For the past two years I have used a traditional grading system and wondered why grades did not motivate many students. Once I was exposed to standards-based grading (SBG), the answer seemed so obvious. There is no incentive to master skills in a traditional grading system when there is no opportunity for redemption and teachers' grade books only make sense to the individual teachers. To motivate students by showing them what they are great at and where they can improve with constant opportunities to demonstrate mastery, I hope to reinvest students in their education. I will also incorporate Dan Meyer's Three-Act Math Tasks to show students how beautiful math can be in order to challenge their assumptions that math is simply rote memorization and you are good at it or you aren't. Check out Dan's Blog, Dy/dan to the right and the link to his math tasks for some great lesson ideas.
Back to SBG, this is a big shout out to Sam Shah (Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere) for his virtual filing cabinet. This cabinet contains countless resources for engaging math instruction in addition to general classroom resources. Specifically, his link to the SBG Beginners wiki has been helpful as I think about the implementation of SBG into my own classroom.