The first few weeks of the semester are crucial to creating a vibrant class community. Sometimes students need extra encouragement to speak up and actively participate. Pedagogy Unbound has some good suggestions.
The element of chance : Use dice , poker chips , or index cards to randomize who gets called on.

Running questions : Students write down questions or problems on index cards. Collect, shuffle, redistribute. Spread this out over the course of a few weeks. Also good for review later in the semester.

Team up : Get more out of groups by assigning roles such as questioner, critic, advocate, explainer. This can apply to lectures as well as discussions.

See more on getting students to talk and other practical strategies at Pedagogy Unbound .

Thursday January 31, 2-3:30PM, 433 Sherrod Library

Wednesday February 20, 1-2:30PM, 433 Sherrod Library

Last Friday of Every Month at Noon
433 Sherrod Library