One of the growth goals I set for myself last year was to increase my students' vocabulary. I had always done vocabulary activities like KIM charts, Vocabulary Connection Charts and Vocabulary Task Cards, but upon further reflection, I realized that I was only really installing then using vocabulary terms with my students, and not overtly practicing it. I felt I could do better.
One day while driving to school, a great idea hit me! I had stumbled on a quick and easy way for my students to review all their vocabulary terms every day, and it would only take about two minutes of class time!
I call it A-B Partner (or Shoulder Partner or Letter Partner) Vocab Review, and we do it at the beginning of nearly every class. I project one of our unit's vocab words, and person A defines it to person B. If person B thinks they are correct, they give person A a quick thumbs up. After 10 seconds, person B gets to define the next word and so on. All told, 12 words takes 120 seconds (2 minutes)! Sometimes I vary it by projecting the definitions rather than the words and the students must recall the words as sometimes assessments ask vocab questions either way.
I love this strategy. It's quick, easy, and effective. My students get engaged in the vocabulary, can see their progress day-to-day, and have averaged well over 90% on vocab quizzes since I started it!