Today we continue to look at some previous posts that I hope will help you and your students throughout the year. We begin with some posts on graphing calculator use and then a few general things in three posts on beginning the year, followed by some mathematics I hope students know before they start studying…

# Graphing Integrals

The fifth in the Graphing Calculator / Technology series The topic of integration is coming up soon. Here are some notes and ideas about the integration operation on graphing calculators. The entries are the same or very similar for all calculator brands. The basic problem of evaluating a definite integral on a graphing calculator is done…

# How to Tell your Asymptote from a Hole in the Graph.

The fifth in the Graphing Calculator / Technology series (The MPAC discussion will continue next week) Seeing discontinuities on a graphing calculator is possible; but you need to know how a calculator graphs to do it. Here’s the story: The number you choose for XMIN becomes the x-coordinate of the (center of) the pixels in the…

# Tangent Lines

Second in the Graphing Calculator/Technology series This graphing calculator activity is a way to introduce the idea if the slope of the tangent line as the limit of the slope of a secant line. In it, students will write the equation of a secant line through two very close points. They will then compare their…

# Graphing Calculator Use

First in a series.  I am going to (try to) write a series of posts this fall on graphing calculator use in for calculus. Graphing calculators became generally available around 1989 and were made a requirement for use on the AP calculus exams in 1995. The hope was that they would encourage the use of…

# Good Question 8 – or not?

Today’s question is not a good question. It’s a bad question. But sometimes a bad question can become a good one. This one leads first to a discussion of units, then to all sorts of calculus. Here’s the question a teacher sent me this week taken from his textbook: The normal monthly rainfall at the…

# Tangents and Slopes

Using the function to learn about its derivative.  In this post we will look at a way of helping students discover the numerical and graphical properties of the derivative and how they can be determined from the graph of the function. These ideas can be used very early, when you are first relating the function…