Kirsten in MO 11 Posted October 15, 2011 Report Share Posted October 15, 2011 I have noticed that a lot of WTMers use the Art of Problem Solving matherials. I looked on their website and it seems to be for really motivated or advanced math students. Is this accurate? Does anyone use it for their "average" math student? Does the style of learning only appeal to certain types of learners? Does it take a year to work through each book? My middle son has completed Saxon Alg. I and II, but wasn't able to solve a single Alg. II problem on an SAT practice cd that we have. He only scored a 21 on an ACT practice test. Ughhh!! What can I do to rectify this??? Thanks, Kirsten Quote Link to post Share on other sites

MSNative 2,644 Posted October 15, 2011 Report Share Posted October 15, 2011 We love AoPS here. My son is in Intro to Algebra, not Algebra II so take my input with a grain of salt. I don't think AoPS is only for mathy kids. However, they do move at a faster pace and cover more material than I expected. Ds took the placement quiz and did great. He is overwhelmed by the Alcumus (online problems) that are required for the class. And the pace of the class is very fast. He gets the info, but I'm not sure how much he is retaining. That said, he and his brother love the online class and laugh during it. Yes, they laugh during math class. This is a great thing! We are going to finish up the class (you go through the entire Intro to Algebra book during the 3 month class) but then I think we will go back and spend the rest of the year reviewing the book. Don't know if that answered your questions or not. Overall, AoPS gives students a great understanding of math. It does move quickly, though. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

regentrude 84,700 Posted October 15, 2011 Report Share Posted October 15, 2011 (edited) I have noticed that a lot of WTMers use the Art of Problem Solving matherials. I looked on their website and it seems to be for really motivated or advanced math students. Is this accurate? Does anyone use it for their "average" math student? Does the style of learning only appeal to certain types of learners? AoPS uses a discovery based approach where the student has to solve problems on his own before the concept is discussed and the theory introduced. Some of the problems are really challenging, so the student has to be motivated to work on a problem for an extended time. Also, the books cover a lot more material than a traditional high school course. So typically, only students who are good at math and who enjoy math would be willing to use a curriculum where they have to work longer and harder on math than with another book. Does it take a year to work through each book? Introduction to Algebra is a very meaty book and may take longer. My DD spent 220 hours working through the book. My son did chapters 1-11 last school year and will complete the book this school year. Intro to Geometry was a solid one year course and much more doable in that time than Algebra. Edited October 15, 2011 by regentrude Quote Link to post Share on other sites

regentrude 84,700 Posted October 15, 2011 Report Share Posted October 15, 2011 We love AoPS here. My son is in Intro to Algebra, not Algebra II so take my input with a grain of salt.We are going to finish up the class (you go through the entire Intro to Algebra book during the 3 month class) The bolded is not correct. The syllabus for algebra 1 on the AoPS website lists: Deriving the quadratic formula in week 16. That is only chapter 13, a bit more than half-way through the book. The second half of the book, chapters 14 through 22, are covered during 15 weeks in AoPS Algebra 2 class. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

MtnTeaching 604 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 The bolded is not correct.The syllabus for algebra 1 on the AoPS website lists: Deriving the quadratic formula in week 16. That is only chapter 13, a bit more than half-way through the book. The second half of the book, chapters 14 through 22, are covered during 15 weeks in AoPS Algebra 2 class. Sorry to hijack, but regentrude - do you feel it is possible for a kid who has worked through a majority of the Lial Introductory Algebra text (not all- missing quadratic equation) to take the Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 classes in the same year? (He is currently in Counting and Probability and loving it. I would love for him to take Algebra 1 & 2 in Winter and summer - then be ready for Geometry next year. This would put him back on track. We were using another Algebra before Lial and it just did not work well - disappointing.) Quote Link to post Share on other sites

