I'm in a slightly similar, slightly different situation

I'm currently a 7th grade math teacher, and I've been asked to teach a remedial math class next year. It is in addition to the 100 minute/50 minute class the students are in each day (we're block schedule and they have math every day). It will be an elective, taking the place of their art or PE class for a quarter or 2. Already sounds like I'm going to have some pretty happy kids, huh? I'll have 2 6th grade, 2 7th grade, and 2 8th grade classes for 50 minutes a day.

Anyway, I'm kind of on my own, too, and here's what I've decided to do. #1, I'm ignoring what the regular class is doing. My focus is not on improving their current grade in math class. It's to fill in the gaps they've had for years, which isn't going to coincide with their math class schedule. The result ought to be an improvement in the grade, but that's not my focus. I'm looking toward success in high school math, and I want to give them the tools for that. I see my job as stimulating their math brains with explorations and activities, to help them find concrete understanding of those abstract concepts they struggle with. And they're the kids who've experienced little success in the traditional classroom, so I don't want to give them more of the same. They need to experience success and enjoyment, to change their attitude about math and themselves. We'll do things that will require them to use the skills I want them to have, but direct instruction and drilling the skills won't be the primary focus. I hope to be outside at least twice a week measuring, counting, dropping balls, and so forth.

#2, I want to do consumer applications like banking, saving, budgeting, starting a business, investing in the stock market, etc., where they have to use decimals, percents, and fractions (that's the show stoppers in middle school), but not worksheets. There are some materials through the US Treasury and other websites for this, as well as a number of books.

#3, We'll also focus on problem-solving activities where they have to come up with solutions and be able to communicate them. You can get a bunch of these off NCMT's website.

I'd love to hear others' experiences with this!