I'm also linking up with Teaching Trio for their Technology Thursday again:)
I remember being in the classroom and being so overwhelmed by everything that HAD to be done (hello, special education paperwork!), and struggled to do those little things that made a difference. When I was in college, our education teachers always stressed how important it was to make sure you have their attention. Nobody is going to remember anything if you don't have their attention. However, do you know how hard it is to get the attention of a tween/teenager? Especially a tween with autism or a learning disability? Very hard!
So, how can you get the attention of your students with an otherwise boring math lesson? Grab them with a hook! Personally, the easiest and fastest way to hook my students was with BrainPop. My school had a subscription, and my students loved Tim and Moby and how they solved common math problems in a 3-5 minute video. I especially loved how they touched on important vocabulary words and included a quick quiz at the end (although I didn't always have time to do the quiz...). They include a wide variety of topics, and there was almost always a video related to the topic I was searching for.
Another option would be to use Voki. I've talked about Voki before. It allows you to create avatars and either record your own voice, or type what you would like your Voki to say. The videos have to be short (around 400 typed characters or 30 seconds of recording time), and can be a great way to open class. Below is a Voki I quickly created for combining like terms.
I particularly like Voki because of the short amount of time it requires. Also, once you create your Voki, it keeps it saved for you in your profile (so you can use them over and over again). What's even better is that you can embed Voki into your SmartNotebook files if you use the Smartboard. That way, they are there the next time you use that lesson.
Hopefully you have some new ideas spinning in your head, or are at least inspired to use an attention grabber in your next lesson!