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Getting to know students is so important. If we learned anything from teaching via zoom in lockdown it is that students benefit from connections with instructors and their peers, and knowing names really helps with that.

Daniel Weltman

A lot of what is good to do depends on the specifics of where you're teaching, what the class is like, and what the students in the section are like, but here are some group activities you can do that area applicable to most sections:

Each group takes a paragraph from the reading and summarizes it, and also comes up with questions or comments. Go around the class and share summaries + questions + comments.

Each group takes the same argument from the reading and tries to formulate it in numbered premises. Each group writes its argument up on the board and the class discusses similarities and differences.

Each group takes a premise (or more than one, if some are simple) from an argument from the reading and discusses its plausibility. One or more groups can instead evaluate validity.

Students formulate questions before class. Collect each group’s questions, then give each group the questions from another group. Each group talks over the questions they receive, picks one, and discusses it. Groups write questions on the board and then the entire class discusses. Groups should feel free to alter questions as they so choose.

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