I just finished mapping out the remainder of Calculus for the semester. Two weeks from today we'll be done with all the new stuff. And not the I mentioned it once very quickly right before the exam so it totally counts as covered kind of done.

Guiding the way was a very important document. I don't plan with a textbook, I like to work off something that makes sense to me, that I wrote. First seen here, by some miracle, I've checked off everything I set out to do.

There was some juggling at the end, assuming you can understand my notes. A nicer version will be coming when school ends and I've had some more time to think. Turns out my milestones were a little optimistic. I was lagging behind until about February when I realized that the semester was far less dense material wise. Also, the kids have been catching on well.

Really you have to back up a step and look at the document I wrote first. I spent time analyzing 8 years of free response questions to get a feel for themes and penned a guide for myself. The curriculum plan was meant to group topics by what the free response genres require.

More on these in a minute.

Now What?

Alright, so new stuff wraps early April, but the exam is another four weeks after that. What's the plan there?

Most important, I want a plan that makes sense for the group that isn't going to take the exam. Through some data I've been collecting, I have 10 or so kids in each class that need another tour through the material. Throwing exam prep at them isn't going to help anyone. I realized last year that even if a student isn't going to take the exam, letting them leave with a bunch of holes isn't useful either.

Kids opting for the exam are going to work through a long set of free response questions I wrote based off the outline above. The most popular thing on your average Calculus blog is someone going through and categorizing all the released CollegeBoard material. It's....not the most helpful. Some of them stretch back way too long (should I concern myself with the topic covered by 1982 #3b? Probably not). And even ignoring that, plucking individual questions items don't work because they don't stand well on their own.

The best choice in my opinion was new stuff. Instead of 4 parts like the released material, mine have 7 or 8. I don't want my kids to focus on memorizing 2009 #3, I want them to understand the scope of volume expressions or problems that reference a data set.

Also:

It'd be worthwhile if everyone had another run through the skills. I will probably title them assignments just like that, you watch.

The Obvious Exclusion

Again, if you compare my plan to the discussion you see on other random Calculus boards, I'm missing something obvious here. I'm not spending time on a full run through of the exam. WHAT? I tried it last year. The value was minimal. Takes too much class time. Material density is low also. Though I will provide one last run at multiple choice topics by handing out something derived from the practice exams I have access to.

Things I will eventually share: the derivative, integral, and calculator skills review.

Things I can't share: my original free response collection, the multiple choice prep sets, it's too derivative of the CollegeBoard material I have which has super strict "don't put this on the internet" rules.

Posted
AuthorJonathan Claydon