I took a look at your website and your ideas are great. Thanks for them. Your second principle says "Clear Goals and Instructions." I'd like to add something to that.
I've had the same problem as you, Rosa. Students didn't do their homework, they came to class late or were absent too frequently.
Here are some ideas about how to get your students more focused:
1. Make students responsible for their own learning. At the beginning of the class focus on goal-setting. Sometimes when the students think about and identify their own goals, they are more likely to take them seriously. How do you set a goal? What is attainable and what is not? What can you expect to achieve? What are the steps to reaching your goal? What are possible obstacles?
Every week, as the students to revisit their goals. Are they taking steps to reach them? What are they doing THEMSELVES?
2. Try to cater to your students' different learning styles. Afterall, students learn and are motivated in different ways. Try to incorporate multiple intelligences into your teaching.
Have students complete a "learning style" quiz to determine what style of learning is best for them. If the class is big enough, you can have the students try and find the person who has a similar style to him/her. They may discuss what they like, what they don't like in their learning.
These are just a couple of ideas. I hope they've helpd!