EKS 15,352 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 (edited) My middle son has completed Saxon Alg. I and II, but wasn't able to solve a single Alg. II problem on an SAT practice cd that we have. He only scored a 21 on an ACT practice test. Ughhh!! What can I do to rectify this??? I would not use AoPS to rectify it. AoPS is an amazing program for students whom it suits. These students are not only accelerated but passionate about math. The passion is the most important part. Edited October 16, 2011 by EKS Quote Link to post Share on other sites

regentrude 84,700 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 Sorry to hijack, but regentrude - do you feel it is possible for a kid who has worked through a majority of the Lial Introductory Algebra text (not all- missing quadratic equation) to take the Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 classes in the same year? I do not know Lial's and I do not know the classes; we use AoPS as a book only. I have read comments from other users on this forum that AoPS did not work well for their kids who had done another algebra program prior to using AoPS because the discovery aspect flopped - you can't discover stuff you already know. So, you'd lose the best feature of AoPS. I have no personal experience with this, because for us AoPS was the first program. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Teachin'Mine 1,887 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 (edited) Sorry, I misunderstood Edited October 16, 2011 by Teachin'Mine Quote Link to post Share on other sites

snowbeltmom 5,997 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 ... is possible for a kid who has worked through a majority of the Lial Introductory Algebra text (not all- missing quadratic equation) to take the Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 classes in the same year? Yes, it is possible. I discovered AoPS a few months into homeschooling. My oldest had just completed Saxon Alg. I when I enrolled him in AoPS Alg I. online-class. He was in 7th grade at the time. He then went on to complete Alg II., Counting & Probability, Number Theory and the Geometry on-line classes before the end of 8th grade. He had no trouble moving into the AoPS text after completing Saxon Alg. I. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

snowbeltmom 5,997 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 I have read comments from other users on this forum that AoPS did not work well for their kids who had done another algebra program prior to using AoPS because the discovery aspect flopped - you can't discover stuff you already know. So, you'd lose the best feature of AoPS. I have no personal experience with this, because for us AoPS was the first program. I have read these comments as well. This was definitely not true in my son's experience. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Kirsten in MO 11 Posted October 16, 2011 Author Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 AoPS uses a discovery based approach where the student has to solve problems on his own before the concept is discussed and the theory introduced. Some of the problems are really challenging, so the student has to be motivated to work on a problem for an extended time. Also, the books cover a lot more material than a traditional high school course. So typically, only students who are good at math and who enjoy math would be willing to use a curriculum where they have to work longer and harder on math than with another book. Thank you. My son is not crazy about math, but he would work for 1-2 hours to finish his Saxon lessons without complaining...he always did every single problem, but there doesn't seem to be the ability to apply any of it to the problems that are labeled "alg. II" problems on these other tests. Do you think he would learn to understand the math better if he had to think through it more, rather than just review the same types of problems day after day? (Saxon) Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Kirsten in MO 11 Posted October 16, 2011 Author Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 Kirsten, how did he do on the Saxon lessons and on the tests? Well, he seemed to do fine on the lessons, but I have him enrolled in a one day a week class that meets for history, bible, literature, and math. The teacher would teach the concepts for the lessons she expected the students to do for the week, and I also encouraged him to use his DIVE cd whenever he thought he needed it, but he seldom chose to use it. He would always miss some of the problems, but I didn't think it was a big deal. I think the biggest problem was that the teacher only assigned 5 tests for the whole year, and he made B's and a C, but then totally failed the last two tests. They didn't get done with the book last year, so finished it up a week ago and that is when he took the final test...he only did 2 out of 20 correct. The teacher had planned to have him go on to the Advanced math book, but I pulled him from the math portion of the class last week and told her I would have to decide what to do about this. He is a junior this year, and I am thinking that he needs to repeat Alg. II with something besides Saxon. What a mess! It always sounds like the kids using Aops are learning so much. I guess I was hoping that it might help him actually learn it, but I am grasping at straws I suppose. I have really messed this up for my son.... Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Brenda in MA 625 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 Thank you. My son is not crazy about math, but he would work for 1-2 hours to finish his Saxon lessons without complaining...he always did every single problem, but there doesn't seem to be the ability to apply any of it to the problems that are labeled "alg. II" problems on these other tests. Do you think he would learn to understand the math better if he had to think through it more, rather than just review the same types of problems day after day? (Saxon) Kirsten, To answer your question -- Yes! I think he would understand the math better if he had to think through it more. I'm not personally familiar with AoPS, but I'm chiming in because my older son was in the exact same situation with Saxon, but he had gotten through about half of Advanced Math before I realized how serious the issue was. I had signed him up for the free 30 day trial of Aleks to use over the summer to keep his math skills up. But when he went to take their placement test, I found that he had a problem with a lot of Algebra 2 concepts, and he couldn't apply the math to other subjects, like physics. At that point, I realized that with Saxon, he was just memorizing algorithms to allow him to succeed on the tests, and he did do very well on the Saxon tests. What I ended up doing was have him spend the summer with Aleks shoring up his Algebra 2, and then he started PreCalc again with Chalkdust. He used Chalkdust PreCalc & Calc, and then has gone on to do fine with upper level math in college. He did basically loose an entire year of math in high school because the year he spent in Saxon's Advanced Math was a total waste. I would suggest that you follow your gut and have your son repeat Algebra 2 with a different text. Both Lial & Chalkdust are very good. Some kids are able to piece together the tiny bits learned in Saxon and understand the bigger picture. My son was definitely not one of those, and it sounds like yours isn't either. Just be glad that you've found the problem now when you still have time to rectify it. Best wishes, Brenda Quote Link to post Share on other sites

