Engagement entails much more than rote repetition of a procedure. Math worksheets tend to present very similar problem types over and over, leading to mundane practice of disassociated skills. For students who understand the material and successfully complete an assignment, another worksheet becomes meaningless. On the other hand, for the students who don't understand the material, an alternative method of instruction is what's needed. Another worksheet simply adds to the student's frustration, or worse, contributes to a belief that "I'll never understand math." A cute image or a "fill_in_the_blanks" riddle does nothing to increase engagement or learning (and let's face it, those riddles are not funny!). Instead, teachers need to increase engagement by providing students with exercises in which they discover patterns and relationships, solve problems, or think creatively about math relationships.
When I first had my son, I never knew what challenges awaited him in this big world. It started with having to overcome diabetes. This was a long and constant process. It took us about 3 years, but now we have it down to a science. He knows exactly what he needs to do and how to maintain his health. Once we got a system in place it was rather easy for him. Now he is in the third grade and we have hit the second biggest challenge / struggle of his life; math class. This is rather ironic because my husband and I both have Master's degree in engineering and mathematics. We have mastered very highly levels of math with relative ease. My son Cameron on the other hand, struggled to grasp the concept of multiplication. I had to help him find a way to tackle this. I thought to myself, what could I do? Then it hit me, we already developed a strategy that he has mastered to maintain his health. Why not help him develop a strategy to learn math concepts and skills? So I developed this 3 step method that changed everything.