Making connections explicit has really helped some of my students. An example of this is in systems. I present this quick flow chart at the beginning, but then revisit it at the competition. "Why?" you might ask. Well, it's because some students are "big picture" people wanting to know a rough guide of where will they be going to next. Other students need the piece by piece small steps and then time to look back reflect and see how its all connected.
This year I have made use of flipcahrts to document learning. I have found these to be really useful in anchoring and summarizing big ideas to make our thinking visible. I leave them around our room as a reminder of what we have done and, in some cases, as a reference sheet if we need to go back.