AP Calculus AB


Contact:  Mrs. Carole Cox

Summer assignment information - see below

Course Overview

This course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Calculus AB Exam and more importantly, for their subsequent math courses.  In  this course we give proper attention to the theorems upon which calculus is based, introducing each of the major topics (limits, derivatives, and integrals) with the appropriate proofs and definitions.  The emphasis of the course is on the understanding of concepts – the "why" behind the "how" – on the premise that when students understand the theory behind a skill or concept, they will be able to adapt their knowledge and techniques to solve problems that go beyond those which are familiar. Students will be asked to use their understanding to solve new and unique problems.  Calculus is presented as a building block for a multitude of applications in a multitude of disciplines.

 Technology

Technology is a part of our modern life.  When used appropriately, graphing calculators can be powerful tools of learning; however, they cannot replace a thorough understanding of the concepts and skills behind the calculations.  In this course, attention is given to the judicious use of technology to enhance understanding – technology as a tool, not a "crutch."  Each student must have a graphing calculator, preferably a TI-Nspire or TI-Nspire CAS, but a TI 83 or 84 Plus will suffice.  Students learn to use the calculator to perform the four basic skills required for the AP Exam: Solving an equation, graphing a function in a specified window, evaluating the derivative of a function, and evaluating a definite integral.  They use the calculators as a tool to explore, to discover, and to support solutions.  From the start, we try to emphasize the use of calculators in “appropriate” situations.  And along the same lines, we learn to be aware of their limitations.

Since topics are discussed using the “rule of four – graphically, numerically, algebraically, and verbally,” calculators are often used to facilitate the graphical and numerical approaches.  Students may use the graphing calculators on some but not all assessments.

Summer Assignment

The Summer Assignment is a review of precalculus topics.  Current precalculus students who are scheduled to take calculus next year will use their current MathXL registration to enroll in the new course, AB Calculus AB Summer 2016. The COURSE ID can be found in the document 2016 Summer Assn-MathXL Info (see below).  If you are new to the district and do not have a MathXL account, please read the document Summer MathXL Alternative Info 2016, also posted below, for instructions.

In addition to the MathXL assignments, there is a set of worksheets (APCalc_Sum_Groupwork) posted below that must be completed and turned in on the first day of class in August.  Please note, the online MathXL assignments are due on June 30 (HW 1.1-1.3) and July 31 (HW 1.4-1.6).  There is a grade penalty for late submission, so please pay attention to these due dates.

During the first week of school, students work in small groups discussing their summer assignment, usually in groups of three with one member of the group being in charge of leading the discussion of a particular section or set of exercises.  This activity continues until the entire Summer Assignment has been reviewed, usually 1 - 2 weeks, after which we test.

Who Should Take AP Calculus?

Students who are currently taking Honors Precalculus should strongly consider taking AP Calculus next year.  Strong math students who are currently taking CP Precalculus (A/B average) should also consider AP Calculus for next year.  The course is rigorous and challenging and the time commitment is greater than that for a CP or Honors math course, however, the reward for taking the course can be great.  If you are planning to major in a math or science related field, or if your desired major requires you to take calculus in college, or if you just love math, then you should sign up for AP Calculus.  It will be a math course unlike any you have taken before!

If you have any questions about the course or your qualifications to take the course, please see your current Precalculus teacher or Mrs. Cox.

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Carole Cox,
May 20, 2016, 10:31 AM
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Carole Cox,
May 23, 2016, 6:54 AM
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Carole Cox,
May 20, 2016, 11:43 AM
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Carole Cox,
May 20, 2016, 10:53 AM
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Carole Cox,
May 20, 2016, 10:53 AM
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