Hello and welcome to the Bearded Math Man’s website. Or mission is to support students, teachers and parents in their pursuit of improved math education outcomes. We support this pursuit by publishing content and resources that treat topics in mathematics conceptually, with the end goal of developing mathematical literacy in students. By developing literacy, students will, over time, acquire new learning more quickly while retaining what it is they know.
New content is being published daily. So, if you've not found something you are seeking, please check back soon. In the mean time, let me know what you're looking for. Send me an email.
This week has witnessed a complete redesign of the layout and structure of The Beaded Math Man. The hope is that the new layout is easier to navigate, putting the information you need right there in front of you.
The 7th episode of the On Teaching Math podcast was released on Thursday morning. In that episode, we discussed the merits of digging deeper into mathematical meaning, even when the procedure is simple and easy to grasp.
A video discussing the very confusing topic of proportion and units for 3D objects was released.
This website is primarily built for you, the teacher. With the resources found on this page you will be well equipped to approach topics in your class with the express goal of developing student mathematical literacy. It is through the development of mathematical literacy that students will build procedural proficiency that will be retained over time.
A few key elements separate the lessons, assignments and assessments found here from other publications. The most obvious is the focus on developing meaning and understanding in balanced conjunction with procedure. Procedure is a consequence of the concepts at play in a given topic. The lessons have been developed and revised from real classrooms to do just that. Students need to understand what it is they are doing and why it works. That is a much deeper understanding than just how.
The assignments and assessments challenge student understanding while also providing opportunity to develop, and then demonstrate, procedural proficiency. The assignments should provide you and the students with meaningful insights into what it is they know, and how well they know it.
The other difference, which is very important, but more subtle, is a response to the nature of learning. It is through confronting misconceptions that students truly learn. Without this uncomfortable process, people unknowingly twist information to fit their existing body of knowledge, which often contains misconception and misunderstanding.
The lessons expose misconceptions either directly through declaration (this is a common mistake and here is why it is wrong), or subtly, through devising questions that expose common misconceptions in students. The assignments are designed to further extract misconceptions of students. These are not "plug and chug," rehearsals of procedure assignments. They are thoughtfully created to challenge student thinking and understanding.
Here is a video by Derek Muller that inspired us to more deeply explore how to use misconception in teaching to promote student learning.
The assessments found here are balanced between opportunities for student to demonstrate simple procedure and opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in problem solving. They provide you with insight into what students know and how well they know it! To help you assign appropriate grades, each assessment has a grading rubric.
All materials are free to use. However, if you'd like to help support our efforts here you can purchase "Packets," which will provide you with a downloadable file with that topic's resources all organized and easily referenced for future use.
On this page you will find resources that will help you really begin to understand mathematics. It is my goal that you become mathematically literate. That means you don't just know how to do "stuff," but you know what it is you're doing and why it works. With this level of mathematical literacy comes recall (you won't forget), and quicker acquisition of future learning in mathematics.
Best of all, through the development of mathematical literacy will come one more, massively important thing. The mathematical barriers that currently exist between you and your dream will be removed. When you learn to think mathematically, no math class will get in the way of what you want to do with your life.
To begin, just select the class you're taking from the Courses tab above. You can use the search button to find specific topics in that course. What you'll find for each topic is a text that explains the mathematics, a PowerPoint you can play and follow through as though you were in class, a video (for most topics), and some practice work.
You can find extra help and resources you need for your students on this page. But, be careful, you might end up learning this level of math yourself (if you don't already know it)!
The design of the resources found here is different than other publications. The purpose of a mathematics education is the training of the mind. When your child develops the ability to think critically and incorporate elusive, tricky ideas into their body of knowledge, they'll be empowered moving forward in life. The specific topics in a high school education themselves are typically of little use. But, in acquiring the conceptual understanding and procedural fluency of those topics, students develop something that they will be using every day; a sharp mind.
It is with this in mind that the resources found on this page are developed. There is very little step-by-step, answer-getting guidance. What you will find here are sets of resources designed to help you child understand what it is they are doing and why it works. In short, the resources here will help your child to develop mathematical thinking.
The reason I put this page together, the reason I teach math, is to help empower young people so that the mathematical barriers that exist between them and their dreams will be absolved. I want to empower children with the ability to think mathematically.