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Introduction

In this course, 11th and 12th grade students review and develop skills learned in

Algebra 2 and Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus and continue into higher-level

mathematics teaching them to understand and perform mathematical concepts

graphically, numerically, algebraically, and verbally and understand the

connections between these methods. This course will also show physical and

realistic applications of mathematics and how math is a great tool for problem

solving.

Prerequisites

This course is comprised of students that have successfully completed the typical

progression of high-school mathematics courses (Algebra 2 and Trigonometry).

Students that have earned credit for a Pre-calculus course meet this

requirement. Students are expected to have a solid background in algebraic

manipulation and in graphing elementary functions.

Resources

Functions (3rd Ed.) by Robert T. Smith and Rolland B. Minton (McGraw-Hill

Companies, 2007, ISBN 978-0-07-327657-1). Other resources include online

applets and resources, shared work among colleagues in the AP community, AP

released questions, as well as my own written worksheets and tests.

Teaching Strategies

1. Each unit is taught in such a way that students are provided with

opportunities to analyze the topic algebraically, geometrically, numerically,

graphically, and verbally and are asked to analyze the connections

between these different representations

homework, projects, activities, and lab work that require them to practice

and explore the skills being discussed with them during lecture.

Oftentimes, units are introduced with a project that allows the students to

formulate their own techniques for solving a presented problem. An

example of this technique I used in my classroom this year was when

students where asked to used Lego blocks to estimate the area under a

curved function and analyze how different formations and different sizes of

Lego blocks would affect the accuracy of their area approximations (Intro

into Riemann Sums).

3. The use of graphing calculators is an integral part of my Calculus class.

Every student is provided with a TI-84 graphing calculator and these

calculators are used on a regular basis to graph functions to analyze their

characteristics (such as zeros, maximums, inflection points, etc.),

investigate limits of functions, use the table feature, show slope fields and

solutions curves, and many other operations.

4. Throughout the year students take quizzes and tests, all of which are

given with multiple choice sections and free response sections with

calculator usage following the allowed usage on the AP exam. Tests and

quizzes are graded as they would be on the AP exam.

5. All units contain material covered in previous units and this material is

presented on their tests. Students are often given warm up problems that

contain material they have not practiced very recently. Pop Unit Circle

quizzes are given on a regular basis to ensure that students know the

basic values of trigonometric functions.

6. On all projects, lab work, most activities, and most tests, students are

required to provide written explanations and justifications of their work.

These explanations must provide their thinking and computational process

that is clearly and concisely written.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Functions and Their Graphs (2 weeks, 1 Test)

function.

Students will:

and their graphs. Examples of functions include lines, logarithmic

functions, exponential functions, and conic sections.

Know the definitions of even and odd functions and what their graphs look

like.

Be able to use a graphing calculator graph equations and to solve

problems such as finding the zeroes of an equation or calculating minima

and maxima.

graphs. Students will also be responsible for understanding the unit circle

and how to use it to graph trigonometric functions.

trigonometric formulas such as the sum and difference formulas and the

multiple-angle and product-to-sum formulas.

them and evaluate them at given points

Students will:

Learn the definition of a secant line and how to calculate the equation of a

secant line as well as how to use approximation to find the slope of a

curve and the equation of a tangent line.

graphically, as well as algebraically and know the properties of limits.

asymptotes.

equation, and how to remove removable discontinuities.

algebraically.

Unit 3: Derivatives (4 weeks, 1 Test)

Students will:

numerically, and analytically.

Know how to take the derivative of a function and how to use the

derivative function to calculate the derivative at a point as well as the

equation of a tangent line at a point.

Learn the various rules of differentiation such as the power rule, the

product rule, the quotient rule, and the chain rule.

functions.

Activity: Related Rates Activity: The ruler sliding down the wall.

Rule.

How to calculate minimum and maximum values algebraically.

calculate intervals of increase and decrease.

Related Rates

Project: Using Lego blocks to approximate area under the curve- intro into

Riemann Sums

Riemann Sums (left, right, and midpoint), Trapezoidal Method, and

Simpson’s Rule.

Project: Creating a volume given a known cross-sectional area.

Students will learn:

method, washer method, and shell method and then compute their

volumes.

total distance traveled)

solutions, and apply these to growth and decay problems

and geometric series

comparison, alternating series, and ratio tests

The Power Series: Taylor polynomials a and Taylor series

Polar Equations and calculus: slope and rate of change, length, and area

distance traveled

Tutoring available after school hours for students preparing for the test

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