How do I motivate my students to take ownership of their math? It's all about the foundation of mutual respect. By treating my students with respect, I earn theirs.
I don't want my students to work hard because I said so, or because their parents will be angry if they don't. It's important that my students to work hard because they respect themselves, and me, enough to give it their best.
They take ownership because I'm constantly connecting the math to every day life; they come to see the value of a math education, and how it can better their lives. This connection is critical to them viewing their education as authentic. Without authenticity, there is no ownership.