I don’t know about you, but my students were less than motivated to learn vocabulary. When Pat Palveka came to our school and discussed this method she had used for her students, I knew this would provide my students with the extra motivation they needed! What I did was I took a picture of each of my students on the first day of school. They think it’s silly flexing their arms, but they HAVE to do it! :)
As the year progresses, we come to key terminology and vocab that the students must learn and know. We typically focus on 5-10 words per week, usually coming from novels that we read. I teach the vocab the same way I normally do- we discuss the word, draw pictures, create sentences, discuss antonyms/synonyms, etc.
The only thing different that I am doing is keeping track of their ability to use the word correctly in context. I put up a list of words that are “available” and students can tell me their sentence during the appropriate times (i.e. study hall, morning work, brain breaks). If they use the word correctly and it shows they actually understand the word, I check it off on my recording sheet and then put that word above their arm. I give an extra incentive (a trophy) if they get 100% on a vocab quiz. My students LOVE it. They are so motivated to learn their words once they can visually see the progress they are making!