Discussion:  Roundtable 
Topic:  "Graphing Calculator" Software 
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Subject:  Gene's Calculus Course Journal 
Author:  Gene 
Date:  Sep 6 2003 
I'm teaching the first calculus course at a college, but the same material as
you'd find in a high school course. Many of the students have had some calculus
before but we have a placement exam which, together with the text
(HugesHallett et all "Calculus", Wiley) seems to keep them from being bored
while also not destroying those seeing the ideas for the first time. My approach
is middle of the road—some theory, some applications, some calculations. The
main goal is overall understanding, whatever that means.
I have few scientists and no engineers in my class of 30, but a lot of
premeds and people interested in biology, economics, political science. I'll
be slanting the applications and some of the material covered accordingly. I
don't make up a detailed syllabus in advance since I like to play things by ear
a bit, but we'll be covering most of the material in chapters entitled
Chapter 2: Key Concept: The Derivative
Chapter 3: ShortCuts to Differentiation
Chapter 4: Using the Derivative
Chapter 5: Key Concept: The Definite Integral
Chapter 6: Constructing Antiderivatives
Next semester begins with more integration.
On subthreads I'll post information about the particular tools I use. I'll also
post this information on the discussion on the tool's page. I plan to notify the
developer in case they wish to participate. Please add your comments and suggest
alternative tools that you prefer! (Comments directed toward a tool might more
properly go in the discussion on the tool's pageor in both places!)
I use computers for technology almost exclusively, with handheld calculators
mostly for arithmetic so I don't know much about what software tools are
available for graphing calculators.
 
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