AP Calculus AB
OnLine for the 20202021 School Year
Teacher: Susan Gilleran
Email: sgillera@mac.com
Texts Required:
 Enhanced WebAssign with Calculus for AP^{®} 1^{st} Edition by Ron Larson and Paul Battaglia (2017) (not available until midAugust when class is created) (Homework $21.50 or Homework and eBook rental $35.00).
Calculus for AP^{®}, 1st edition Printed Version by Ron Larson and Paul Battaglia, (2017) ISBN13: 9781305674912.
(available at http://www.gettextbooks.com/isbn/9781305674912/)
(Printed version is required if eBook rental option is not selected)
(It should be noted both eBook and printed versions are highly recommended in conjunction with each other
because they each offer different advantages to the learning process.)
2. AP Exam Prep Textbook:
There are three versions, two of them are acceptable, pick one of the acceptable versions:
1. Apple Books available through iOS app for iPad, iPhone (interactive) (recommended)
2. Kindle available through amazon.com (not interactive)
3. Print copies (unacceptable unless only used to write on)
Title: AP Calculus Interactive Lectures Vol. 1 20192020 AP Calculus AB PowerPoint Lectures
by Rita Korsunsky
3. Excellent (optional) additional AP Exam Prep Book
Be Prepared for the AP Calculus Exam Third Edition by Mark Howell and Martha Montgomery
Copyright © May, 2016 by Skylight Publishing ISBN 9780997252859.
(ebook (excellent choice) available through RedShelf at:
https://redshelf.com/book/496017/bepreparedfortheapcalculusexam4960179780997252859markhowellmarthamontgomery?sscid=11k4_p85y1)
(print copy available new or used through amazon.com or new at: http://www.skylit.com/calculus/index.html)
First Day of Class: Monday August 31, 2020
Last Day of Class: Day of AP Exam – Tuesday May 4, 2021
Technical Requirements:
 Computer, highspeed internet access, email capability
 Smartphone or Scanner to save multiple handwritten pages as a single PDF file in a teacher assigned DropBox folder
 Graphing calculator – TI89, TINspire, or TI83/84 Plus (discounted on some sites)
Who Should Apply?: All students should have completed the equivalent of four years of highschool level mathematics designed for collegebound students. These would typically be referred to as Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II/Trigonometry, and PreCalculus covering advanced topics in algebra, trigonometry, analytic geometry and elementary functions including linear, polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, inverse trigonometric and piecewisedefined. In particular, students must be familiar with the properties, the algebra, and the graphs of functions. Students must also understand the language of functions (domain and range, odd and even, periodic, symmetry, zeroes, intercepts, and so on). Prospective students should be ready to commit 1112 hours per week to this class.
Course Fee: EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: $860 after June 30, 2020: $870
Should I take AP Calculus AB or BC? How do I decide? BC covers all the AB material from August through December and then additional topics from January through March, including additional integration techniques, infinite series, and polar/parametric functions, consequently there is a substantial amount of information to assimilate in a short period of time. As a result, the BC students need to be totally focused to keep up with the faster pace.
The advantage of taking BC is the opportunity to learn more calculus and if you excel, to the point of scoring a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP Exam, many universities allow you to bypass two semesters, or the equivalent of Calculus I and II, the first two courses in college calculus, while they only allow an AB student with an AP Exam score of 3, 4 or 5 to bypass one semester of college calculus. That's in most schools. It's possible the school you are going to has a different policy. They may not give two semesters of credit for BC or in some cases they may not give any credit at all for AB or BC. It's best to check with the university ahead of time.
The price you pay is a much faster paced course which covers approximately 3540% more material than the AB course. It is a considerable challenge. Whether your daughter or son should take the BC class, as opposed to the AB class, is a matter of stamina, ability, and interest in putting forth the extra effort necessary to step up to the challenge. Since BC goes at a faster pace, and covers more material, it means more work, and the BC material in the second semester is more difficult than the first semester.
It boils down to whether that extra semester of advanced placement in college calculus is worth it, keeping in mind that some colleges don't give the extra semester of credit for BC and most ivy league schools don't give any advanced placement. Keep in mind, if students start in the BC class, they can switch from BC to AB at any time during the year if they find the pace or the material is too much to handle. Or, I’ve had students switch from AB to BC because the pace is too slow, but this needs to occur very early in the year.
How have student’s performed on past AP Exams? The following table includes data from the past thirteen years:

