This year, I'm tweaking it a bit and here's how:
Whole Brain Teaching style) when we can.
Another tweak I have made came about from realizing that I was the one getting all of the practice with saying the words, but not the kids (not a good thing!). Therefore, when I say the Word of the Day to start our transition, they have to repeat it back to me as a class and do the gesture that matches the word. For a fun switch, I use the "Class-Yes" concept and however I say the word is how they have to repeat it (whisper, loud, slow, crescendo, etc.). This has been such a simple tweak but it's had a great impact!! They also have to gesture when they repeat and that's really helped some of my strugglers that may not retain the definition otherwise. Plus, it keeps wandering hands busy with gesturing instead of starting the transition early ;)
I have noticed kids are using these words a lot more since these simple changes. Some of my advanced kids started adding Word of the Days to their independent spelling lists and the best part is that all kids hear and act out these words throughout the day- yay!
I hope these adjustments can help you out if you are using Word of the Day in your class!