General knowledge: In my accelerated algebra class, I am constantly looking for ways to make sure that students understand the why (conceptual) and not just the how (procedural). I believe that some of my students are just not ready for the level of math that the class involves and therefore the why is beyond them. For those that are ready as soon as they understand the why, the how is easy and they remember it because they know why it is the way to solve the problem.
Writing equations and solving them: Many times my students (especially when the task involves whole numbers or even integers) and solve word problems in their head and do not see the necessity in writing the equation, going through the mathematical steps on paper to solve and then checking their answers so I will give them problems that involve fractions or decimals that would be very difficult to do without writing down and then they realize that they have to go through the steps.
Exponential functions: Students have written, solved and used linear equations for a couple of years by the time they get to my class and are very familiar with them but when I introduce exponential functions they struggle to understand them. Because students are new to exponential functions as well as the fact that exponents in general are not in their core math understanding as are the four basic operations used in linear functions, students struggle to grasp exponential functions. By using real-world examples and activities, students can better relate to and understand exponential functions.