Precalculus Sharing Sessions Page

Good Ideas in Teaching Precalculus And . . .

. . . Algebra, Calculus, Geometry, Discrete Mathematics,
and Probability & Statistics, with Technology

Rutgers University – Busch Campus – New Brunswick
Friday, March 20, 2020
8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


A) What to Keep and What to Leave Out of Calculus & Precalculus

Incorporating technology and new topics in precalculus and calculus classes have forced us to think about which traditional topics should be deleted or given less emphasis. This session will provide us an opportunity to share our thoughts and our solutions. Moderator: Anita Schuloff

B) The Rush to Calculus: Pluses and Minuses

The rush to calculus has resulted in more and more students taking Algebra I in the 8th grade. Does your district have middle school teachers who are well prepared to teach algebra? Are their students entering your high school well prepared for geometry and Algebra II? Have the number of students taking calculus in your high school increased, and have these students been successful in calculus? Has the level of your calculus course changed as a result of the increase of students? What do the students report back to you when they are in college about their preparation for college calculus? Moderator: Neil Cooperman

C) How Do You Prepare Students for the AP Calculus Tests?

Studies have shown that taking AP courses does not benefit students unless they also take AP tests. Does your school encourage all students who take AP Calclus to take the AP Calculus test? At the same time, there is increasing pressure on students to take AP courses since there is a general belief that they will be to their advantage in gaining admission to their preferred schools. As a result, many more students are taking AP Calculus. How do we prepare them to succeed when they take the AP Calculus exams? Moderator: Ken Collins

D) What Algebra and Geometry Topics are Needed for Precalculus

Are we providing our algebra and geometry students with what they need to succeed when they subsequently take our precalculus courses? What are the key ideas that may need more emphasis in these classes? Moderator: Stephanie Cooperman

E) Dealing with Challenging Students

We all have had students who are challenging in various ways and have pondered about how to deal with them. All are welcome to participate in this sharing session where we will

  • make a list of the most common challenges
  • share some attempts that were unsuccessful
  • share solutions

Moderator: Angelo DeMattia

F) Preparing High School Students for College Math

When they go to college, most of our students will be required to pass some math course. How can we best prepare high school students for success in college mathematics, whichever math course they end up taking — whether it is intermediate algebra or calculus? Moderator: Jay Schiffman

G) What’s New in Technology?

Every year there are new technological opportunities for using technology in the classroom. What recent innovations have you found particularly useful? Which ones have not worked as well as you hoped? This sharing session will provide participants with an opportunity to learn from each other about their experiences in using new technology in their own classes, from Algebra to Calculus. Moderator: Dianna Sopala

H) Recreational Mathematics

This sharing session will provide participants with an opportunity to share with each other interesting mathematical tidbits that they have discovered, that are not necessarily in the traditional curriculum, some of which might be appropriate to introduce to students in various high school classes. Moderator: L. Charles (Chuck) Biehl

I) What Seeds of Calculus Should be Planted in Algebra?

Our focus is often exclusively on the course that we are currently teaching. As we teach each course, it may be helpful to think about how the students in that course will be using the topics of that course in future courses and prepare them for their later encounters with those topics. In particular, as we teach Algebra I and Algebra II, what seeds should we plant about how what we learn now will be used later? Moderator: Michael Cedrone