regentrude 84,700 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 The teacher would teach the concepts for the lessons she expected the students to do for the week, and I also encouraged him to use his DIVE cd whenever he thought he needed it, but he seldom chose to use it. He would always miss some of the problems, but I didn't think it was a big deal. Missing problems may or may not be a big deal - you need to carefully analyze EACH miss and see what is going on: careless arithmetic mistake, or lack of understanding. I think the biggest problem was that the teacher only assigned 5 tests for the whole year, and he made B's and a C, but then totally failed the last two tests. Why would you see that as a problem? I give my kids ONE single math exam per semester. Math mastery must mean long term retention, the student needs to be able to use the concepts even after a year. Missing problems on daily work should be enough of a red flag to signal lack of mastery; it is not necessary to do tests to find that out. They didn't get done with the book last year, so finished it up a week ago and that is when he took the final test...he only did 2 out of 20 correct. The teacher had planned to have him go on to the Advanced math book, but I pulled him from the math portion of the class last week and told her I would have to decide what to do about this. He is a junior this year, and I am thinking that he needs to repeat Alg. II with something besides Saxon. Yes, if he gets less than ten percent of the problems, a complete review is in order. There are many options available. AoPS may or may not work, but I hear good things about Lial's. Using AoPS in this situation might mean going back all the way to algebra 1 because the book teaches a lot more things than the traditional course, and uses these in algebra 2; so this might not be the ideal choice. Whatever program you choose, I think you need to work more closely with him. He needs to check his work every single day, and every single incorrect problem must be addressed thoroughly, right there and then. It sounds as if your son can not do this on his own; this is where you as the parent (or another teacher) need to step in. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Teachin'Mine 1,887 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 (edited) Kirsten' date=' how did he do on the Saxon lessons and on the tests? Well, he seemed to do fine on the lessons, but I have him enrolled in a one day a week class that meets for history, bible, literature, and math. The teacher would teach the concepts for the lessons she expected the students to do for the week, and I also encouraged him to use his DIVE cd whenever he thought he needed it, but he seldom chose to use it. He would always miss some of the problems, but I didn't think it was a big deal. I think the biggest problem was that the teacher only assigned 5 tests for the whole year, and he made B's and a C, but then totally failed the last two tests. They didn't get done with the book last year, so finished it up a week ago and that is when he took the final test...he only did 2 out of 20 correct. The teacher had planned to have him go on to the Advanced math book, but I pulled him from the math portion of the class last week and told her I would have to decide what to do about this. He is a junior this year, and I am thinking that he needs to repeat Alg. II with something besides Saxon. What a mess! It always sounds like the kids using Aops are learning so much. I guess I was hoping that it might help him actually learn it, but I am grasping at straws I suppose. I have really messed this up for my son....[/quote'] Missing some of the lesson problems isn't a big deal at all. But what's important is that each of the missed problems should be re-worked until they get the right answer. Just noting that it's wrong, or watching someone else do the problem isn't really helpful. Saxon builds on each of the concepts in the "review" problems and introduces new variances on what's already been learned. It's important that each of these is mastered. Saxon, I think, works best by going at the student's individual pace. When your son first got a C on a test, that was the time to stop and figure out what he was missing and not move forward until then. Five tests for a whole year is not a good idea with Saxon! I forget if it's after every fifth lesson, or after every fourth lesson that there's a test. Doing it this way, things won't get out of hand without you, and the student, knowing there's a problem. IMO it's important for the parent to correct the work with the student each day. Not giving them the right answers, but having them work them until they have them right. Honestly I don't know what would be best, but if you're able, a good tutor might be helpful to assess where he's at and come up with a plan to get him up to speed for the standardized tests. Don't beat yourself up on this. Your son has probably been a bit lost in the lessons for quite a while and should have told you. His teacher also should have told you that something was wrong with his testing grades. You still have a year before his final SAT/ACT tests need to be taken, and you have almost two years before he's finished with high school. Do some good assessing of where he's at - make sure he's got algebra 1 solidly, and move on from there. Edited October 16, 2011 by Teachin'Mine Quote Link to post Share on other sites

