As educators, we stress over "how to reach" our students. We spend so much time with decorating our room, writing lesson plans, and worrying about Standards that we forget that kids need one thing first - Belief!
They need to believe that you are a GREAT Teacher. They need to believe that THEY can succeed and they need to know that the class you built around them will SUPPORT them throughout the year.
If you do not accomplish those 3 things, Believing in You, Believing in THEMSELVES and then Believing in their CLASSMATES. You will FAIL. Every single time, without exception.