Teachers learn more science and math

During summer vacation, some teachers took time away from sipping lemonade to plan for the now-here school year in a special way.

Living at Lake Crescent for one week in late-July, teachers from Greywolf Elementary School participated in an event sponsored by the Olympic Park Institute.

Professors of education from Western Washington University and Peninsula College led teachers in discussing new math and science methods for their classrooms.

"Teachers and learning are two sides of the same coin," Greywolf principal Patty Grenquist said. "The very best thing you can do is have a highly trained teacher in every classroom."

Greywolf Elementary has received a science grant several years in a row through the Olympic Math and Science Partnership allowing teachers to participate in this and other training.

"We've applied for every science grant we've come across," Grenquist said.

She attributes emphasis on science and math to the school advisory council pushing for more on the two subjects.

This was the second year teachers from Sequim participated in the OPI event.

Last year's focus was physics-based whereas this year teachers learned more on geometry and geology.

Administrators from teachers' buildings participated the last two days to plan together a yearlong plan for expanding students' understandings in the sciences.

"It's hard to learn science through a book," Grenquist said.

"It's good to get training."

Grenquist and teachers are planning to assess students sooner and more frequently as guidelines of the grant require this.

"It's taking the next logical step," she said.

Grenquist said Greywolf's overall math and science scores were up last year and science scores are up 50 percent from three years ago.

Teachers who participated continue to meet after school for discussions on science and math learning.

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