MtnTeaching 604 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 I have read comments from other users on this forum that AoPS did not work well for their kids who had done another algebra program prior to using AoPS because the discovery aspect flopped - you can't discover stuff you already know. So, you'd lose the best feature of AoPS. I know what you mean about the discovery aspect. I was really hoping that taking the AoPS Algebra would help him with that. Up until our first Algebra 1 experience, ds had always liked math, then the first one flopped so I tried Lialâ€™s. He liked it, but just wasnâ€™t retaining (and wasnâ€™t thrilled). Now he is in the AoPS Counting and Probability class and LOVES it. There is an excitement and an understanding that is just amazing. I feel like he has lost a year of math because of my decisions about his curriculum and it panics me a bit, but, when I really step back, my goal for him is understanding and hopefully to love what he is learning. I discovered AoPS a few months into homeschooling. My oldest had just completed Saxon Alg. I when I enrolled him in AoPS Alg I. online-class. He was in 7th grade at the time. He then went on to complete Alg II., Counting & Probability, Number Theory and the Geometry on-line classes before the end of 8th grade. He had no trouble moving into the AoPS text after completing Saxon Alg. I. Thank you for responding as well. I think he would be able to catch up this way. He is game to do this and wants to work through the summer to catch up. I just feel so responsible and like I let him down a bit with my choices. So far, he is loving his class with AoPS. Thank you. My son is not crazy about math, but he would work for 1-2 hours to finish his Saxon lessons without complaining...he always did every single problem, but there doesn't seem to be the ability to apply any of it to the problems that are labeled "alg. II" problems on these other tests. Do you think he would learn to understand the math better if he had to think through it more, rather than just review the same types of problems day after day? (Saxon) My son seemed to like math ok before, but now that he is taking AoPS Counting and Probability, it is like a switch has been turned on. For us, this type of learning just seems to be what was â€œmissingâ€. He loves â€œgettingâ€ the â€œwhyâ€ behind the problems. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Deniseibase 46 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 I can only speak to my own experience, but I would not use AoPS as a remedial program UNLESS you had a motivated learner. I DO, however, think AoPS can be very successful with students who are not strong in math IF they are motivated to try to get better. I flunked Algebra in high school and passed it with a C- the second time I took it - my brain just doesn't work that way. Several years ago I realized if I was going to homeschool my DD until I could hand her off to community college, I was going to not only have to re-learn algenra but probably a bit more (thank you, o Fates! Nothing like plonking a mathy kid on an English major momma! :tongue_smilie: ) So I learned algebra with Saxon, starting with Algebra 1/2 and working my way up through Algebra 2. For the first time in my life, I understood HOW to do the problems. We then discovered AoPS which is turning out to be a GREAT fit for my DD. But I am also trying to work through it myself, just in order to stay a couple lessons ahead of her on her homework! We are working in the Pre-algebra book, and I am constantly amazed at how much greater my understanding is as a result of working through this program. It is not discovery for me at this point, I know HOW to do all the pre-algebra stuff pretty thoroughly. But it all seems MUCH more connected than it did with Saxon, and I'm finding it opens up so many ideas that were never approached, or at best, sighted from a distance, in my previous math experience. HOWEVER - this would not have worked for me at ALL in high school because I was completely unmotivated - I knew I wanted to major in English and so to me, math was something that I thought I just needed to 'get through' for high school and then I'd never have to see it again. But, now that I am motivated due to wanting to help my daughter, I get a lot out of it. It isn't simply that I've discovered hidden reserves of math talent - I go through it MUCH more slowly than my DD, she grasps things immediately that I have to plod through very deliberately. So yes, you CAN get a lot out of AoPS even if you are not math-talented, but only if the motivation is there. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Kirsten in MO 11 Posted October 16, 2011 Author Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 Missing problems may or may not be a big deal - you need to carefully analyze EACH miss and see what is going on: careless arithmetic mistake, or lack of understanding. Why would you see that as a problem? I give my kids ONE single math exam per semester. Math mastery must mean long term retention, the Whatever program you choose, I think you need to work more closely with him. He needs to check his work every single day, and every single incorrect problem must be addressed thoroughly, right there and then. It sounds as if your son can not do this on his own; this is where you as the parent (or another teacher) need to step in. regentrude, Thank you for your reply. I was letting him check a lot of his own work and since he was "doing math" with another teacher, I just checked out, so to speak, and dropped the ball on keeping up with where he was at. I am trying to do better with my younger son, who is doing Saxon Alg. I. I grade his work every day and we go over his missed problems the next day with the white board, and I know EXACTLY what he is missing and why. I also give him a test every Friday. I wished I had done this with my middle son! Brenda in MA; Thank you for sharing your experience with your son! I feel encouraged by your story and am so glad your son was able to go on and do well. I will definitely check out the Aleks math...I am not familiar with it but it sounds like I need to be! I have searched on Amazon for the Lial's, but have not been able to find the cd support that is suppose to be available. I think we would need that. I have already decided that we will be doing math through the summer! Teachin'Mine; I appreciate the encouragement...I keep thinking that he could have had Alg II under his belt already, but hopefully, he can still get it learned and have a little time left before he graduates to go on to some pre-cal. If not, then it's not the end of the world! He is so very solid in literature and writing! His scores there are very good. :001_smile: Deniseibase; Thank you for responding as well. If I'm understanding you correctly, you basically know how to do the math but are seeing it in a new way through the AoPS materials. Your understanding is expanded? Very interesting! Thanks to all of you who took the time to respond. I was looking at the AopS website, so I thought my questions was about that, but I guess my original questions should have been "Help! What do I do?" Again, I appreciate all the help! If anyone has anything else to add, please do so. I will keep checking back! ~Kirsten Quote Link to post Share on other sites

MSNative 2,644 Posted October 16, 2011 Report Share Posted October 16, 2011 The bolded is not correct.The syllabus for algebra 1 on the AoPS website lists: Deriving the quadratic formula in week 16. That is only chapter 13, a bit more than half-way through the book. The second half of the book, chapters 14 through 22, are covered during 15 weeks in AoPS Algebra 2 class. Thank goodness! So far we are just doing a chapter a week and I assumed we were just going to go thru the whole book this semester. I am delighted to be wrong. Thanks for letting me know. We have been in full sprint on this. Again, we love it, it's just a lot for my guy. Sorry to be giving out bad info. Didn't mean to confuse. I appreciate your correcting me. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Deniseibase 46 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 Deniseibase;Thank you for responding as well. If I'm understanding you correctly, you basically know how to do the math but are seeing it in a new way through the AoPS materials. Your understanding is expanded? Very interesting! Yes, very much so - before I understood HOW to solve basic problems, but didn't have the theoretical understanding to explain why very much of it worked the way it did, which of course is JUST what my DD asks about!! :) But now I can explain a lot more. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Sebastian (a lady) 9,663 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 (edited) The bolded is not correct.The syllabus for algebra 1 on the AoPS website lists: Deriving the quadratic formula in week 16. That is only chapter 13, a bit more than half-way through the book. The second half of the book, chapters 14 through 22, are covered during 15 weeks in AoPS Algebra 2 class. Hmm. I thought I had a handle on a scope and sequence for AoPS, but I'm still figuring out how to work through this evidently. The colleges that ds #1 and #2 are looking at want calculus in senior year (or preferably junior year). So what progressions through AoPS would help us get there? (I've been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how to get through the whole Intro to Algebra book in a year and it looks like I'm not really understanding the expected sequencing. ETA: I guess a corollary question is how to you plan the coursework out to produce recognizable courses on a transcript? Edited October 17, 2011 by Sebastian (a lady) Quote Link to post Share on other sites

