Monday, November 14, 2016

Calculus Project Feedback Quarter One. Please take some time to give us feedback. Thank you.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Questions Asked 10/21/16

  • When will we have large tests?
    • At least once a quarter. This quarter was 5 quizzes and 1 test.  
  • When is it best to use the first derivative test vs. second derivative test [for local extrema]?  
    • Whenever possible use first derivative test.  
  • When will we get to integrals?
    • November. Are you in a rush? 
  • Do we still need to remember the limit definition of derivative?
    • Yes, but L'Hospital's Rule will help with this soon.  
  • How prominent are related rates on the AP exam?  
    • Varies from year to year.  I'd say at least a multiple choice question. 
  • Do we need to remember the second derivative test?  
    • Yes. 
  • "So like you can use the first derivative for relative maxima and minima and the second derivative for concavity, right?  
    • Yes. Make sure you can explain in a sentence why max/mis and points of inflection exist. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Whole Body Listening

October 21, 2016

I told my BC Calculus class today all about Whole Body Listening. My kindergarten aged daughter had come home with a handout about it from school.  My wife liked the idea so much it is now on my daughter's wall in her bedroom. Just recently I was debriefing an observation with a math teacher and we were talking about how the students were not listening to each other.  In watching my video tape of my recent lesson I noticed students were lost in their iPads and not facing the speaker.

It's hard to be really listening if you are writing on an iPad with your stylus, not facing the speaker, and not thinking about what is being said.

We've got to get our students to really care about what their classmates are asking or saying.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Videotaping my Lesson

October 20, 2016

This month our school's instructional coach helped me to video tape my AP Calculus BC class.  After watching the video and debriefing with the coach I've come away with some observations and focus areas for improvement.  Here are the notes from the class


Wednesday, 10/5/16 BC Calculus 29 students.  

00:00-2:00 (2) Review Agenda
02:32-8:03 (6) Look at #27 on worksheet
08:10-9:20 (1) Pass out paper copies of notes
09:20-14:51 (5) Summarizer multiple representations of derivative
14:51-20:30 (6) Review warm up.  
20:50-36:00 (15) Lesson on Differentiability and Continuity.
36:00-40:37 (5) Note card problem
40:41-42:44 (2) Collect Note card

42:46-47:00 (4) Review Note card problem

How Do I Make Students Think? 
  • My lesson had a summarizer activity that had students stating four ways to represent the derivative--verbally, analytically, numerically and graphically.  
  • The class ended with us reviewing note cards that all students completed about a problem related to differentiability and continuity that was at the core of the objective of the lesson. 
What types of questions or statements were the students asking? Lower order one word answers?  

  • "You apply the chain rule…”
  • “You know that since they are inverse functions their x and y values are reversed. The inputs and outputs are reserved.”
  • “the limit as x approaches zero…”
  • “Wait, what’s the difference between a corner and a cusp?”
  • “I assumed f(x) was continuous.”  An a ha moment for one student.
  • “What types of functions would we see this with? I know absolute value, piecewise, what else?"  [talking about cusps/corners..]

Major Focus Moving Forward:

  • Encourage students to ask deeper conceptual questions about the material during class time. For example, "what would happen if?"  "What's the difference between...?" "Why is that...? 
  • I am going to start giving kids note cards to write lingering questions that they have about the material to spur discussion.  
  • I want to ensure the students are listening to each other when they speak and are not lost in their devices. 
  • Continue to monitor pacing and get student feedback.  

Thank you to Kristen Tracy for helping me.  I look forward to taping a more student-centered activity next time. Maybe December.  


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Calculus Project Summer 2016


Our Calculus Project Summer Academy comes to a close today. Solid effort from our students and Mrs. Cowles.  Enjoy the rest of the summer!  -Mr. Morrissey

Feedback Form [click here]

p.s. Don't spend too much time looking for Pokemon gyms!