Giaan Sartor, Koen Smith, Audrey Mitchell and Jared Sherlock use Word Mania at WestMAC
Giaan Sartor, Koen Smith, Audrey Mitchell and Jared Sherlock use Word Mania at WestMAC Gary Worrall

Students build literacy

HOW many words can you make from 15 letters in three minutes? That is the challenge students at West Moreton Anglican College are rising to as they compete in the national Word Mania competition.

Tracey Robertson, Year Two classroom teacher at WestMAC, said after weeks of practice, the students are now competing with schools around Australia, and showing good results.

"One of our students, Koen Smith, is currently 50th in Australia," Ms Robertson said.

"But it is also about the school result, so all the children get involved, to try and boost the WestMAC overall score, it encourages teamwork."

Students use the Word Mania activities as part of the normal classroom routine, Ms Robertson said, with a combination of group and individual activities.

"We work in small groups on the smart whiteboard, as well as having it installed on iPads and computers in the classroom."

The competition runs over four weeks, but Mrs Robertson said the flow-on effects are already visible in the classroom.

"It is expanding their vocabulary, we see it in their creative writing, they are learning the words and using them.

"It is also evident in their spelling, they are recalling the words correctly."

Ms Robertson said while all the students enjoyed the visual appeal, the Word Mania competition was especially attractive to boys.

"All the students enjoy the process, but the boys especially like the competitive nature of the game.

"Anything that gets boys engaged in spelling is a good thing."

The Word Mania competition runs through the month of August, with schools competing for $100,000 in prizes, for both participation and skill, while there are also regional and national winners.

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