Oh man…this is a vast topic, and I’ll try to do it justice.
I made a massive calendar with students in the classroom before and after school. I’d make elaborate powerpoints and make sure I “covered” everything… I taught AP Government in a semester, and I was trying to make sure my first semester kids were ready even if they weren’t in class.
And one day, I realized I was working way too hard for the outcomes I was getting, so I started from scratch.
I readdressed my goals and outcomes: to make sure students felt ready for the AP test if they had chosen to take it.
Everything I did with that outcome in mind was to make sure I met that goal. And, oftentimes, with over 120 students taking the test, I had to be creative.
- Some students like to review themselves and have me available for questions.
- Some students had to work after school and were not available.
- Some students needed repetition.
- And there was only one me.
I outsourced it.
Now, I had Albert.io, which was wonderful for multiple choice practice, but I realized that not everyone has a school license. There are online content review sessions for students. I know this because I helped create some for the Bill of Rights Institute. We did skills and content. This allows students to review independently and focus on where they need help. If needed, use the Unit Guides, which have links to podcasts and videos, to help out! There is also a list of foundational documents and Supreme Court cases to help you and your students. I know College Board also hosts review sessions! Take advantage of them!
I also did office hours, where I’d stay after school, come in before school, or find time for students who signed up for individual tutoring. Usually, they needed a quick question or explanation the most.
Focus your class time on writing skills! If you need somewhere to start, try the argumentative essay in 5 days or quantitative FRQs.
Work backward from your outcome (test day) and collect information from the students you serve. And at the end of the day, remember, you can only do so much, so don’t wear yourself down. Use the resources available to you!