July 8-11, 2024
Instructor: Thomas Fitzkee

Hello fellow mathematicians. I look forward to meeting each of you on Monday (July 8) for our Precalculus APSI in Tuscaloosa. I am excited about the launch of AP Precalculus by College Board and the opportunity it provides high school students in STEM and non-STEM fields. I am in my 26th year at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, around 16 years as Chair of Mathematics. Francis Marion is a public, liberal arts college in Florence, SC, with about 4,000 students. I have been heavily involved in AP Calculus as a director for Calculus AB/BC APSI’s for 5-6 years, an AP Calculus Reader for 14 years, and a Table Leader just last summer. After the Reading I made the switch to AP Precalculus due to the expected surge in interest in AP Precalculus. I was the consultant for two Precalculus APSI’s last summer, one solo and one with Julie Harrison. As a college faculty member, I have a high regard for the rich curriculum of any AP course. I have found that students with a score of 3 or higher in AP Calculus AB/BC are very successful in their subsequent calculus courses. I am confident that the same will be true for AP Precalculus.

Course Description

This course is for teachers preparing to teach AP Precalculus. A discussion regarding course purpose and philosophy will begin the institute. We will fully explore the Course and Exam Description (CED) to gain an in-depth understanding of the vision of the course by College Board. A detailed analysis of the Essential Knowledge statements will provide a cohesive view of function analysis, rate of change work, and modeling implementation. A variety of effective activities to support student learning will help increase student access to content. We will discuss common student misconceptions, the AP exam, and classroom strategies to maximize learning. Discussions will focus on enhancing teacher understanding and development of topics as well as sharing ideas and activities.

Course Objectives

The topics listed below will be incorporated throughout the week. The emphasis, order, and inclusion of these and other topics will be driven by participant needs and goals.
• Discuss Curricular Requirements
• Discuss Diversity & Inclusion and Equity & Access visions from College Board
• Understand thoroughly the AP Precalculus Course and Exam Description
• Become aware of AP Classroom Resources
• Develop Course Pacing Plan
• Unpack and Implement the Three Mathematical Practices
• Use of Limit Notation as a Descriptive Thread in the Course
• Incorporate Multiple Representations
• Development and Plan Unit 1: Polynomial and Rational Functions
• Understand Key Components of Unit 2: Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
• Understand Key Components of Unit 3: Trigonometric and Polar Functions
• Introduce Unit 4: Functions Involving Parameters, Vectors, and Matrices
• Discuss Instructional Strategies and Effective Activity Design
• Become familiar with Exam Style Questions and Task Verbs
• Discuss Exam Structure
• Promote Student Use of Justifications
• Discuss Graphing Calculator Usage

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