BHS -> Mr. Stanbrough -> AP Calculus -> AP Calculus Intro -> this page

Introduction

Advanced Placement Calculus at Batesville High School is a 3-cycle, 1-year course (132 85-minute periods). We use the course goals and AB Calculus Curriculum published by The College Board. The course is a college-level, introductory course in differential and integral calculus. Students who successfully complete the course should be able to qualify for advanced placement in college mathematics by taking the AP Calculus AB Test or other qualifying test.

(Please visit the Official Advanced Placement Calculus Web site for information on the official AP curriculum, testing, calculator information, and policies.)

The Advanced Placement Calculus Test

AP Calculus students are encouraged, but not required, to take the AP Calculus test. (Students should check with the mathematics department of the college or university that they plan to attend to ascertain their policy regarding advanced placement as soon as possible.) The AP Calculus test will be given on the morning of Wednesday, May 6, 2009. The test consists of four sections and is 3 hours and 15 minutes in length (I guess the old 3-hour length wasn't long and grueling enough..). The 4 sections are:

- Multiple-choice - Part A - (28 questions in 55 minutes)
**no calculators**permitted - Multiple-choice - Part B - (17 questions in 50 minutes)
graphing
calculator
**required** - Free Response - Part A - (3 questions in 45 minutes) graphing
calculator
**required** - Free Response - Part B - (3 questions in 45 minutes)
**no calculators**permitted

The multiple-choice (part A and B) and the free-response (part A and B) count equally toward the exam grade. The state of Indiana pays the $74 cost of the AP exam for students who successfully complete an AP course.

The "Rule of 4"

It would be difficult to argue with the fact that the AP Calculus Test is the most difficult and grueling test you have ever taken and quite possibly the most difficult and grueling test you will ever take. It would also be difficult to argue with the fact that this AP Calculus course is the most difficult course you have ever taken and quite possibly ever will take. Why is that?

Aside from the fact that colleges and universities are not at all eager to admit that high school students are capable of learning calculus, admit that high school teachers are capable of teaching calculus, or hand out free credit, there are some good reasons why an AP Calculus course needs to be particularly difficult.

First, there are almost as many different introductory calculus
courses as there are colleges and universities. These courses run the
gamut from "old fashioned", no calculator, strictly analytical
courses (just like I took in the late 60's) to computer-based,
software-intensive graphically-oriented courses. If AP Calculus is to
be valid for credit at *any* college or university, it has to
account for *all of the possible approaches* to calculus. Hence,
the "Rule of 4."

In AP Calculus, we approach ** every** concept (and you
must master every concept) from four different perspectives:

**Analytic**- This is the "x's and y's" equation manipulation that most students think of when they think "math."**Numeric**- You have to be able to apply calculus concepts to numerical data (lists and tables of numbers).**Graphical**- You need to be able to interpret, manipulate, and draw graphs relating to calculus concepts.**Verbal**- You must be able to explain calculus concepts in clear, concise, correct English.

**And**, you have to be able to do
*all four* of these things *with or without* a
calculator.

So, the bad news is that as an AP Calculus student you will be
asked to understand beginning calculus much more thoroughly than
students in many beginning calculus courses taught at colleges and
universities. The good news is that as an AP Calculus student, you
will understand beginning calculus much more thoroughly than students
in many beginning calculus courses taught at colleges and
universities. In fact, studies (conducted by the College Board) show
that students who do well in AP Calculus are *much
**more** likely* to do well in advanced courses
than students who take beginning calculus at a college or
university.

At BHS, each student receives 3 grades for each course - an achievement/academic grade, an effort grade, and a conduct grade. Here is how these grades are earned in AP Calculus:

The academic grade is the numerical (95-100 = A, 88-94 = B, etc.) grade.

**In AP Calculus, a student's achievement grade represents a snapshot of that student's performance relative to the course standards at a particular point in time. In other words, the academic grade summarizes the summative assessments in the course. **

The student's grade reflects their academic achievement at a particular time in the course. It does **not** reflect how hard (or how little) they try - that is the task of the effort grade. It does **not** reflect the fact that they are a wonderful (or horrid) person - that is the task of the conduct grade.

The academic grade has four components: assignments, tests, quizzes, and projects/challenge problems.

