One of the ways we are trying to vertically align between the 8th grade and the high school is to reduce the amount of teacher-generated study guides and test retakes during the 4th quarter of the 8th grade year. Fading away some of the support seems appropriate
I replace the support with training on how students should do this for themselves. We're at the place where those learning targets, which have already organized lots of class .....are becoming even more important.
First, helping students go back through all their work and identify where they've learned each target is critical. Sounds like something we've advocated before and it's what expert teachers have done. What I continue to learn and re-learn is that processing information is valuable....and processing it when they are prepping for a test is really helpful to students.
I crack up when we talk about a concept...and I get those blank stares that say, "I don't remember that...when we do that?" I make them search the textbook, their notes and worksheet until they find the Big "ah-ha's " of that learning target. It's like a big light bulb goes off and then remember what we did and what they learned.
What I've added in that seems to be the second big tip is to build a concept map of each learning target. We use each class' collective learning to add everything we've learned about that idea. Where possible they connect ideas together...expand to include examples. I think the visual nature of building this map really helps different kinds of learners.
Making these learning maps involve looking at the targets and prepping note cards for each topic. That's not easy for them...and it really takes all their skills to stick with the task and work on it.
Most importantly....these techniques will build the student's ability to help themselves. It would be easy for me to give them a study guide. But it isn't in their best interest and I believe this is a better path to travel.