×

# 'Rockstar' Third Graders Work Together to Crack Wordle Puzzle in Viral Clip

A third-grade teacher posted a now-viral video that showed his students cracking the day's puzzle for the wildly popular word-based game Wordle.

The video, viewed nearly 4 million times on Fletcher Nelson's TikTok account @fletcher.nelson, showed one student offering a guess. The class erupted into cheers when they learned his guess was correct. These students are just a handful of hundreds of thousands of other players who try to solve the daily puzzle.

The game that started with about 90 players in November, per The New York Times, rapidly grew.

"It's embarrassing when they get it in less guesses than me," Nelson's caption read.

A student approached Nelson's desk to volunteer a possible solution—"frame." Nelson checked with the rest of the class to ensure they were all in agreement with the guess. After they confirmed the word and Nelson typed it in, they learned it was the correct answer.

The students were elated and some pumped their fists in the air in excitement.

"We try to play every day," Nelson told Newsweek in an email. "Usually we'll play before we head to specials or right before lunch when we have a few free minutes. I'd say we play about three to four times a week."

He said he solves the Wordle puzzle of the day before presenting it to his students. Nelson answers the puzzle first thing in the morning and he and his friends share their scores in their group chat.

"I know the word while they're solving, but I don't give them clues," he explained. "I tell them how many attempts it took me. If they beat me, they all get a Jolly Rancher, so they're very invested."

When they first started playing, Nelson asked if their guess would work based on the letters remaining, but they've gotten the hang of the puzzle since then.

So far, with the exception of one day out of the 12 that they have played, the class managed to solve all the puzzles.

Some commenters wrote that they watched the video before they were able to solve the day's puzzle, which Nelson said he "felt bad" about. He said that he assumed everyone already solved the puzzle by the time he posted the video.

"Overall though, I'm glad people enjoyed seeing how excited my students were to solve the Wordle that day," he said.

His students learned that the video was viral, and most were shocked and excited to hear just how many people watched it.

Wordle, which was recently acquired by The New York Times Company, was created by Josh Wardle, a software engineer based in Brooklyn, according to The New York Times.

Wardle first created the game because his partner enjoys playing word games. Though it was made for the two of them to play, people all over the world discovered it and started playing as well.

"That's impressive," @hannah_gwen_824 commented on Nelson's video. "Your 3rd graders are rockstars!"

Some viewers requested for Nelson to film his students as they play Wordle each day.

"Having learned to read and still learning to spell, they're more in touch with the phonology," wrote @dawn. "What a great way to keep them engaged with that."

"This is honestly such a good learning tool," @Arielleurvater commented.

While Wordle is known for being a fun puzzle, Nelson said solving it is a way for students to think about words and work as problem solvers.

"They have come up with strategies to help solve the puzzle," he said. "I love seeing how they work together to accomplish a task and how excited they are when they succeed."

## Editor's pick

• Newsweek magazine delivered to your door