Keeping Track of "Word of the Day" With Vocabulary Journals

I have been using "Word of the Day" for several years and love its results in my classroom!

 I was originally inspired by Madeline Noonan in this fantastic video on Teaching Channel:

I have loved having both the definition and the word on the board under our "Word of the Day" sign, available as a freebie HERE.

One of the ways I wanted to strengthen the use of these words throughout the year was to try and have the kids keep a record of each word and have its meaning, a sentence, and more in easy reach. This way, they could use these words in their writing, for vocabulary study, to help deepen their familiarity with content words, and more!

I searched high & low and decided that the Vocabulary Journal by my friend Jen at The Teacher's Cauldron fit all of these needs in a very third-grade friendly way!

Click the pic to find this great resource in Jen's TpT Shop!

I copied these journal pages front-back and put them in the brads in the inside of their Writing Folders. This was they can stay accessible all year long when they are writing :)

Every day at the end of Morning Meeting, I will introduce our Word of the Day along with a gesture to go with the definition. We use it throughout the morning and at the beginning of Writer's Workshop, I will have them start by copying the WOTD into their Vocabulary Journals.

Each A-Z page has room for three words and for each word, students need to:

  • write the word
  • write its definition
  • use it in a sentence
  • illustrate it
  • rate how well they know the word

I always model this with my own journal on the projector, so students can use my example sentence and copy it, or they can get creative and make up their own. There is also a Table of Contents at the beginning to keep the words organized.

I have loved working on these and can't wait for the kids to be able to use this fantastic resource all year long!

Do you use Word of the Day for your transitions? How's it going?

Have a fantastic weekend :)


  1. omgoodness! I love it! I haven't started mine yet, and if we ever stop having 4 day weeks then I could add that into my week! Thank you for showing me!! And I love the word of the day! :)

    1. They have been so much fun and so kid-friendly! Cannot thank you enough for such a cute idea :) Have a great weekend!!

  2. I like this idea, all but the sad face. It links a negative emotion to not knowing. :)

  3. This is a fantastic idea! I will be using it with our Wordly Wise words.

  4. Wow! What a great video that was! I really liked her transition ideas. I'm currently using the Utah First Text Talk Lessons along with Jen Jones' Vocabulary Word Sets. But, taking a content word from science or social studies and incorporating it as the Word of the Day is a fantastic idea. Thanks for a great post!

    1. Thanks so much, Joan! Our WOTD on Friday was "hemisphere" since we are starting our mapping unit and it was so new to them the day before. I *love* seeing them gain confidence with those tricky content words!

  5. This is a great idea. I like how students have the examples close at hand. The reference is bound to be more meaningful because it is student-created. My partner and I have been talking about ways to reorganize some of our resources (including vocabulary). This looks like a great option.

    Thank you, and have a great weekend!

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  6. WOW..I'm just heading back into work full time after having sub for the first two weeks after double knee replacement surgery. This is going to be awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks for the "Word of the Day" sign. I have my students do Word of the Day, too. Each day, I write a new word on the whiteboard. Students are then asked to write down the definition and create a sentence with their new word. On Fridays, we have Fun Friday. I will ask students questions that pertain to their WOTD; questions may vary from true/false to multiple choice. The group with the highest points receives a small prize.

  8. Thanks for embedding the video! I now have a fun new strategy to try this week!

  9. Thanks for the video and showing how you use word of the day in your class - it is giving me loads to think about!

  10. This really made my day. I've been struggling with how I wanted to organize my vocabulary this year. Thanks for recommending this journal. :)

  11. What an amazing video! Thanks for sharing! I'll definitely be taking this back to my classroom TOMORROW :)

  12. What a great post! Thanks for sharing that video. It really makes me think about my transitions and how I might modify them.

    Super Sparkly in Second