It Works for Me: Shared Tips for Teaching

Key Information

It Works for Me: Shared Tips for Teaching, By Hal Blythe & Charlie Sweet

1998 [ISBN: 0-913507-95-4; 168 pages soft cover; 7 1/2-by-9 3/4-inch] $15.95


WFM1Why bother to read yet another book about teaching? What can you possibly gain that will prepare you to meet those daily moments of truth? Perhaps this book’s title suggests the answer. It Works for Me: Shared Tips for Teaching is not a treatise on pedagogical theory, nor is it designed to dictate a set of rules for success in the classroom. Its purpose is not to provide you with a complete program for better teaching. It Works for Me is simply a collection of practical tips drawn from the real-life experiences of some outstanding college teachers across the disciplines. It is meant as an aid for any instructor who feels the need for a little something extra from time to time to raise the classroom experience from merely passable to one from which students will eagerly learn and one they will remember. Use It Works for Me as a ready reference tool, pulling from it tips, techniques, and assignments and tailoring them to fit your unique style and situation. If a technique works, continue to employ it, shaping and expanding it so that it becomes your own. If something doesn’t quite suit your needs, modify it or toss it out. Perhaps some of the suggestions will even whet your appetite, leading to the creation of new, exciting material of you own. Authors Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet note that, “It Works for Me will … supply you with useful techniques to get the most from your classroom experience.”

The Contents

Ice breakers
>The 3×5 Card
>The 3×5 Card +
>The Student Questionnaire
>The Self-Introduction
>The Roster
>The Collage
>Getting Acquainted
Picture Books
How to Use a Textbook (Correctly)
Names and Faces
Reading Survey
The Characteristics of Literature
How to Answer an Essay Question
The Reasoning Process
Common Spelling Problems
Ten Timely Tips
The ARTS System of Success

The Thirty-Second Strategem
Entry Cards
Short Answer Roll Call
Current Events
Wake Them Up

The Quick Review
The Superstar Strategem
Pop Allusions
Cheap Visual Aids
The Parking Lot
The On-Board Summary
The Reading Quiz
The Advantages of Daily Quizzes
The Chapter Outline
Grading Attendance
Building an Essay
The Pillars of Civilization
The Teaching Log

Questioning Technique
My Visits to the Other Side
The Alter Ego
Check With Your Neighbor
“What If” Questions

Improv in the Classroom
Visualizing Concepts
An Experiential Illustration
Illustrating Scenes
Acting Out Scenes
Describing a Martian
Special Person of the Day
Student as Expert
Phone Home
Student Mentors
The Process Theme
A Made-to-Order Vocabulary Exercise
Building Well-Supported Paragraphs
The Essay as a Collection of Paragraphs
The Interview
Using Borrowed Material
Collaborative Group Work
Role Playing in Group Learning
The Personalized Pop Quiz
Public Conferencing
The Circle Critique
Double Discussion Groups
Student Samples
Shared Research
Developing Perspective
Building A Poem

Closing Activity
Review and Preview
Student Summaries
Student Questions
Closing Quiz

Applying Psychology to Life
What’s Your Style?
Submitting for Publication
Reading Report
Academic Limericks
The Cultural Report
Reading Guide
The Mini-Casebook
The Editorial Cartoon
Using the Computer for Research
Talking About Writing
An Emotional Response
The Time Capsule
WIT Sheets
Assignment Choices

Preparing for Examinations
Returning Tests
Response Cards
The Post-Test Questionnaire
A Testing Suggestion
The Official Cheat Sheet
Sample Tests
Instant Course Grades
The Grade Record Sheet
Recognizing Student Answers
Remarks Sheet

The Open Door The End of Term Conferences/Grade Sheets
Credit for Conferencing
Check-up Notes

Glads and Wishes
Class Assessment
The Midterm Evaluation
Advice to A Friend
Write a Letter



“This must-have teachers’ tool has enabled my students to reach new, more innovative levels of learning and discovery. Through the use of these tips, challenging concepts have become creative and collaborative activities which accommodate the variety of learning styles students bring to the classroom. The tips are exceptionally easy to incorporate into classroom lessons and guaranteed to facilitate student success.”
— Kari Lyons, Research Librarian, Eastern Kentucky University

The Authors

Hal Blythe, Ph.D., is a Foundation Professor of English at the Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY. He has authored three non-fiction books dealing with writing and over 100 critical scholarly articles. He has ghost-written over 30 Mike Shayne novellas and over 100 short stories in popular magazines to include Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and Woman’s World. He also has produced seven television scripts for EKU-TV’s Keys to Communication Series, and over 25 articles in Writer’s Digest dealing with pedagogy.

Charlie Sweet, Ph.D., is a Foundation Professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University. He formerly taught at Florida State University.


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