I know this is a major over simplification, but in my experience using action and movement in class is pretty effective. In my school almost all of my low level kids are taekwondo players, and so they really connect with bodily/kinesthetic type stuff. So if you have room stuff like that is the way forward.
One time I ran a review quiz game before the midterm, but rather than just giving them points I set up a Jenga tower at the front of the room, and if they got the question right, then they could pick another student in the room to remove a block. It was a small change, but they were really interested as it gave them something to get up and do, and made it competitive on a different level.
Like I said, I know itís MUCH easier said than done, but itís something to think about.