Here are 3 steps (out of 10) to better student engagement according to math teacher and mentor Tristan De Frondeville. (His article originally posted on Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/project-learning-teaching-strategies.)
Create an Emotionally Safe Classroom
Create a Culture of Explanation Instead of a Culture of the Right Answer
Practice Using the Design Process to Increase the Quality of Work
If I quickly summarize the three, I think of risk-free (or low risk), metacognitive, and zone or flow. I appreciate all three in classes that I have taken, and especially enjoy the design process. It reminds me of one of my favorite classes called Story Analysis run out of UCLA extension's screenwriting certificate program. My teacher, Barney (can't remember his last name), was passionate about exposing us to films that caused viewers to be in "the zone." You know, the movies that take you to a different place or time. You don't even think about the dialogue, acting, music because it is so well crafted. We were challenged to find stories that could take viewers to that place. I loved that class! It motivates me to create inspiring classes of my own.
How about you? What are some examples of favorite in-zone classes that you have taken or been a part of?