Scores 
5's 
5's & 4's 
Avg Score 
AB 
Mrs. G 
64% 
80% 
4.34 

National 
19% 
38% 
2.94 
BC 
Mrs. G 
73% 
84% 
4.45 

National 
43% 
62% 
3.74 
A student’s success in this class is directly proportional to both the completion rate of the daily assignments on the day they are assigned, and the quality of the time spent on those assignments. By quality I mean being “present in mind” and willing to work at the process of learning which involves effort to pursue knowledge not just to absorb it.
Course Description: This course prepares students for the AP Calculus AB Exam. There are two AP Calculus Exams given each year – Calculus AB and Calculus BC. There are two courses designed to prepare for the exams, each to be taught over a full high school academic year. The Calculus BC course includes all the material included in the Calculus AB course plus additional topics.
Most colleges and universities offer a sequence of courses in calculus. Because of this, it depends on the policies of the institution and the results of your AP Exam as to where you are placed in their sequence of courses. The content of Calculus BC is designed to qualify the student for placement and credit in a course that is one course beyond that given for Calculus AB. Typically, Calculus AB is the first semester of college calculus and BC is the first and second semester.
Course Delivery is through 3 Web Sites:
 CLASSROOM SITE: Students in this class access a classroom website daily, at the most convenient time for them during the day, where they find a posting of one chapter of assignments, with a new lecture posted every day, Monday through Friday, discussing such things as that day’s topic, or a problem from yesterday’s or today’s assignment, or a recent test. I use focused video lectures on specific topics many of which are delivered by highly regarded lecturers whose talks are widely used by calculus teachers all over the world as supplements to their course materials. Additionally, there will be answer keys for daily assignments, chapter summaries, study aids, worksheets, AP Exam tips and tricks, AP Exam Practice Tests, as well as other helpful supplements. There will be one or two live zoom sessions per week whose topics will be driven by students’ needs.
 DISCUSSION BOARD: Students interact with their classmates, teaching assistants and me through a lively online Discussion Board provided through Google Groups. They post any questions they have about the reading material or the homework assignments, answer other students’ questions, as well as post solutions to problems. Questions can always be sent directly to me through email at any time.
 CENGAGE/WEBASSIGN DIGITAL LEARNING PLATFORM
EBOOK OPTION: The textbook Calculus for AP by Larson/Battaglia is equivalent to a world class college text tailored specifically for the new AP Calculus curriculum framework, available in both printed and electronic formats. It offers a wealth of resources to enhance the learning experience. The eBook on WebAssign and the companion websites with CalcChat (stepbystep solutions to exercises) and CalcView (video tutorials of how to solve textbook exercises) serve as “virtual tutors” for the entire year, complementing my daily lectures which serve as the official tutor. Students are not required to rent the eBook on WebAssign to get the homework assignments. They can opt to only purchase the homework assignments and go with a printed copy of the textbook. My recommendation is to both rent the eBook and purchase or rent the print copy also. My past students have told me they find advantages to both types of media. This decision is very often tied to a personal preference and will vary from student to student. The decision is totally up to the student.
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS: In conjunction with the eBook, WebAssign is a webbased interactive homework assignment and test platform used by over 2600 universities, colleges and academies  including CaliforniaBerkeley, Chapel Hill, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Rutgers, Texas A&M, the United States Air Force and the United States Military and Naval Academies. I post two weeks of assignments at a time – the current and following week, so students can work ahead of schedule if they want, except for tests which are posted on the day they are assigned. WebAssign is where the majority of the assignments will come from. They will consist of exercises coded by the publisher for WebAssign extracted from the Larson textbook. There are over 5,000 problems available to me to create the WebAssign online assignments. The features that WebAssign offers are:
1. Immediate feedback on whether your answers are correct
2. Multiple tries at solving a problem
3. Assistance in solving the problem in the form of:
¤ Watch It Videos of an instructor explaining the solution to a similar problem,
¤ Master It Tutorials with guided fillin steps through the solution process, and
¤ Read It buttons take you to the location in the online textbook discussing the question.
¤ Selfprepared Personal Study Plan you can follow as we progress through the text with practice tests after each section.
In general, WebAssign and the eBook help put boredom out of business.
What is the Key to Success in this Course? Each assignment will build on previous assignments, so success will depend on a daily response to the challenge. I want to stress the importance and significance of that statement. You will have homework every day that will take from one and a half to two and a half hours to complete, depending on how well you understand the material. So, if you skip a day, just one day, you will have three to five hours of work to do on the second day. If you skip three days, you will have four and a half to seven and a half hours of work to do on the third day. In other words, you cannot miss a day without the work becoming exponentially more difficult to accomplish. That requires a serious commitment on your part before you step up to the plate and say, “Let’s play ball, Mrs. Gilleran!” I want you to be sure you are ready to make that commitment before completing the application.
While this course is not for the fainthearted, I’ll promise you it will be one of the most challenging opportunities of your life as a student. And one of the most significant lessons you’ll learn is, along with the greatest challenges, come the greatest rewards. You are going to love calculus! It is a monumental testament to the wonders of the world of mathematics.
Instructor Qualifications: I earned a BS and secondary teaching certificate in Mathematics from Wayne State University and an MBA from Lawrence Technological University. I taught high school mathematics before moving to the business world for the balance of my career, at Ford Motor Company, where I was continuously amazed by the evolution of the computer as an Information Technology Manager.
This will be my fifteenth year teaching the AP Calculus courses for PA Homeschoolers. I have also completed four fiveday College Board summer institutes  one dedicated to teaching AP Calculus AB and the other three addressed AP Calculus BC and three oneday workshops for AP Calculus BC teachers. I’m looking forward to an exciting year that’s sure to be an adventure for everyone involved.
Application: Anyone interested in joining Mrs. Gilleran's Adventures in Math should fill out this Application for AP Calculus AB:
Click here to open or download an application to this class (Microsoft Word document)
Click here to read class reviews from past participants
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