Using these vocabulary notebook templates to practice recording vocabulary words every day has been a staple in my first grader’s daily routines! As most of us can agree, daily vocabulary instruction is vital to developing reading comprehension and important for overall academic success.
Vocabulary should be:
- Taught daily through direct instruction.
- Reinforced in various forms daily with vocabulary from the week.
- Used in their writing or oral language, to demonstrate a solid understanding of the meaning of the words taught.
I created a Vocabulary Notebook template that does all of the above and more. Have students record science, social studies, or reading vocabulary words in this versatile vocabulary notebook or journal. It’s the perfect MUST-DO activity I have my students do each day.
This vocabulary notebook template has a choice between 2 covers and 12 page designs that vary in difficulty for different grade levels. Try a simpler form for the beginning of the year and change them up later in the year. Here is an example of a simple notebook page to start with:
NEWLY Added to Notebook Template:
We just added these ABC pages to record all terms, check them out below:
include at the end of the Vocabulary Notebook template. I like to make several copies at the end of the notebook and students fill in words as they are learned.
How do I use it with my students?
Get their buy-in first by explaining the WHY part of vocabulary building.
Explain to them that good vocabulary skills support language fluency in all four language skills:
In other words, all 4 language skills grow as vocabulary grows. And when language fluency grows, there are more AH HA! moments in all subject areas! And we all love those AH HA! moments! Students will find that a vocabulary word they learn in science is heard the following week in a news program on TV. That’s when the lightbulbs turn on!
Make vocabulary practice a daily MUST-DO.
If something is that important, then it should be practiced throughout the day in all subject areas. Most units taught in literacy, math, social studies, and science begin with new vocabulary terms. Why? Because the new concepts they will learn rely on a good understanding of the vocabulary they will encounter.
That’s why we teach and post vocabulary words.
But teaching and posting alone isn’t enough. Students need to apply these new vocabulary terms in their reading, writing, listening, and speaking throughout the day.
One way to do that is to provide a place to record new words they learn and use them daily and that’s why I created this vocabulary notebook template!
Model and scaffold.
Spend some time discussing where to store their notebooks and how to use it.
I found that vocabulary notebooks last the whole year if stored safely in one place: their reading group bins. See them at the bottom of the bin? Encourage them to leave them open to the last page they used so they just pick up where they left off.
And it’s a MUST-DO, so show them on their MDMD list WHEN to complete their vocabulary for the day and then HOW.
Then model how you want them to fill it out. Scaffold: Over the next couple weeks, complete vocabulary together whole group.
Model how you want students to fill out their notebooks. Then gradually allow them to work independently.
Then gradually give them more independence by just discussing possible definitions and sentences they could use. Some students may need partner support for a while. Eventually, students will be able to complete the definitions and sentences independently.
Give them brownie points when they apply their new vocabulary words and make new connections!
Remember when we talked about the AH HA! moments when students hear and/or use new vocabulary words in other parts of their lives? They solidify their learning through application.
Reward them with Brownie Points!
Now that I got your attention, let me explain…
Your students will make lots of connections with the vocabulary words they learn, and that’s exactly what we want them to do! When they hear, read, or use their new vocabulary, we want to reward them!
Give them “Brownie Points” and keep track on the board when they can show and explain to you where they heard, read, or used newly learned vocabulary used in different places.
For example: Yesterday you introduced the vocabulary word COMBINE. Then Ariel comes back to school the next day and shows you a recipe she and her mother used to make dinner last night. The recipe called for her to COMBINE the dry ingredients first.
Yayyy! Ariel made a connection with vocabulary and earned the class Brownie Points!
Keep track of brownie points with tally marks on the board and when they get to a certain number of points, make and share brownies to celebrate!
Grab your Vocabulary Notebook Templates Below: