In my fifth year teaching high school geometry, an opportunity has come to me that seems interesting, challenging, and worthwhile. So, in addition to integrating the Common Core’s version of high school geometry into our school’s math program, the lot has fallen upon me to do the necessary research for (what could become) our school’s new AP Calculus class. Well, actually, I kind of requested the job because I need the hours for my masters program and I would be interested in teaching the class once it is planned.
Okay, so confession: I don’t have any idea what I’m looking at or looking for. I took calculus as a high school senior several (or more) years ago. I took Calc 1 at Lansing Community College and Calc 2 at Western Michigan University. I’d like to think that I could give the students a better experience than I had. In that mindset, I’ve spent the last two hours or so looking at different unit plans, textbooks, labs, and syllabi. I even put “the best calculus textbook in the English-speaking world” into a Bing search bar to see what came up. (Nothing useful, by the way.)
So, here’s where you can help.
I need advice. What are the best textbooks? What should I look for? What are my red flags?
I’m very inclined to project-based, or at least student-centered curricula. What resources are you familiar with that will support the students in an exploration of calculus instead of a year-long teacher presentation?
Can you provide links to awesome problems or labs?
All suggestions and recommendations is welcome. Even a word or two of advice would be welcome. Load up the comments. If it’s longer, firstname.lastname@example.org is the way to get ahold of me.
Thanks for everything!