My students needed a little extra practice with fractions before our test. I could have assigned them book problems to work on silently, but that wasn't what they needed. They needed to work with each other and learn from each other. During this time, I pulled the students who really weren't getting it to the back table for some intervention work.
The novelty of having mini-math problems was extremely motivating for them. I also like to include the "create your own" option. I can see their levels of comfort with the ideas based on the problems they choose to create and then solve.
Since it's May, many of my fifth graders are plagued with the end of the year-itis. Any new strategies that keep them engaged are always welcome!
How do you keep your students motivated in May?