Absolutely

Absolute Value The majority of students learn about absolute value long before high school. That is, they learn a lot of wrong things about absolute value. They learn that “the absolute value of a number is the number without its sign” or some such nonsense. All numbers, except zero have a sign!  This sort of…

A Note on Notation

For quite awhile I’ve been writing sin(x), ln(x) and the like with parentheses instead of the usual sin x or ln x . The main reason is that I want to emphasize that  sin(x), ln(x), etc. are the same level and type of notation as f(x). The only difference is that sin(x) and ln(x) always represent the same function, while things like f(x) represent different functions…

The First Week

After reading my post on “The First and Second Day of School” Paul A. Foerster,  was nice enough to share  these problems from a recent presentation. They give a taste of derivatives and integrals in the first week of school and get the kids into calculus right off the bat. The First Week of AP Calculus…

The First & Second Day of School

Some suggestions for the first days of school: There has to be a first day, so make the most of it. Take roll; make sure everyone is in the right place. Give out the textbooks. Explain about calculators and so on. A word about reviewing at the beginning of the year: Don’t! If you textbook’s first chapter…