I keep a tombstone on my classroom wall (made colored paper), and instead of a person's name, what is listed on the stone are what I call Dead Words. These are overused, boring words that I do not let my students use in their writing (with some exceptions). Words like: nice, very, good, a lot, big, pretty, really, and kind of.
This document is a form for students to use to list alternatives to these Dead Words. I have the students find as many alternatives as they can on their own or in pairs. Then, I show them the second page and they write in additional alternatives. They use the form (the one they fill in themselves) all year long during writing, pulling it out as a reference sheet.
I've been using this technique for six years now and it is a staple of my classroom because it is so effective at decreasing use of these weak words - and of course increasing test scores!