After getting back to business from the holiday break and many snow/cold days, my students were ready to be done with Calculus (block schedule means classes are only a semester, then all new classes). Administration decided to push back exams a week to allow for enough time to go through the curriculum. I was ok with it either way, but it gave us a chance to get through some optimization problems in calculus, as well as introduce Integration. Coming back to school on a Thursday, a week after we were supposed to return from break, I was very happy that I had planned for some activities for the students to do. Last year I found the following introduction to optimization activities online (sorry, I cannot remember where!). They are nice because they work students through doing them by creating objects, doing the algebra and finally calculating with calculus. It gives the students a visual to think about later.

Introduction to Optimization

We then spent a few days working on example problems and worksheets. Here are my INB pages:

I particularly enjoyed the notes on the pink paper. They actually created shapes that were being described in the problems.

The extra few days of the term allowed for me to introduce the integral, or the anti-derivative. We just went through the basics, what it is, how to use the power rule. Two days does not allow for a lengthy, in-depth conversation about it. Some years we have more time spent on integrals, other years we don’t even get to them.

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