Calculus AB

Course Description:

This four-day course explores the purpose and the content of the AP Calculus AB curriculum, in the context of recent developments on the exam and with the resources provided by AP Central. Participants will use the resources provided by the College Board to understand the goals and structure of the course, including issues of equity and access, appropriate pedagogical strategies, and the development of the Big Ideas of Calculus from skills to concepts. Effective use of the AP Classroom will be addressed, and participants will have the opportunity to communicate specific needs before the course begins. Content will include Limits, Derivatives and Integrals and their various applications, and will focus not only on the details of the content but on the
way that these details will likely present on the AP Test. Finally, Participants will focus on ways to ensure that their students not only master the skills and understand the concepts of AP CalcAB, but that they learn to communicate their work in ways likely to provide readers with evidence of their abilities. By looking in detail at recent test questions, scoring guidelines, and student work, participants will gain experience that will help them to successfully guide their
students to success.

Items Participates Should Bring: 

Writing utensils, notebook paper, a graphing calculator and a laptop

Course Schedule 

Day 1:
 AP Calculus Curriculum Framework
 Mathematical Practices for AP Calculus
 AP Equity and Access Policies
 Content:
o Limits
o The Definition of the Derivative
 Derivative Lab
o Theorems (IVT, MVT, EVT)
 Writing Justifications
o L’Hopital’s Rule and The Squeeze Theorem
 L’Hopital’s scoring on recent AP Tests
 2019 AB 6; the Squeeze Theorem
o Implicit Differentiation
 Inverse trigs
 Related Rates
o Optimization

Day 2:
 Strategies for teaching AP Calculus AB
 Types of Assessments for Learning
 Content:
o The Fundamental Theorem
o Riemann Sums
o Techniques of Integration
o Areas and Accumulators
o Volumes of Solids of Revolutions
o Volumes of Known Cross Section
o Volumes as Accumulators- 2018 BC 5 “the Plankton problem”

Day 3: Big Idea 4
 Planning Your Course
o Audit
o Resources
o AP Classroom
 Content:
o Slopefields and Differential Equations
o Tabular and graphical representations
o Topics from BC within the AP chapters

Day 4: Preparing for the AP Exam
 Timeline for Review
 Resources for Review
 2018, 19, 20 AP Calculus AB Problems
 Mock Reading


Phone: 253-535-8790
Fax: 253-535-7184

Instructor Biography 

Ruth Miller is the Head of the Math Department at Kent Denver School in Englewood, Colorado. She’s been teaching AP Calculus (off and on) since 1984, as well as AP Stats, Algebra I, Pre-Calc, and pretty much everything else that passes for math. She has taught in both public and private schools for 40 years, in Ohio, California, Virginia and Maryland. Ruth briefly taught History of Math (and Calculus and Statistics) at Towson University in Towson, Maryland, and enjoys using the History of Math to help students to understand the connections between how the discipline has developed and current practice. She graduated from the University of Akron as an undergrad, and earned a BS from Johns Hopkins University.

For 17 years, Ruth has been an AP Reader, and has read both AB and BC papers, as well as International and Alternative exams. She’s also served recently as a Table Leader. Ruth has given numerous workshops and talks over many years, on subjects ranging from AP Calculus and Stats to the 9-Point Circle, The History of Algebra, and the Archimedes Palimpsest.

Ruth is an avid reader (a fan of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and Richard Russo), enjoys sailing and hiking, and is embarrassed to admit that she watches some subgenres of Reality TV. She speaks German, and has taught math in German Gymnasium as an exchange teacher (Ruth loves to travel). Berlin is her favorite city (followed closely by Köln). Ruth has 3 grown children who live in Denver, and Los Angeles.

Picture of Ruth Miller