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.
Step 3: Flashcard Ward I have my son in a competition against my husband. I write the problems on flashcards. Whoever answers it first, gets a point. Off course my husband takes his time and makes sure to just stay within a point or two of my son. This is honestly the most effective step for my son. He tries so hard. I started offering prizes for the winner. Nothing big, you have to see how hard an eight year old will work for a cookie. When we complete these steps, he is ready to go! It has been extremely effective for Cameron. He started the school year with a 2 out of 4 as a math skill grade. His last report card just came and he is now on the 4 out of 4 level. I hope it helps you too!