Thursday, April 24, 2014

AP Calc Review (Part 2)

Well, I took all of the accumulated Challenge questions that they wrote and printed them off of PadletThis is a built in feature of Padlet, so it is very easy to do.  I made 15 copies and then had students select groups (of 2 or 3).  Each group had a set (or 2) of the questions.  They worked on the whiteboards or their own notebook paper and proceeded to solve them.  This is where the fun really got going in the classroom as I heard students say "these are hard!" or "so-and-so, why did you have to write this problem?".  Wasn't that the point.  The directions said the questions had to be challenging!!

There were a few mistakes with their answer keys that we found along the way, but then I would hear "that would have been a great choice for a multiple choice wrong answer".  AHA!!!  They are getting it!  Sometimes the author would work the problem and find a mistake before the class did and then we would make corrections to typos they had made.  I enjoyed that the pressure of their peers seeing their work made them really want to take ownership and put their best work out there!  One of the students had to prove that her answer was, in fact, correct and when the students saw that they had not manipulated the answer far enough, there was a big groan.  Several of them were sure they had it correct and when we ALL worked it out on the board, they saw several versions of the correct answer, dependent upon where they stopped in their mathematical manipulations.  It was a thing of beauty....everyone was correct!!  At this level, it has taken all year to teach them that there are several versions of the correct answer, not just one answer (as they are typically taught in so many math classes).  I LOVE THAT!  I have frequently told them that they are master manipulators at this level.

Next year I plan to use this at the end of both semesters for final exam review.  I plan to incorporate this into my other classes as well.  The students love working on each other's problems and having made each one an expert in one section helped each student shine when they got to explain their topic.  So glad I thought of this idea.  Even happier that my friend @KathleenDiver told me about Padlet.


  1. Paula

    Are you familiar with Lin McMullin's website? He has some great AP Calc review stuff. Check out this page and look for the link called AP Calculus Free Response Type Questions. It's a lovely document organizing and explaining the FR questions that have been appearing.

    1. Thanks! I did happen to find that webpage this summer and you are correct, it has a LOT of great stuff. also has a wealth of stuff. So many people have published a lot of useful materials. I'm thankful for the internet!