Make direct instruction in vocabulary a part of your daily or weekly routine. Students write the vocabulary word in the middle. Students write a description of the word, draw a picture to show its meaning, list synonyms, and write a sentence with the vocabulary word. At the bottom, the students circle 4, 3, 2, or 1 to show their level of understanding (see my Level of Understanding chart in my TPT store). As students periodically revisit the terms, they can change their level of understanding. Great for any grade level!