I think vocabulary is one of the easiest reading tools we can give to a student. Exposing them to new words authentically through literature or explicitly teaching them as a "word of the day"--it's vital to their comprehension skills. Plus, they tend to just soak up all the new words we are willing to give them.
I broke my Amazon probation (again!) to order this book after reading about it:
I was intrigued by the title because I am a Word Nerd-that's me! I still write down words I don't know the meaning of when I read, to look up later. I've never played Candy Crush-my games of choice are more like Bookworm. Much of the book's advice is common sense or things I have read about before, however there was one chapter that inspired me with ideas I wanted to try in my classroom.
The chapter talks about celebrating words. I love this concept. I don't think we celebrate enough in our classrooms. So I took the chapter book I am reading to them right now and made a list of words I thought would be unknown to them. I assigned each student a word, explained what it meant and then gave them a nametag where they could decorate it to look like their word's meaning. For example, the word ominous was decorated with darker colors and lightning flashes.
Then we had our Block Party. They all wore their nametags, were given a cup of juice and were told to mingle with the other words. They would introduce themselves as their words and strike up a conversation. Fate and destiny talked about all they had in common. "Scrunched" talked about how uncomfortable she was most of the time. For being the first time that we've done it, I think it went really well. The students came away knowing many words and the whole thing took maybe 15 minutes. And it was fun!!! :) I'm thinking about doing some kind of celebration of words each month.
(by the way if you're wondering, it was our district's Go Texan Day, to celebrate the rodeo coming to town-that's why they are all dressed up like cowboys and cowgirls!)