I received training several years ago on a way to teach so students retain the material better. One thing they said was that you needed to preview the information with the students so they start to build a foundation.
To me, that meant I would introduce it the day before I taught it but honestly, it really didn't word. This week, I've got students finishing off a project while preparing for a test, so I'm spending about 5 min. talking about the next unit.
I'm spending the week, just giving a little bit of information. Its almost like a movie trailer that wets your appetite, but doesn't tell everything. Yeah, the preview in math is that small glimpse into the future so students start building connections and memory.
I remember the instructors stating that for a student to learn, they need to be exposed to it multiple times over a 21 day period. This means it starts with a teaser to start their brains into learning it, then increase the amount they get during the actual instruction time, and to include a bit of a review of the material. The review can be just a bit, like a short review you gave your friend of the latest movie or that quick chat you have with a friend to compare views.
You briefly mention the topic and how it relates to the current topic so the students need to pull up the information to help the brain move the information from short term to long term memory. Sometimes I feel like I'm kind of slow at learning to apply things I've learned but often that is because it takes me a while to figure out how to integrate the learning into my style of teaching.
It also helps if I can see the material applied in a real situation with someone explaining what part is this or that. Ohhh well, better late than never.