Therefore it makes little sense to use it attributively to modify the words it automatically covers.'Vocabulary' covers words.
As Elroy says, we're talking about quizzes and tests. A spelling test was different than a vocabulary test. For a spelling test, the teacher would stand at the front of the room and say a list of words one by one. You didn't have to know what they meant, you just had to be able to spell them. I remember that very specifically from 6th grade because we would trade papers and grade each other's quizzes. The teacher would go through the list and say the correct answers one by one and she knew which word (usually just one) I might have trouble with. When she said the correct spelling she would look at me and could usually tell by my face whether I got it right or wrong. It was kind of a little game.I'd have got nowhere telling the French teacher I'd learnt the meaning of the words but not the spelling
The teacher seems to be making a list of the new vocabulary associated with the lesson. This may be for making practise sentences, or for copying down in a vocab(ulary) notebook, to be learned by heart after the lesson.One teacher was teaching vocabulary words to pupils. She just wrote the word vocabulary on the board with the list of words related to the topic, but it sounds incomplete. I would normally see the expression vocabulary words. Are both acceptable?