academics
  • New Educational Tools

    lacrosse balls

     

    Bethel High School social studies teacher Suzanne Doyle attended a weeklong neuroeducation conference this summer and returned to school with a new tool in her educational tool belt: A lacrosse ball. It turns out bouncing balls while performing mental activities can strengthen brain activity in students.

    It’s all pretty complicated, so it’s best to let Suzanne explain it: “I learned that physical activity readies the brain for learning. It actually gets students out of their amygdala and into their pre-frontal cortexes, where academic learning takes place. It builds dendrites, strengthens synapses, brings oxygen to the brain and all sort of other good benefits,” she said.

    So this year, before they begin class, Doyle’s students bounce lacrosse balls while trying to spell complicated words.

    Doyle was able to get the balls thanks to generous support from Longstreth and Lacrosse Balls Direct. She also received $100 in vouchers from DICK'S Sporting Goods, which she passed on to students in need at BHS.

    “In a world that can sometimes seem lacking I found three companies that were willing to make a difference in the life of our kids. Please consider using these companies when ordering team and or personal merchandise. Big companies changing lives. Awesome!” Doyle said.

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  •  New methods to learning math in Bethel Schools

    math class

    SPANAWAY, Wash. -- New research on how to help kids learn and understand math is now being taught in the Bethel School District.

    The Bethel School District sent staff to Stanford to learn about this teaching method called Creative Mindset Mathematics. They came back to teach other staff and spent Summer Math Camp teaching 5th graders with this new method.

    Teacher April Forsyth said they're also helping to prove the new theories: Working with kids in groups; getting them to form connections so they understand the math.

    Encourage both number sense and reasoning while being very cooperative, collaborative and students are being creative and having fun with it," said Forsyth.

    "I like how it's very social and there's no by-yourself work -- it's all together," said Hailey Shenefield.

    The method, under research at Stanford University, works on making both a visual and a numerical connection to build the concept and understanding in the brain. Read more here

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  • Summer Institute Wrap Up!

    This year's Summer Institute was a great success, as staff at all levels were able to focus, train and prep for the coming school year.

    Middle school teachers tackled topics surrounding curriculum support, while high school teachers focused on the transition to trimesters which helped prepare them for the schedule change, and longer 70-minute classes.

    Elementary teachers got familiar with CORE Learn, a curriculum supplement that compliments our ReadyGen curriculum. School teams worked together and 79% of elementary teachers attended the trainings!

    Our School Board kicked off this year's Summer Institute by serving breakfast to the teachers as they arrived on the first day.

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  • Elementary overcrowding forces preschool location changes

    Preschool bethel schools

    Bethel’s overcrowding has forced two of our preschools to change locations this fall. Naches Trail and North Star elementary will now be home to preschool classrooms previously located in Thompson and Nelson elementaries. These changes are due to the rapidly growing student population in the district.

    2019/20 Preschool locations:

    • Elk Plain Head Start

    • Frederickson Preschool

    • Naches Trail Preschool

    • Nelson Preschool

    • North Star Preschool

    • Pioneer Valley Preschool

    • Spanaway Preschool

    • Thompson Early Learning Center

    Our preschool programs serve three, four and five-year-old students. We embrace a play-based, child-centered philosophy taught by highly knowledgeable and experienced early childhood teachers and staff. Read more here

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