regentrude 84,700 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 (edited) The colleges that ds #1 and #2 are looking at want calculus in senior year (or preferably junior year). So what progressions through AoPS would help us get there? (I've been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how to get through the whole Intro to Algebra book in a year and it looks like I'm not really understanding the expected sequencing. I'll tell you what we did, and what could be done to streamline: My DD did Intro to Algebra in one year, including the summer. (She was in 12, so it would be easier for an older student. It took 220 hours, so not unreasonably much). She followed with Intro to Geometry in the next year. Is currently using Intermediate Algebra to finish algebra 2 this semester (she had started concurrently with geometry; we condensed the four polynomial chapters, omit the competition math in 17-20), she will do Precalc next semester. This means she will do calc her Junior year. You can construct a progression that mimics the content of typical high school courses by counting the respective material: Algebra 1 (=chapters 1-13 of Intro to Algebra) Geometry (=all of Intro to geometry) Algebra 2 (= chapters 14-22 of Intro, 1-4 of Intermediate which is review, 5-16 of Intermediate; ch 17-20 is competition math and can be omitted) Precalculus Calculus This puts you with calc in senior year if you start algebra in 8th. Edited October 17, 2011 by regentrude Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Sebastian (a lady) 9,663 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 I'll tell you what we did, and what could be done to streamline: My DD did Intro to Algebra in one year, including the summer. (She was in 12, so it would be easier for an older student. It took 220 hours, so not unreasonably much). She followed with Intro to Geometry in the next year. Is currently using Intermediate Algebra to finish algebra 2 this semester (she had started concurrently with geometry; we condensed the four polynomial chapters, omit the competition math in 17-20), she will do Precalc next semester. This means she will do calc her Junior year. You can construct a progression that mimics the content of typical high school courses by counting the respective material: Algebra 1 (=chapters 1-13 of Intro to Algebra) Geometry (=all of Intro to geometry) Algebra 2 (= chapters 14-22 of Intro, 1-4 of Intermediate which is review, 5-16 of Intermediate; ch 17-20 is competition math and can be omitted) Precalculus Calculus This puts you with calc in senior year if you start algebra in 8th. Thank you. I will be printing this out along with the tables of contents. Everytime I get a handle on this, I go out and do a college fair and hear college reps telling students not only to get calc done, but that they need to be doing advanced calc as a senior or they won't be competitive. Sometimes it's hard to sift out what is good advice from what is just a more is better attitude. It's frustrating to think that I have a plan worked out to have them qualified and competitive as they end high school, only to come home and feel like they are slackers because they are only in algebra in middle school. [Days like this the competitive nature of my area gets draining fast.] But again, thank you. It hadn't really occured to me that a traditional scope and sequence wasn't to just do the whole book and then go on to the next one. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

