Works for Me Wednesday: Weekly Vocabulary Words

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I started the year off strong with a new vocabulary word a week…then, quickly fizzled out. As pitiful as it sounds, taking the time to find a new word each week was a deterrent to actually following through. So, yesterday, I sat down and did what I did with our Bible verses at the beginning of the year: I went ahead and wrote out enough vocabulary words to last us the rest of this school year.

I’m getting my words from Hot Words for the SAT by Barron’s, but any source would work – a website, a different vocabulary word book, the dictionary or even your kids’ other school books, such as history or science.

Then I made a nifty “word holder” for our bulletin board, thus ensuring continued success. There’s nothing like a nifty gadget to make sure you stay on track. Here’s our word card holder:

word of the week

I simply typed “Word of the Week” in Microsoft Word using the word art feature to make the words curved. I printed this out on cardstock and cut the page in half. I trimmed the leftover half to make a frame for 3X5 index cards, rounded the corners with one of my scrapbooking tools and colored it so the word cards would stand out.

Then, I took an X-acto knife and cut slits in four spots on the word card holder so that I could slide in the corners of the 3X5 cards. This will make it easy to change the cards weekly.

I wrote out the vocabulary words, one per card, on the 3X5 cards in large letters with a Sharpie marker and wrote the part of speech and the definition below the word in ink. I’ve got these filed in a 3X5 card file that also contains alphabetical tabbed dividers. The words we haven’t used will go in the front and we’ll file the others alphabetically as we use them for easy reference and review.

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6 Comments

  1. A neat idea would be to have a space for your children to use it in a sentence. I have found when my students can use a word in a sentence, they are more likely to use it in the future. Great idea!

  2. @ K.N. – That’s basically what we do with the vocabulary word. The goal is for everyone to use it in sentences several times during the week. The hope is that, with the word being visible, they will remember to use it in conversation.

  3. Woman, you do the NEATEST things!! I think I’m going to do something similar when I get the flashcards from English from the Roots Up.

  4. I used to do that! I made a "Word of the Week" holder a LOT like yours and put it on the frig and told everyone we had to try to use this word during the week. (Are you my twin separated at birth or something?) The problem was that "Word of the Week" ended up being more like "Word of the Month" or even "Word of the Quarter". I was having the kids help choose the words (from our lit & history reading) and making the word cards, with a different color for each part of speech. They HATED doing vocab cards and thus it would usually be the first thing I'd "cut" each week when cuts needed to be made. I see that perhaps it would have worked better if *I* had made the word cards as you do.

    Anyway, now we do "frig words"- similar, but different in that we just write interesting words we come across on a sheet of paper on the frig– no definitions or sentences– and try to use them. Some of them we make into "word art" –that is, we write them in a way that sort of illustrates the meaning (eg "vast" is written so that it looks, well, vast!). We still aren't highly consistent with it (we go in spurts), but at least the kids aren't moaning and groaning every time I say "vocab".

  5. I like this idea. I don’t think we’re going to homeschool, but we’re definitely supplementing our kid’s education, and it’s always good to build vocabulary!

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