Dr. Matthew Beyranevand is the K-12 Mathematics and Science Department Coordinator for the Chelmsford Public Schools in Massachusetts
Matthew is an ambassador for the Global Math Project, supporter for the With Math I Can campaign, and a member of the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. He also serves as an adjunct professor of mathematics and education at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and Fitchburg State University.
Through his website, mathwithmatthew.com, he provides visitors with his podcast, blog, math music videos, and more resources to help increase students’ interest and engagement in the learning of mathematics while building conceptual understanding.
FableVision Studio's Shelby Marshall was a guest on Matthew's podcast, Math With Matthew. Where he shared how the power of technology can enhance and support math education by developing mathematical thinking through concrete modeling, problem-solving, simulations, fluency through scaffolded practice, and applying understanding in real-world situations. Give a listen!
Matthew has been featured on WBZ news WBUR radio and the news magazine Chronicle. Finally, Matthew's first book Teach Math Like This, Not Like That: Four Critical Areas to Improve Student Learning will be published in July through Rowan & Littlefield.
Matthew recently chatted with FableVision Learning about his creative work in the classroom.
You work with students to create music videos about Math, how did this whole idea begin?
I started my own public access television show in Chelmsford five years ago to help inform the parents and community about all the wonderful things related to mathematics in the district. It was mostly interviews with teachers and students but after some time, we began to get creative and started making comedy skits and then music videos about math topics based on popular songs.
What is the process for creating the videos?
It is a collaborative effort of students, teachers, administrators, and the local public access television station, Chelmsford Telemedia. Each video takes about three months to put together. It begins with brainstorming sessions with students and teachers for the song and topic for the video. Next, we write the lyrics and record the song in a studio that one of my high school math teachers works at. Then the fun begins with making the music video. Many students participate in the shoot both on and off camera as it is a great learning experience. The final part is the video editing which takes place as part of a course at the High School with students.
Can you share some highlights from working on these videos?
Here is a sizzle reel of all the different music videos (at left) that we have done together. My favorite video to date is “Girls are all about that math” as it shares a very important message about the importance of girls entering the STEM field. Also, my nine-year-old daughter, who is an aspiring mathematician, helped write the lyrics for the song. The most popular song that we have done is “What is the value of Pi?” with almost 100,000 YouTube views.
What is your professional mission within math education?
I am working to help increase students conceptual understanding of mathematics, while learning in a joyful and engaging manner. Within the STEM field, the science, technology and engineering, students authentically enjoy learning. Mathematics is the ugly step sister that students are forced to take but rarely enjoy. We need to work to help increase students interest in math.
Did you have anything like this when you were in school that inspired you to do work like this?
Unfortunately, I did not and I did not have a wonderful experience learning math in school. I was very good at it but frequently bored and uninterested. Using the music videos as well as many other ideas, we can change this.