regentrude 84,700 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 Everytime I get a handle on this, I go out and do a college fair and hear college reps telling students not only to get calc done, but that they need to be doing advanced calc as a senior or they won't be competitive. . I consider this very bad advice. It make no sense if the student rushes through math to get calculus done and "gets in" only to fail his introductory math and science courses because he is lacking a thorough understanding of algebra. The students who struggle in my class do so NOT because they did not have calculus in high school, but because they have never truly mastered algebra. We also do not encourage students to test out of the calculus courses at our university; it is not a good idea for any student who is going into a STEM major and who has to take the whole calc1 through3 sequence at the university to skip the first semester because of AP credit. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

supermom1 10 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 My son took Counting and Probability from AoPS and he missed 2-3 beginning lessons . It was little hard for him to catch up after that and he is mathy kid but also lazy at that time to work on it. He took AMC 10 later but found instructor not as good so we dropped out. He is working on it by himself using their text books. He likes it that way. IMO, all kids have different way of learning. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Sebastian (a lady) 9,663 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 I consider this very bad advice.It make no sense if the student rushes through math to get calculus done and "gets in" only to fail his introductory math and science courses because he is lacking a thorough understanding of algebra. The students who struggle in my class do so NOT because they did not have calculus in high school, but because they have never truly mastered algebra. We also do not encourage students to test out of the calculus courses at our university; it is not a good idea for any student who is going into a STEM major and who has to take the whole calc1 through3 sequence at the university to skip the first semester because of AP credit. I agree with you whole heartedly about not skipping a semester of math (and will advise my kids to resist such a validation). On the other hand, I know where the advice from the college reps is coming from. The college in question gets 17k appliations started every year. About 3k will be qualified, but only 1500 will get offers to fill an incoming class of 1200. There is strict geographic diversity. Our current home is in a high calibre and competitive region that is a day trip away from the college, so there are far more interested students than available slots. The college will have SAT scores, grades (which I obviously can't give) and math teacher recommendations to go on. Maybe an AP or SAT math score. It is pretty hard for them to determine which students got an A in calc but don't really understand it, vs those who really mastered algebra and are ready to master calc, but haven't before. Given an excess of candidates, they are going to pick those who have already earned good grades in calc, vice trying to bet on someone who doesn't have that on the transcript. That may land them college calc classes with lots of students who don't really understand what they are doing. But I can't really change the selection process. (I do have to remind myself that the rep in question does have a bit of a tendency to push on candidates to not rest on their laurels if they want to stand out. Unfortunately, it's not a matter of meeting a minimum competency, but of beating out a thousand other candidates for a slot. :willy_nilly::svengo:) Quote Link to post Share on other sites

snowbeltmom 5,997 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 The college will have SAT scores, grades (which I obviously can't give) and math teacher recommendations to go on. Maybe an AP or SAT math score. It is pretty hard for them to determine which students got an A in calc but don't really understand it, vs those who really mastered algebra and are ready to master calc, but haven't before. :willy_nilly::svengo:) I have read that some of the top-tier schools are also beginning to ask for an applicant's AMC score. Maybe the colleges are using this score to help ascertain those students who have truly mastered algebra and other high school math? I know of a couple of my friends' kids who have aced the AP Calc BC exam yet performed horribly on the AMCs. I don't have any idea if one test is given more weight than another in the selection process. We don't live in an area that is competitive at all. Calc BC is the highest level of math offered at our p.s., and only 18 students (each graduating class is about 250 kids) took it the year I asked for AP results. Of those 18 kids, 16 got a score of "1" on the AP exam; one student had a high score of "3." I feel bad for those who live in a really competitive area. :grouphug: I never knew the extent until a member on another forum sent me some links to articles written about what is going on in NYC. What an eye opener. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

