DEN Community Member of the Week: Michele Benefield

Michele is an 8th grade physical science teacher in Baldwin County, Alabama. She has been using Discovery Education resources for several years. She shared “I love the board builder and lesson ideas. I collaborate with other teachers by sharing lessons with them. This resource has greatly improved the effectiveness of my instruction by helping to give me “hooks” to get students to buy in to the concept that I will be presenting.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.08.42 AMHow do you start your day?
I start my day with either a bell ringer or data set question (from A+ training). My class is set for student exploration and teacher facilitation. Student learning is in the hands of the students. I provide the guard rails and resources.

Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because all of the gifts and talents that I have dictated that I become a teacher. It is my ministry. I can be a role model and mentor to my students by example. I truly care about the young people of today and my students know that I am there for them.

What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.10.13 AM
I really like to create lesson plans and include resources and steps using DE.

What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
A ritual that I plan to begin this year is to have the students help set the class norms at the beginning of the school year. This will set our class expectations and the students are then accountable and have ownership in the process. Another ritual I have is the “Jar.” The Jar is where students can nominate other students in whom they see exemplary work shown. I will pull names from this periodically for special privileges.

How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
I am an AMSTI trainer and have taught STEM camp for several summers.

What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
I would advise them to choose one form of tech and just dive in. It gets easier as you use it. I never thought I would adapt from PC to Apple but I adore Apple now.

What advice do you have for first year teachers?
I would advise that they start with something small and achieve success. Then they should set a goal and take some training that summer and add something new each new school year.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.08.26 AMWhat sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
Besides Discovery Ed, I use Moodle, Emints materials, AMSTI, Gizmos, Buncee, Mobymax, Scantron, Teachers Pay Teachers, Weebly, and whatever else I have heard about.

When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
When I am not working, I am found shuttling my girls around.

What is your favorite kind of donut?
Plain Cake RULES!!

How can others connect with you?
Facebook: Michele Caminiti Benefield


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