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Las Cruces teachers visit NMSU to improve math skills

Twenty-nine Las Cruces area middle school teachers attended New Mexico State University with other teachers from throughout the state to participate in a program designed to build their abilities in teaching mathematics.

Sierra Middle School math teacher Victoria Meyer uses origami to talk about geometry during a program at New Mexico State University to help teachers improve their teaching skills. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

hematically Connected Communities (MC2) Project held one of three summer academies in the College of Education. Mathematicians from the College of Arts and Sciences and mathematics educators from the College of Education provided these middle school teachers with a program to help them improve middle school mathematics achievement. The summer academy is sponsored by the New Mexico Public Education Department with federal funds from the Mathematics-Science Partnership program.

More than 40 teachers worked together to solve math problems and plan how to implement mathematics in their classrooms. During the two weeks of the academy, the teachers were able to teach, using the content they had learned, to students attending summer school at NMSU.

Karin Wiburg, associate dean for research in the College of Education, said the program is designed to help build confidence in understanding concepts in mathematics.

"These teachers are dedicated to giving up part of their summer to improve the future of their students," Wiburg said. "They are helping improve student achievement throughout the state."

Wiburg said there are two goals to the academy, learning and applying math content. The teachers focused on the areas of geometry, statistics and probability, which have been problem areas for many students. Two other academies will be held later this summer in Carlsbad and El Rito from July 11-29.

"I wanted to participate in order to develop personally," Las Cruces teacher Matt Gutierrez said. "I want to continue learning so I can take that back into my classroom."

Two math instructors from San Juan College in Farmington attended the workshop as observers in order to bring techniques and ideas back for a similar program in Farmington.

Other participants from the Las Cruces area include: Sandra Abbott of La Mesa; Monica Deale, LaVon DeAnda and Jacki Wiley of Mesilla; Christina Jacques and Rosa Mariscal of Anthony; Randy Oldham of Fairacres; Claudia Artalejo of El Paso; and Katie Armijo, Ronald Armijo, Pleddie Baker, Bonnie Brown, Mike Foster, Rebeca Fuentes, Charles Galt, Toni Held, Estella Mayorga, Aggie Merta, Victoria Meyer, Hernan Miranda, Kissa Moore, Rey Munoz, Trudy Nevarez, Brandi Polanco, Laura Robles, Patty Sandoval, Esmeralda Sanxter, Michelle Sterling and Patricia Wahe of Las Cruces.

Other participants include: David Castillo of Raton, Lisa Glines and Stephen Glines of Truth or Consequences; Johanna Gonzales, Pamela Hansmire and Julia Otto of Alamogordo; Kim Graham of Ruidoso; and Curt Stephens of Tatum.