I get a lot of panicked phone calls around final exam season. While I'm really grateful for the extra income from tutoring, it started me thinking about how students study. So often, we tell students "study for the quiz tomorrow", but we never actually teach them how to do that. Many of them have no clue where to start.
I decided I was going to start showing my 7th graders how to do this. I made this handout for them and explained that we were going to practice how to study today. I told them that these strategies will apply to other classes and will be extra useful for high school. One of my students exclaimed "This is so helpful! All teachers should do this! I never know how to study!" I felt immediately satisfied that this was a necessary lesson.
The first thing I had my students do was create a Quizlet with the E > IE verbs. I told them that we were breaking apart the different families of verbs to get the patterns down first. They made cards for the definitions of the words and just the "ellos" conjugation. I explained that by now they should know all the forms, but by showing one form of the verb, they would see the stem-change and also know whether it was an AR, ER, or IR verb.
I recommended that they use the Quizlet features "learn" or "gravity" to study the terms. "Test" can offer too many options and "Match" is better for vocabulary than grammar. Once they mastered E > IE words, they could make the O > UE list and eventually, study the two lists together. (Tip: If you create a folder in Quizlet and put your different sets in that folder, it gives you the options to combine terms in the folder! This is really helpful for cumulative tests!)
I ended up devoting about 30 minutes of a class period to this, but I feel like explicitly teaching these executive functioning skills is extremely helpful. Even my A+ students found it useful because it helped them be more efficient about their studying. I plan to start teaching this skill with my 6th graders at the beginning of the year next year.