Doreen and Rita, I agree!
As quickly as possible I memorize each students name and call them by name each day. I ask them their opinion about the topic matter and how they applied the material from the previous day.
To make the class material relevent and interesting frequently rely on TV, the internet, Smart Phones, the newspapers and the textbook to describe any current event and apply it to the material at hand.
Humor is my best tool. It opens the class up and allows us all to "exhale."
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