Sadly, math is at the end of our day and motivation for 3rd graders at the end of the day is not as easy after lunch :-(
Recently, I cam across a novel way to get them going when their motivation was low - I was just about to assign their independent work when I remembered I had the complete "Mission Impossible" track on my IPOD, before it goes into what we hear on the movie there is a little military band music and that was what they heard while I gave them their directions, quickly they sat up tall, and instead of telling them to get started - I ask them if they accept this mission - of course they shout 'YES!' and get right to work - it was beautiful!!!
Today, I tried it again to refocus them as we lined up (they were a bit chatty). Their mission was to get to lunch in a straight and quiet line - they did a great job and even pretended to be spies, ducking under windows along the way. I know it will not work if used too much so I am going to keep that trick up my sleeve for those days when they need that extra little boost to keep going!