a shampoo bottle.
When you’re planning to go to the carnival after school, the clocks in every class
practically run backward, and the school day lasts for about three weeks.
complete attention; intense mental effort
The class made a bunch of noise at this big number—“Ooh,” and “Wow! ” and stuff like that—and Nick lost his
place in a line or arrange so as to be parallel or straight
Nick kept his eyes open wide and nodded,
adjusted his glasses on his nose, and began to read.
capable of arousing and holding the attention
And isn’t it
fascinating that English has more different words than any other language used anywhere in the world?
recognize as being; establish the identity of someone or something
"Sarah, will you read the first sentence,
identify the mistake, and then tell us how you corrected it?”
a function word that combines with a noun or pronoun or noun phrase to form a prepositional phrase that can have an adverbial or adjectival relation to some other word
Mrs. Granger jammed the whole day’s work into the last eight minutes, a blur of verbs and nouns and
prepositions, and yes, there was another homework assignment.