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Welcome to the 2015 MidSchoolMath National Conference!
For more information about the conference, please visit www.midschoolmath.com. Ample space is available in all sessions at the present time!  

Please note: only registered conference attendees can create a personal agenda for this event. If you have registered for the conference, you’ll receive an invitation to activate your sched account via email. Detailed directions about activating your Sched account and creating your agenda can be found under More Information.
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avatar for Zanet Ramos-Benavidez

Zanet Ramos-Benavidez

DeVargas Middle School
Teacher
Santa Fe, NM

I am coming to MidSchoolMath after having been educated that the best way to teach math is through experiential learning.  Throughout my career my training has always remained something I had struggle to implement though I full heartedly believed in it.  The demands of the day to day workings of what must be taught always seemed to supersede the method of instruction I believed would truly work.  I was carefully encouraged to be creative but never given the support to implement a lot of creative ways of teaching mathematics. I have spent my 18 years of teaching in the Santa Fe Public Schools a district that I am also a product of.  Having grown up in Santa Fe and been educated from Elementary through High School I am a recipient of a 1st class education.  I am currently an 8th Grade Mathematics teacher at DeVargas Middle School.  I have taught mathematics in 6th and 8th grades as well as Algebra for High School Credit. In an effort to find a way the support and accomplish the goals of improving student achievement while implementing more creative and interactive ways for teaching mathematics,  I have served on School Improvement Committees, Curriculum Committees, and most recently the Common Core Cohort for the Santa Fe Public Schools to help bring the Common Core State Standards to SFPS in a digestible guide meant to aide teachers to transition for the New Mexico State Standards for Math and ELA.  I have always found myself on the ground floor of change ready and willing to try anything that would bring the spark for learning mathematics to my classroom.



 



As a graduate of the College of Santa Fe I participated in one of the top 10 Education Schools in the Southwest.  The philosophy of education was teach the whole child and they will have success.  As a practitioner I have found that the more education as a system has attempted to isolate the mind from the person the less success and more frustration we see.  Through my 18 years in teaching at the Middle Level I have seen students who are in the midst of adolescence and puberty, too old to be a child and too young to be a teenager and almost as emotional a new born walk into my Mathematics classroom defeated, fearful, and embarrassed.  Their only experience with mathematics has told them that they must memorize and spit out numbers and formulas.  And for the lucky few that that actually makes sense they are happy to do so and keep on doing it until the cows come home, even if they agree with the 95% of the rest of the class that want to know exactly, ‘why do I have to know this?  When will I ever use this? I don’t see this in real life!’  To these question and statement I promise my students that I will try to give them the real reasons for the math and how is used in real life, but more importantly I promise them that with a little trust from them I can help them feel as like they can “DO” math!  Then we set out on the journey of a lifetime.



 



We explore what it means to think sequentially, and ponder exponentially.  We take value in mistakes and function off the feedback the mistake give.  We substitute new expressions for old ones.  Together we input new approaches to get different outputs.  All the while creating a new expression of ourselves.  Math is no longer just rote memorization, its discussion and disagreement.  Math is no longer about getting the right answer and moving on it is proving the answer is correct by explaining the process.  Math is not just manipulating numbers but understanding the numbers and what their true value is they are representing and how that relates to us.  Are you excited to join the adventure.  Can you let go of you preconceived idea of what Math is and how it must be taught to see what Math can be and the adventure that excites and engages the Middle Level student?