Professionally, I use "Sybilla Beckmann"
Department of Mathematics
Boyd Graduate Studies Building
200 D. W. Brooks Drive
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Office: 501 Boyd Graduate Studies Building
Phone: (706) 542-2548
My research interests are in Mathematical Cognition, the Mathematical Education of Teachers, Mathematics Education from PreK to the graduate level, and Arithmetic Geometry.
Short biography: Sybilla Beckmann is Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics at the University of Georgia. She has a PhD in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania and taught at Yale University as a J. W. Gibbs Instructor of Mathematics. Beckmann has done research in Arithmetic Geometry, but her current main interests are mathematical cognition, the mathematical education of teachers, and mathematics content for PreK through Grade 8. Beckmann developed several mathematics content courses for prospective elementary school teachers at the University of Georgia and wrote a book for such courses, Mathematics for Elementary Teachers, published by Pearson Education, now in a fourth edition. She is interested in helping college faculty learn to teach mathematics content courses for elementary and middle grades teachers and she works with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows toward that end as director of the Mathematicians Educating Future Teachers (MEFT) program in the University of Georgia Mathematics Department. Beckmann was a member of the writing team of NCTM’s Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics, a member of Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics of the National Research Council and co-author of its report, Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity, and a member of the writing team for the Mathematical Education of Teachers II. She has worked on the development of several state mathematics standards and was a member of the mathematics writing team for the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Several years ago Beckmann taught an average 6th grade mathematics class every day at a local public school in order to better understand school mathematics teaching. Beckmann has won several awards for contributions to education, including the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship, which is the highest teaching honor at the University of Georgia, the Regents’ Teaching Award from the University System of Georgia, and the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education awarded by the Association for Women in Mathematics. Jointly with colleague Andrew Izsák, Beckmann is currently studying future teachers’ cognition around interrelated multiplicative topics that include division, fractions, proportional relationships, and linear functions.
With my colleague Dr. Andrew Izsák, Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Georgia, I am studying the thinking and learning of future middle grades mathematics teachers on the interrelated topics of multiplication, division, fractions, ratio, and proportional relationships. The Teachers’ Multiplicative Reasoning Research Group webpage has more information about our research.
Teaching and some recent books, projects, papers, and presentations:
Teaching and courses:
Previous semesters: webpages of my current and past courses
My math textbook for elementary teachers:
Mathematics for Elementary Teachers with Activities, 4th edition, published by Pearson Education, copyright 2014, publication date January 2013. List of errors found so far - please email me with any others you find!
Mathematics for Elementary Teachers with Activities Manual, 3rd edition, published by Addison-Wesley (Pearson Education) 2011. Mathematics for Elementary Teachers, 2nd edition, 2008. See also the companion website for the book
Preparing teachers of teachers:
VIGRE MEFT: Mathematicians Educating Future Teachers
Beckmann’s section of EMAT 9700, an observation course to prepare teachers of future teachers
A community of all math teachers and professionalizing math teaching at all levels:
The Mathematics Teaching Community is an online forum for discussing mathematics teaching at all levels that Jacob Hicks and I have developed. Everyone who teaches mathematics is invited to join and participate! Longer term, we plan for this project to include an electronic self-organizing journal. See the meta tag for postings with more information.
The Community of Math Teachers from Elementary School to Graduate School, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 2011, Volume 58, Issue 3
From the Common Core to a Community of all Mathematics Teachers, The Mathematics Educator, 2010/2011, volume 20, number 2, pages 3 – 9.
Slides for “Could the mathematics teaching community become as successful as the mathematics research community?” presented at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) May, 2011.
Slides for “Enacting Mathematical Practices in a Community of All Mathematics Teachers” at the conference, Enacting Standards for Mathematical Practice, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, October 2011.
Reports and initiatives
Coauthor of the IES Practice Guide, Improving mathematical problem solving in grades 4 – 8, May 2012.
Member of the mathematics writing team for the Common Core State Standards Initiative to develop common K – 12 standards. Most states have adopted the standards. I’m also a writer for the Progressions Project, which is producing progressions in each of the content domains of the Common Core State Standards.
National Research Council Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics. Beckmann was a member of this committee, which wrote the report, Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity
Coauthor of the IES Practice Guide, Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Response to Intervention (RtI) for Elementary and Middle Schools, April 2009
Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics, published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2006. Beckmann was a member of the writing team.
Books for the professional development of teachers:
Karen C. Fuson, Douglas Clements, and Sybilla Beckmann. (2011). Focus in Grade 2: Teaching with Curriculum Focal Points. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Karen C. Fuson, Douglas Clements, and Sybilla Beckmann. (2010). Focus in Grade 1: Teaching with Curriculum Focal Points. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. http://www.nctm.org/catalog/product.aspx?id=13628
Karen C. Fuson, Douglas Clements, and Sybilla Beckmann. (2010). Focus in Kindergarten: Teaching with Curriculum Focal Points. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. http://www.nctm.org/Catalog/product.aspx?id=13627
Karen C. Fuson, Douglas Clements, and Sybilla Beckmann. (2010). Focus in Prekindergarten: Teaching with Curriculum Focal Points. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. http://www.nctm.org/catalog/product.aspx?id=13626
Thomas J. Cooney, Sybilla Beckmann, and Gwendolyn M. Lloyd. (2010). Developing Essential Understanding of Functions for Teaching Mathematics in Grades 9 – 12. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. http://www.nctm.org/catalog/product.aspx?ID=13483
Focus in Grade 5, Teaching with Curriculum Focal Points. (2009). National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. This book elaborates on the Focal Points at grade 5, including discussions of the necessary foundations at grades 3 and 4.
Some other papers:
Fuson, K. C. & Beckmann, S. (Fall/Winter, 2012-2013). Standard algorithms in the Common Core State Standards. National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership, 14 (2), 14-30. Available at the NCSM website. See also the related Teaching Phases and Standard Algorithms in the Common Core from an NCSM presentation.
With Karen Fuson. Focal Points: Grades 5 and 6. Teaching Children Mathematics. May 2008. Volume 14, issue 9, pages 508 – 517.
Solving Algebra and Other Story Problems with Simple Diagrams: a Method Demonstrated in Grade 4 - 6 Texts Used in Singapore, The Mathematics Educator, 14, (1), pp. 42 - 46 (2004).
What mathematicians should know about teaching math for elementary teachers. Mathematicians and Education Reform Newsletter, Spring 2004. Volume 16, number 2. Scroll down to find the link to previous issues. Or retrieve the issue here.
Mathematics for Elementary Teachers: Making Sense by "Explaining Why", in Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Teaching of Mathematics at the Undergraduate Level, J. Wiley & Sons, Inc., (2002).
Meaningful Approaches to Algorithms for Decimals, by Sybilla Beckmann and Karen C. Fuson, presented at the 2014 NCTM Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
Multiplication to Ratio, Proportion, and Fractions within the Common Core, by Karen C. Fuson and Sybilla Beckmann, presented at the 2012 NCTM Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
Presentations on the Focal Points at the Georgia and South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conferences, October 2007. Hint on the triangle area problem. Hint 1 on the angle problem. Hint 2 on the angle problem.
Presentation on Key Ideas of Elementary Mathematics at the Lesson Study Conference, Chicago, May 2007.
I am a member of the Teacher Education Group in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Georgia.