Students today need motivation in order to want to learn and do their best.
In part 1, we discussed how the structure of the class can lead to motivation or mayhem.
In part 2, we discussed incentives, rewards, and things you can do outside of the classroom to motivate students.

2011 update
Rubrics allow for students to see what they are missing and why. We have effort built into every rubric. Although the students are required to do daily work every day, the two biggest daily grades we use the rubric for are weekly assignments and the Problem of the Week (POTW). Both of these are received on Monday and due by Friday. If they don't turn them in, they have until Monday(for 10 pts off). As of Monday, anyone who has not turned in the POTW or Assignment are assigned lunch detentions. They eat with me until I get my work! The ultimate goal is to get them to do the work, so they are exposed. I take an additional 2 pts off for each day late (sometimes modified depending on the student).

4 Step Plan:
In addition to fully showing all work for every problem, we require the students to follow the 4 step plan (Read, Think, Solve, Justify) on assignments, tests, and benchmarks. When the students can write in detail what they did to solve the problem, they reach a higher level of understanding.

new.jpg Daily Agenda:
We have a 90 mintue math class every day. This is the agenda our math dept follows. If you have a shorter class, you will need to modify to meet your time constraint. Maybe only do the quiz or speed test twice a week. I would keep the bell ringer every day.
Bell Ringer (2-4 minutes) - May need longer depending on the length of the questions. Move on after 4 minutes.
Quiz (5 minutes) - time it and move on after 5 minutes.
Speed Test (1 minute) - skill practice
POTW (5 minutes) - work on the POTW that is received on Monday and due by Friday
Reach for the Stars (< 5 minutes) - We use the CPS clicker system. The kids answer their question on the paper, and then they click in their response. If you don't have a clicker system, you could note cards for an easy grade. Have them hold the letter of their answer at their chest.
Homework review - go over any left over work from the previous day
Instruction/Notes - go over any notes or lesson for the day
Activity/Work - Students use the remaining time to work on the activity/work assigned for the day.
I always allow partner work. If students get off task, I take the choice away.

I have music built into my class.
Music is playing when the kids enter my room.
Music is playing while the kids complete the speed test. (Rocky - Gonna Fly Now)
Music is playing during the 5 minutes POTW time.
Music is playing during the student activity/work time. I do not play music during this time every day.
I have a variety of songs. Play anything that is upbeat. The kids appreciate the change of atmosphere. It lightens the mood, and they are ready to work when they enter.
I recently found math songs at
You can purchase a cd or the mp3 dowloads for $.99/song. It is math through rap. I am ready to try the songs this year.

Bell Ringer/Quiz sheets:
Every time the students walk in the classroom, they have a bell ringer (warm up). 2 - 4 minutes is given for the bell ringer. The bell ringers are graded daily, and the students calculate the mean on Friday, so only one grade is put in the gradebook for the week.
5 minutes is given for the daily quiz. The daily quiz follows the 4 step plan. The quizzes are graded daily, and the students calculate the mean on Friday, so only one grade is put in the gradebook for the week.

Speed Test Forms:
The speed tests are created to help the kids with basic skills: multiplication, division, positive and negative integer operations, equivalency conversions, etc. They have 1 minute to solve 30 problems. We put these in sheet protectors, and the students use dry erase markers to solve the problems. They graph their results. The grade is taken on participation and completing the form. This helps to see weak areas for each student. The goal is for the students to get stronger in whatever skill you are practicing. We do not take on grade on how many they got correct. We grade based on participating and trying. If they can maintain or get one more right the next day, then they are being successful. We used the same test for a whole week, so the repetition is great for mastering a skill.

Test Correction Forms:
We do not give extra credit. Students are able to correct their daily grades (< 70) and test grades
(< 90). Test corrections are mandatory on any test grade < 90. Some class time may be given, but overall, they correct the test on their own time. Students are always allowed to come to us for help on corrections. They are able to receive half the credit back on missed problems.

There are many great sites that allow technology to be used in the classroom. This takes the class beyond document cameras and data projectors.
Look around for youtube videos that can enhance your lesson.
Also, try incorporating a blog into your lesson. I will be using my class wiki to have blog discussions for the kids to post to.
Technology is the present and future of our students. Through great uses of technology in the classroom, we can bring the math class to life!
Check these sites out and see if they will work for you.
That quiz