"I sell a product to people that don't want it but are forced to have it by law." These are some of the opening remarks of Dan Meyer, a maths teacher from New York. In an 11 minute TEDx talk he goes into his method for making math problems more meaningful and realistic for students. He makes the case that text books and their approach to problem solving are "buying you out of your obligation" to be a successful maths teacher.
This short video is worth the look - and if you are a math teacher and you have access to some technology in your classroom, then try and take up the challenge. It might be worth it - especially for those who struggle a little.
You can get an idea of some of the stuff Dan has tried from his blog - the general address is here.
For some specific approaches to curriculum try this link.