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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU and middle schools work to improve mathematics education

New Mexico State University's College of Education and Mathematical Sciences Department are working with 25 school districts in southern New Mexico to improve middle school mathematics achievement.

tically Connected Communities (MC2) received $539,000 from the New Mexico Public Education Department to connect mathematicians, university educators and researchers, and public school leaders to enhance mathematics achievement for middle school students. It also will provide credentialing options for teachers and provide a Web-based mathematics resource for mathematics education in New Mexico.

A total of 57 teachers attended two three-week summer academies in Carlsbad and Las Cruces to focus on learning mathematics and applying what they learned to their school curricula. They also taught local students mathematics during the last week of the academy as part of a teaching lab.

"The purpose of the MC2 academy is to strengthen teacher content knowledge and the knowledge of how to effectively teach mathematics in middle school," said Karin Wiburg, associate dean of the NMSU College of Education and director of the Education Research Center.

The goal of the academy was to begin the process of creating a professional learning community of mathematics educators. Mathematicians, 5th to 12th grade teachers and teacher professional developers all shared their knowledge of how to effectively teach middle school students mathematics.

The program also offers several distance education courses for these teachers at NMSU throughout the school year, including Applied Abstract Algebra, Research in the Mathematics Classroom and Developing the Concepts for Teaching Algebra. The program is working with the Ruidoso Municipal School District to provide a third MC2 academy for teachers in southern New Mexico.

MC2 extends the current MathStar project, which connects California, Colorado and New Mexico with grants from the U.S. Department of Education to improve middle school mathematics achievement.

For more information call the MathStar office at (505) 646-3084.