I have been using an “art password” to teach students art vocabulary since my student teaching days. It’s one of those little fun things we do in class yet makes a huge positive impact on our classroom discussions and literacy.
Here’s how it works: During my art class in 1st-5th grades, I introduce an art vocabulary term related to a concept we are discussing in class. Since I already have many of my vocabulary words on my magnetic word wall, I just pull the word off to the side and indicate it is the password of the day.
Then at the end of class I use repetition and whole brain teaching to help my students remember this word. See how I do this in the video below.
The following week the students are allowed entry into my classroom if they can tell me the password. While this password isn’t exactly a secret, I do have the students whisper it as they enter my room to make it authentic. If a student doesn’t remember the password, I just send them into class to “go find out” from another student and then come back and tell the word to me.
Keeping track of the passwords from class to class is difficult so I use a log sheet to record the password given in the prior class.