Give your students a voice.
Try starting your class off with a texting poll from polleverywhere.com. This is a free site that allows users to create questions that students can answer using a cell phone or any device connected to the internet. The site is easy to use and doesn't take much to get going. Here is a poll I spent two minutes creating (it took me longer to figure out how to embed it in this page). You can vote by texting the code of your choice (see the chart below) to the number 37607.
The thing I love most about polleverywhere.com is the instant feedback the class receives from the chart that is generated. Students get the satisfaction of seeing their answers go up on the screen in real time. This easy tool can be a great discussion starter and a way to give your "quiet" students a voice. Watch the video tutorial below for more information, then give this a try and see what you can learn.