Through all my teaching experiences I hold at the center the importance of making students think like scientists while learning their course materials. Prior to giving a lecture, I ask myself:
How do I motivate students to understand concepts which are often too abstract? Often I start off with where we will conclude at the end of the lecture and the type of real-world problems that can be addressed using the concepts.
How do I connect concepts that are to be taught in the present lecture to other concepts that the students have come across previously in this course or elsewhere? How do I convey to students that these are not independent concepts, but rather closely related and often arising out of the same basic principles?
Where does what we are discussing today fit into the big picture? How can we relate these different concepts and discover the underlying theme?