DEN Community Member of the Week: Mark Case

Mark Case is a High School Science Teacher in Guilford County, North Carolina. He has been using Discovery Education since he started teaching in  2007.  He shared “I heard about the STAR program in 2008 and loved the additional resources STAR status unlocked. I was a user (and abuser) of Discovery Education services for years.  It was not until DENSI in Montana that my epiphany happened.  I indulge fully in Discovery Education resources and expose my students to new readings, video clips, classroom starters and lab ideas from Discovery Education.”

IMG_0275.JPGHow do you start your day?

I wake up LONG before the alarm ever goes off.  Get a cup of coffee, read Kevin and Kell comic strip, then wish all my Facebook friends Happy Birthday!

Why did you become a teacher?

To be honest, I did not plan to become a teacher.  I sort of fell into the classroom as a career change result.  Several friends kept telling me “You would make a great teacher.”  What did I have to lose?  I tried it, had a great time and have not looked back.

What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?

Download images and video.  I imbed them in presentations, use them as discussion starters and formative assessment.  

What is a ritual you have in your classroom?

I tell my students every day WHY they are learning the topic of the day. What relationship does it have to their lives?

My class is cumulative.  What students learn in the first week of class is fair game at any point in the semester.  Tests, quiz, projects, assignments use information from every unit they have learned.  Everything gets harder as the semester progresses.

I started this philosophy because my students were studying for a unit, then forgetting it until the review week.  I was working harder and harder to reteach information students learned 18 weeks back.  By making every aspect of class cumulative, students are keeping information fresh and alive all semester long.

The other thing is to bring current events into the classroom.  When a tractor trailer crashes, we will discuss why the truck did or did not turn over.  Why did the truck stop or not stop quickly.  
How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?

I am the past president of the North Carolina Science Teacher Association, a North Carolina Science Leader’s Fellow from 2011-2013 and a Research Experience For Teachers at North Carolina A&T 2015. I have started a summer blog at about the program.

What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?

Find someone near you that uses digital media.  Find a time to observe them from the planning to the implementation of the digital media.  Then, try it and ask them to come watch and help you!  It is not about critique it is about building.

What advice do you have for first year teachers?

Tell your students whIMG_0178.JPGy they are learning the information.  Once they know why and how it impacts their lives, they will do anything for you

What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?

Of course Discovery Education!  I also check Yahoo and AOL news every day. Did something happen in the world that I can relate to our current or recent science topic.  I’ll also do a twitter, instagram and Facebook search for current events that we discussed.

What other organizations/groups are you a part of?

NCSTA, North Carolina Geocachers, North Carolina Munzee and I sing on a praise team at Lawndale Baptist Church as the bass singer.

What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?

Going out of the presentation in Bozeman, MT in tears.  I was a Windows user in a room filled with MAC.  I was so out of place.  I had no clues how to do any of the things the presenter was mentioning. Several people came out to see what was wrong.  It was a double eye awakening.  The people that came out to see me did not realize the presenter was talking MAC speak and I did not have the resources or knowledge to follow along.  I had the realization, this network was there to help me succeed.

When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?

Someplace outside.  Use your GPS or smart phone and I’ll give you coordinates. Playing with my grandson, Mark III (I LOVE being a Grandpa!)IMG_0299.JPG

What is your favorite kind of donut?

Apple Bear Claw (Dunkin Donut or Donut World)

How can others connect with you?
twitter: sghsscience, WordPress: sghsscience and summerretatt, Facebook: MarkCase14


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