Does competing in the Vocabulary Bowl make kids immune to the winter doldrums?

The impressive stats on the December leaderboards sure seem to suggest that's the case. Despite the fact that many schools across the map were on winter break for a week, tens of thousands of students kept at it, and the word learning piled up like snowflakes in a blizzard. When the final buzzer sounded on New Year's Eve, kids across North America had mastered a collective total of 4,002,736 words in just 31 days.

December Vocabulary Bowl Highlights

Middle School Action: McAuliffe Makes Its Move

McAuliffe Middle is back on top — at least for now. The Eagles kicked it into high gear just before the winter break, edging out rival and defending champ Margate to retake the lead in the Middle School Division. McAuliffe’s total of 48,478 words mastered was also enough for them to snag their third monthly Champions Banner.

The Top Ten ranks saw the usual tumult. Familiar schools jockeyed for position, and an out-of-nowhere upstart from Florida crashed the leaderboards. To see how things stacked up, check out the December Middle & Elementary School Roundup video below.

December Middle & Elementary School Roundup

High School Action: Walnut Hills Eagles Soar the the Top

McAuliffe Middle was not the only school to displace Vocab Bowl juggernaut Etiwanda High School from its 4-month perch at number one. Walnut Hills High School edged ahead of the defending champs, mastering 42,725 words and landing atop the High School Division leaderboards.

Elsewhere in the division, relative newcomers continued to put the pressure on the top schools, and a new threat from Brooklyn suddenly emerged and cracked the Top Ten. For a full breakdown, watch the December High School Roundup video below.

December High School Roundup

The Vocabulary Bowl season runs through April, and we crown monthly champions year-round, so it's always a good time to start competing! To get involved, check out the details and rules here.

A special thanks goes to Pelham Memorial School, the defending New Hampshire Vocabulary Bowl Champions, for their terrific student-made video clip, which you can see in the highlights video above. The Tigers currently hold a slim margin on their state leaderboard and are working hard to defend their title.

Want us to give your school a shoutout in an upcoming Roundup? Email us at bowl@vocabulary.com. Tell us why your kids deserve some extra recognition or — even better — send us a 15-second video clip of your kids going wild for word learning and we'll try to include it in our next update. And check us out on Facebook and Twitter @VocabularyCom #VocabBowl.