**Assignments:**There will be frequent (daily) written assignments in AP Calculus, which will be collected and scored on an acceptable (2 points) or unacceptable (1 or 0 points) basis.

**Quizzes:**There will be frequent (approximately three per week) quizzes, counting generally between 5 and 20 points. Quizzes are not generally announced in advance - students should expect a quiz every day. Quizzes differ from tests in that they are partly formative -**students have the option to retake a quiz IF AND ONLY IF THEIR ASSIGNMENTS ARE UP TO DATE**. The second quiz score replaces the original score.

**Test Grades:**There will be two tests during each 4 1/2-week cycle - one near the midpoint of the cycle, and the other near the end of the cycle. Each test will mimic the format of the AP Physics test (except for length), with a multiple-choice section and a free-response section. One test during each cycle will be a calculator-active test and one test will be a no-calculator test. Test dates are announced several days in advance.

**Projects/Challenge Problems:**There are a wide variety of projects and challenge problems available to students at any time. Each student should always be working on a project or challenge problem. Progress on these challenges counts toward the academic grade because they reflect the student's achievement.

**Final Exam and Final Grade:**

The final grade for each semester will be the average of the two cycle grades. There will be **no** additional final exam (pending administration approval).

Many of the questions that will appear on quizzes and tests will be taken from old AP exams and materials. The rest will attempt to be AP-level questions. AP-level questions are designed to be * very* challenging for a knowledgeable and talented student, as opposed to "normal" test questions, which are generally designed so that a capable student will answer almost all questions successfully. In fact, AP literature states that a 50% score can result in an acceptable (passing = "3") grade on an AP exam, and approximately 70% of the total points will generally qualify a student for the highest possible score (a "5") on the AP test.

If a student's academic performance is good, then the effort that they expend must be considered at least adequate. If a student's academic performance is below standards, then his/her effort in the course needs to be examined - it may or may not be a contributing factor in their lack of academic success.

Near the end of each cycle, the student will have the opportunity to complete a simple self-assessment of his/her effort in the course. If the instructor concurs with the student's assessment, the student's evaluation becomes the effort grade.

If the student and instructor differ in their evaluation, a short conference will be held in order to reach a consensus. If the student and teacher cannot agree on an effort grade, the opinion of an objective third party will be sought.

A conduct grade will be assigned by the instructor based on the student's behavior in class.

Policies:

Students are responsible to make up all work missed due to field trips, illness, etc. within a reasonable time. Please consult your BHS Student handbook.

AP Calculus grades will be awarded based on the student's
demonstrated achievement in Calculus. Students who want to do well in
AP Calculus need to keep up with the work, ask questions, and take
advantage of the help available. Students are strongly encouraged to work on a
project of interest to them, either in addition to or instead of the
regular class work. On the other hand (Sorry, I just can't find a
nice way to say this..), students who sit in class like big dead
lumps for four weeks and then suddenly become concerned about their
grade the day before the end of the cycle will
**not **be able to turn in
meaningless "extra credit" whose only purpose is to "pump up" the
grade they have earned.

**Rationale:** The multiple-choice section of the AP test is
scored by machine - no human ever looks at it. So is the SAT and
many other important tests that you have taken and will take in the
future. On these tests, any mismarked answers, incomplete erasures,
stray marks, etc. are counted wrong - just as wrong as an incorrect
answer. Therefore, it would be a good idea to learn to mark
machine-scored answer sheets *carefully*.

**Policy:** If the Scantron^{TM} machine says an answer
is wrong - it's wrong. The only exception is if the machine is
clearly out of order (which seldom happens).

Unlike the AP Test or SAT, however, if you "mess up" your answer sheet, you can have another one - just ask.

The classroom computers are to be used for school-related
curricular work only. They are ** not** to be used for web
surfing, email, or games during classroom hours.

Help

AP-level work is challenging - even for the most talented
students. **Students - even very capable students - who will
not ask questions or seek help with difficulties should not expect to
do well in an AP course.**

We will start AP Calculus morning help sessions (7:40 AM - 8:00 AM) in Room F109 in a week or two. Additionally, help is available during "flex" period and after school. I do not mind phone calls at home - before 9:00 P.M.

Miscellaneous

Please read the Classroom Discipline Policy.

BHS -> Mr. Stanbrough -> AP Calculus -> AP Calculus Intro -> this page

last update August 10, 2008 by JL Stanbrough