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Topic: [ap-calculus] AP Text book
Replies: 1   Last Post: Sep 25, 2012 7:41 AM

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Paul A. Foerster

Posts: 892
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: [ap-calculus] AP Text book
Posted: Sep 25, 2012 7:41 AM
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Stephanie, et al. -

When I first taught AP Calculus in 1962 (that's right!) I used George
Thomas's "Elements of Calculus" text. It was excellent, cohesive,
understandable, and had plenty of problems for students to work. When
Thomas retired and his colleague at MIT Ross Finney took over, there was s
noticeable difference in writing style between parts written by Finney and
parts carried over from Thomas. (Both Thomas and Finney are now deceased.)

When Bert Waits and Frank Demana joined the writing team to bring in
graphing calculators, different features of various sections were written
by different authors, each with his own style. Dan Kennedy improved the
text for high school use by bringing in his own high school teaching

The disappointment you express in FDWK may be due to the fact that it was
contributed to by so many authors, and no doubt massaged by various
editors. Jon Rogowsky's book has the advantage of having been written from
scratch by a single author. I, too, have heard good things about Jon's

My text, "Calculus: Concepts and Applications," (Key Curriculum Press, now
being published by Kendall Hunt) also has the advantage of being written
by a single author, a high school teacher who wrote it for use with his
own students. It is based on the idea that calculus involves just four
concepts - limits, derivatives, and two kinds of integrals. All of the
theorems, properties, techniques, and applications revolve around these
four concepts.

While you are using FDWK as your text, may I respectfully suggest a line
of action. Contact Kendall Hunt ( and get one copy of
my text and one copy of the associated "Instructor's Resource Book." The
latter book contains 150 or so Explorations. Throughout the year you can
select and reproduce various Explorations to use with your students. Then
when the time comes for you to change texts, you will know from experience
whether you like the approach used by this author, and can make an
appropriate decision.

Best wishes to you and your students! The first year is the hardest!

Teacher Emeritus of Mathematics
Al;amo Heights High School
San Antonio


On 9/10/12 "Stephanie Mader" < wrote:

> I recently purchased Calculus by Finney, Demana, Waits and Kennedy the
> fourth edition/AP edition. I thought that it had great reviews and I know
> that some other high schools in my area as well as other high school
> teachers who attended an AP workshop use this book. But I have to say that
> I am greatly disappointed. I think that there is a huge gap between
> examples and exercises in the sections as well as a lack of explanation in
> the text.

> Due to budget issues, I'm stuck with this book for several years.

> At the AP workshop I was given a sample of Rogawski's Calculus for AP the
> second Edition. I have found this book to be more clear. Does anyone have
> an opinion on this text? Have you found good teacher resources with this
> book?

> I'm trying to survive my first year!

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