MBM 2,282 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 I have read that some of the top-tier schools are also beginning to ask for an applicant's AMC score. Maybe the colleges are using this score to help ascertain those students who have truly mastered algebra and other high school math? I know of a couple of my friends' kids who have aced the AP Calc BC exam yet performed horribly on the AMCs. I don't have any idea if one test is given more weight than another in the selection process.QUOTE] Regarding the universities asking for AMC/AIME scores, are they requireing this or is it optional? Do you know which schools? I believe it's still optional to disclose AMC math scores to MIT (per last week's AoPS math jam), although I'd think they'd know who the IMO kids are and probably lower level AMC/AIME top scorers. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

Kathy in Richmond 2,872 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 Regarding the universities asking for AMC/AIME scores, are they requireing this or is it optional? Do you know which schools? I believe it's still optional to disclose AMC math scores to MIT (per last week's AoPS math jam), although I'd think they'd know who the IMO kids are and probably lower level AMC/AIME top scorers. My kids found that both MIT and Caltech asked about AMC scores on their Common App supplements. I'm not sure whether any other colleges might. I'm pretty sure that it's always optional, since not all applicants would even know what they were. They're one of those "it can only help" sort of items. Every year the AMC folks publish a Summary of Results book with all the top AMC 10, 12, and AIME scores, and a list of USAMO qualifiers. This usually includes anyone who makes Student Honor Roll or Distinguished Honor Roll on AMC 10 or 12, and AIME scores of 6 and above. The admissions offices at MIT/Caltech would have a copy of that book, so they could verify any claims on applications. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

snowbeltmom 5,997 Posted October 17, 2011 Report Share Posted October 17, 2011 Regarding the universities asking for AMC/AIME scores, are they requireing this or is it optional? Do you know which schools? I believe it's still optional to disclose AMC math scores to MIT (per last week's AoPS math jam), although I'd think they'd know who the IMO kids are and probably lower level AMC/AIME top scorers. I don't remember which schools - I know MIT was mentioned in the article I read,and I think CalTech was as well. As far as I know, reporting AMC scores is optional. I don't think the colleges have any way of knowing how a student does on the AMC/AIME unless the student reports the score. I just wonder if the AMC score carries more weight than an AP Calc score? I have no idea of the answer, nor do I have any idea what AMC score a top-tier school would consider good. I am assuming the AMC score would have to be high enough to qualify for the AIME to be considered worth mentioning, but I don't know.:confused: Quote Link to post Share on other sites

obsidian 885 Posted October 18, 2011 Report Share Posted October 18, 2011 You can construct a progression that mimics the content of typical high school courses by counting the respective material: Algebra 1 (=chapters 1-13 of Intro to Algebra) Geometry (=all of Intro to geometry) Algebra 2 (= chapters 14-22 of Intro, 1-4 of Intermediate which is review, 5-16 of Intermediate; ch 17-20 is competition math and can be omitted)) Precalculus Calculus This puts you with calc in senior year if you start algebra in 8th. To th bolded; is this on their website or something you know from looking at other Algebra 2 scope and sequences? Quote Link to post Share on other sites

regentrude 84,700 Posted October 18, 2011 Report Share Posted October 18, 2011 To th bolded; is this on their website or something you know from looking at other Algebra 2 scope and sequences? The book says in the How to use this book section: "Chapters 17 through 20: These chapters are primarily intended for those students preparing for mathematics competitions, or for those who want to pursue more advanced study in the subjects of these chapters." A comparison with the content of more traditional algebra 2 programs such as Lial's would yield the same conclusion. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

obsidian 885 Posted October 18, 2011 Report Share Posted October 18, 2011 The book says in the How to use this book section: "Chapters 17 through 20: These chapters are primarily intended for those students preparing for mathematics competitions, or for those who want to pursue more advanced study in the subjects of these chapters." A comparison with the content of more traditional algebra 2 programs such as Lial's would yield the same conclusion. Thank you. I knew I had seen it somewhere, but I couldn't find it on their website. I didn't even think to look in the book. Quote Link to post Share on other sites

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