Student Engagement: More than just jargon

How many students get excited about writing essays or reports?  How many students can’t wait to crack open those textbooks each day (or log onto digital textbooks because it’s basically the same thing)? How many students look forward to entering your class each day?  I’m hoping that last question is indicative of the first two.  

What is authentic learning?

I recently read somewhere that people can listen with understanding for 90 minutes, listen for retention for 20 minutes, but they need to be actively involved every 8 minutes.  Now if you are an elementary teacher, then your kids are, most likely (hopefully!), actively involved every 8 minutes anyway.  If you are a student-directed secondary