Teach grammar and reading like when I was in school. Diagram sentences. Vocabulary. Projects from grad exam books. USE NOTE CARDS... mandatory for each student to write word / concept on cards each week and save. Pull tests from those cards. Focus: --> Grad Exam passage. Stories are all based on reading and grammatical skills. Make questions for each story based on grad exam questions only... not from end of chapter.
Also, sign in (proof sheet) that materials for grad exam were covered. Signed paper each day with topic in reading, grammar, soc sci, bio, etc., listed at top. Put in lessons plans what materials covered. Back off on books... focus on content and quality... not quantity. Just get a story or two from each genre and beat it to death!!!
Have class supply list: index cards, markers, tape, kleenex, pens
document in lesson plans: remediation, what done specifically, give to stokes