Stupendous, magnificent, pleasing: Etiwanda High wins Vocabulary Bowl

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Etiwanda High School’s scholars vanquished all adversaries in a year-long tournament of erudition.

Which is to say, they beat out nearly a million students from more than 38 thousand schools in’s third Vocabulary Bowl.

The school’s approximately 3,500 students began using the site this school year.

Here’s how it works.

“They get points when they master words or complete tasks,” English teacher Stacey Roozeboom said.

While some students master new vocabulary words just for fun, others are doing so because they’ve been assigned the vocabulary words in class.

“We’ll assign lists, based on what they’re reading,” English teacher April Smith said. “So we’re reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ and I’ll make up a list of words they’d see in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ But sometimes, we just unleash them.”

The element of competition between the students who participated this year helps.

“It’s fun,” Smith said. “One of my students, Sam, he said he just liked watching his name move up on the leader board and learning more words. So it’s got an intrinsic fun aspect. And it’s not just useful in English, but also math, science and history classes. In school, we have lots of advanced vocabulary.”

Etiwanda High wasn’t a lock to beat the 38,827 other schools that participated over the course of the school year, Roozeboom said. At least, not initially.

“Every month, they have a monthly…

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