Hi Patsy! I always write objectives/mission statements on the board. Additionally, I always start a new unit with a discussion the focuses on the real life application of that particular topic. Why is it important for you to learn this material? Then examples, examples, examples.
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I like what Tom suggested. I read on a blog (oops, can't remember which one!) about using the format "We are learning X so that Y" for learning objectives. This helps you articulate to yourself what and why you are teaching something, and the students to see the link between the what and why. I also try and do some kind of pre-assessment with google forms before beginning new learning to point out connections with past learning, elicit prior knowledge and get an idea of what they want to know.
No problem Patsy.
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