By morning tea today i realised i had had an engaged class. Why? I think I had set up the activity and my expectations in a way that the students saw as me meaning what i was saying. I was serious about what i wanted them to do. There were some flaws in the activity (too long, even with my scaffolding, more was needed, my expectations re spelling were not made clear) but many of the children in the class were doing exactly what i had wanted them to do.
I had also set up a new reward "The Throne" which may have played a role.
Again, I am seeing that the key to behaviour engagement is in the activity. Those children unable to do the activity/lose interest act out or disrupt.
However, they need to value their work and finish activities and not cop out. I will be working on strategies to ensure children make finishing their work to a good level a priority. This could also help with creating an engaged class.