One day a student used a great word during a class discussion. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and how I wished there was a way to reward her for remembering this word that had come up only in passing during a previous unit.
That's when I came up with Vocabulary Stars. When a student uses a great word in class or in their writing, they get a special award that gets hung up in the classroom for all to see.
The attached file includes my tips and suggestions for how to use Vocabulary Stars, the star template, and an additional star with a description of what these are for anyone visiting your classroom.
I thought my 6th graders would like these, but was surprised when an 8th grader raised his hand one day and said, "I'm dehydrated, can I get a drink of water...and a star for using a good word!" Even older students like being rewarded!