AP Calculus AB
Instructor: Mrs. Lori Willis
I. Textbook Used: Larson and Ron, Bruce H. Edwards. Calculus of a Single Variable: Early Transcendental Functions.
II. Graphing Calculators Used: The Texas Instruments, TI-84, TI-89, or TI-Inspire calculators are recommended for ease of use and price. Classroom sets of these calculators are provided. If a student does not have means of purchasing their own calculator for home use, our school has graphing calculators that can be checked out to the student for the entire school year.
III. Course Overview:
The AB Calculus course is designed to teach high school students one semester of college calculus over an entire school year. This course is designed to give students the opportunity to earn college credit and to help them in college placement as well.
This rigorous course requires that the student be able to work problems represented: analytically, numerically, graphically, and verbally. We call this multi-representative approach the “Rule of Four”. The “Rule of Four” will be incorporated throughout the course helping the students make important connections.
Communication is another important concept that will be stressed over the course. The students will be learning how to effectively communicate calculus both orally and in well written sentences. This communication is necessary for the students to properly justify or explain their solutions. In this course the students work in groups to work on homework, projects, or warm up activities. I find the students learn better by having to explain the calculus to each other. This learning environment is more conducive to learning and the students feel more comfortable about asking questions.
In this course technology is used daily. This course relies on the graphing calculator as an investigative tool to help explain concepts. Also it is used to reinforce relationships of multi-representative functions, to confirm written work, and to assist in interpreting results. In addition to this the students will be required to learn four particular skills on the calculator that will be tested on the AP test. These four calculator skills are as follows:
1. Being able to plot a graph of a function in an arbitrary window
2. Finding the zeros of a functions
3. Numerically calculating the derivative of a function
4. Numerically calculating the value of the definite integral
The AP Course curriculum is laid out by the AP Course description found at apcentral.collegeboard.com. This curriculum consists of a short review at the beginning of the year of prerequisite material that will be needed for this course. After this short review, the students will be studying functions, graphs, and limits. Then, the study of calculus can begin. The AB course will focus on the study of the two major branches of calculus: differential calculus and integral calculus. The following is a timeline for the year with the objectives, sections from the textbook, and number of days that are allotted for the topics.
All tests in this course are given with the AP test in mind. In order to better prepare the students all tests are given in two parts: calculator and non-calculator. On each part of the test the student is given both multiple choice and free-response questions. Nine weeks test are given in this course which means the students will be tested twice a semester. These tests are required by our district and are cumulative in nature.
Students are also given quizzes throughout the course. Quizzes are designed to test the student’s knowledge of a particular section of material, not necessarily a whole unit of study. The quizzes are not necessarily set up in the two part format. Most of these quizzes are either calculator or non-calculator only. Homework quizzes are another type of quiz that the students are given in this course. Homework quizzes are given at the beginning of the hour to test the students over their understanding of the homework problems. Homework quizzes usually take around 10 to 15 minutes; which allows us to talk about the correct answers directly after the quiz is given. To go over the correct answers a student is selected to present to the class his or her work. Another type of quiz that is given in this course is the memory quiz. The AP test has several definitions and formulas our students are expected to know, so the students are quizzed over these formulas quite regularly.
V. Daily Assignments:
The students are given homework daily. Due dates for assignments will be given at the time they are assigned. On most of our homework assignments students will have access to the correct answers. When the assignment is turned in, I will check over their homework and grade for accuracy on a select few of these problems.
The students are given either work from the textbook or worksheets. If time permits the students work in groups of three to four on their homework problems. We also have class work that is done collaboratively as well. At the beginning of the hour the students are given warm up problems to work on as a group to discuss. These problems are sometimes practice AP Problems or problems similar to their current homework.
The students will be required to keep a composition notebook for daily notes and warm ups. The notebooks will be turned in on testing days. When a student is absent it is up to the student to copy that day’s notes into their notebook in his or her own writing. You can either get the notes from a reliable classmate or off my website.
Students should number each page, front and back. Save the first three pages for an index and start notes on page 4. On the index pages-be sure to title the lesson daily and write the page number where the notes can be found for easy reference. The back of the composition notebook will be used for warm up exercises.
1. Large 3 Ring Binder –to keep old homework papers to refer back to when time to prepare for AP exam
2. Composition Notebook-notes/warm ups
3. Graphing Calculator-Required
5. Graph Paper-optional
7. Barron’s Book: How to Prepare for the AP Calculus Exam-optional, but an excellent resource
8. Kleenex- is appreciated by everyone
IX. Classroom Expectations:
1. Be in your seat when the bell rings.
2. Bring all books and materials to class.
3. Sit in your assigned seat daily
4. Follow all directions the first time they are given.
5. Follow all rules in the student handbook.
6. Be respectful of others and their property.
7. No food or drinks are allowed in class. (Water is allowed)
*Certain situations may necessitate bypassing the initial disciplinary steps.
X. Hall Passes:
Take care of all restroom, office, and other errands before class! Passes will be limited to only 4 per Semester at the Teacher’s discretion.
XI. Homework Help:
I am available to help students before school starting at 7:45am. We also have a lunch tutoring program in Mr. Lawson’s Room 742 during 2nd Lunch. If students need to use a graphing calculator to finish homework, they will need to either come in early in my room or go to lunch tutoring. Later in the year there will also be a math hotline available for the students to use-check my website for details. I’m looking forward to working with you and your student this year!
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
Mrs. Lori Willis
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