Unit 9 – Parametric Equations, Polar Coordinates, and Vector-Valued Functions

Unit 9 includes all the topics listed in the title. These are BC only topics (CED – 2019 p. 163 – 176). These topics account for about 11 – 12% of questions on the BC exam. Comments on Prerequisites: In BC Calculus the work with parametric, vector, and polar equations is somewhat limited. I always…

Open or Closed?

About this time of year, you find someone, hopefully one of your students, asking, “If I’m finding where a function is increasing, is the interval open or closed?” Do you have an answer? This is a good time to teach some things about definitions and theorems. The place to start is to ask what it…

On Scaling

Why “scaling” is necessary No teacher can make two tests on the same topics equal in difficulty. No two teachers, even if they collaborate, can make two tests on the same topic equal in difficulty. No two teachers in different schools, districts, or states can make two tests on the same subject equal in difficulty.…

On Grading

I got to thinking about grading the other day after seeing a question on Facebook. We’ll get to that question in a minute, but first I want to try to outline a grading scheme I used towards the end of my teaching career. It is based on how free-response question on AP Calculus exams are…

Pacing for AP Calculus

Some thoughts on pacing and planning your year’s work for AP Calculus AB or BC.  The ideas are my own and are only suggestions for you to consider. Almost all textbooks provide an AP pacing guide among their ancillary material. You can consult the guide for your book for specific suggestions for the number of days…