Q&A #3707

Homework in Calculus BC

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From: Pat Ballew (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Apr 17, 2000 at 17:32:28
Subject: Re: Homework in Calculus BC

The question about homework has to be weighted with your own view of the part
homework grades play in motivation, views of student responsibility, how many
other preps you have to deal with, what approaches you use for homework in
other classes at an advanced level (local culture) and probably ten other

I do not grade Homework at the Calculus level, but I do nag and complain if
the students do not have it, even throwing an occasional fit (practice and 
you can make these really dramatic) when they get collectively lazy.  For my
students an occasional guilt trip seems to focus them enough to meet my
  Some teachers I know who are very successful collect three or four problems
two or three times a week and grade only these, and some tell the students
which problems they will collect and grade.
  I have one acquaintance who assigns one problem a night that is like a free
response question that covers some aspect of the new material integrated with
review (but you have to build a file over time to do this, a long slow
  For the review, you might try one of the published review test booklets 
that have several sample tests.  I have used D&S for years. They are not too
expensive and they keep them up with the changes in the tests so there are
several of each type. You can also get old copies of the AP exams from
College Board, and if you know an experienced BC teacher in the area, they
may be able to let you see some old copies of the Free Response sections from
years past. (One thing you want to do is have at least one student bring you
their "green sheet" after the test, build a file of these and use them to
help you build your own review in future years).

Good luck, hope some of this helps.

 -Pat Ballew, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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