CorTrust Bank recognizes spelling achievements of St. Agnes students

CorTrust Bank recognizes spelling achievements of St. Agnes students CorTrust Bank has purchased five children's dictionaries for the third- and fourth-grade classes at St. Agnes school in recognition of their participation in the Word-A-Day vocabulary program.

Retired teacher Marlene Glaus of Richfield, MN, began the Word-A-Day program for grades K-12 more than 20 years ago. It has been implemented by more than 2,500 teachers in Minnesota, the upper midwest and Canada. In 1997, St. Agnes third-grade teacher Corinne Rath attended a session about Word-A-Day at the South Dakota Reading Convention. She began the innovative vocabulary program with third-graders during the 1998-1999 school year, and has kicked off the 1999-2000 school year with even more organization and confidence in the program.

"Children's zest for learning, administrative support and parental involvement are key elements in an extremely successful vocabulary program," she said.

At the end of each school day, Rath writes a word on the board. For homework, children must discover the meaning of the new word. Children come to school the next day, share their definitions and often share colored pictures, models and surprises relating to the word. They also write class definitions and make pictures of their new vocabulary words on recipe cards to be filed alphabetically.

Rath sees excellent benefits across the curriculum with Word-A-Day.

"In the classroom, students write for various content areas and often incorporate new words into their assignments," she said. "Word-A-Day makes the thinking, speaking, listening, reading and writing connection extremely fun and creative."

As an extension of the Word-A-Day program, St. Agnes fourth-graders are currently participating in W.O.W. (Word-of-the-Week) with their teacher Lisa Hoffman.

"Whether these students are at home reading or watching TV, outside for a walk or at school studying math, science or religion, enriching vocabulary words come to life and become valuable to their learning experience," she said.

"A strong vocabulary background truly enhances a child's reading and writing," added Principal Betsy Gottsleben. "Students with a strong vocabulary and reading ability score very well on the South Dakota Stanford Writing Assessment administered at the fifth-grade level and also on achievement tests administered to our second- and fourth-graders each spring."

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