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DD will be taking AoPS online geometry in the fall.  AoPS describes this as the hardest of their introductory courses, so I am trying to do some advance troubleshooting. 

 

Of the AoPS classes DD has taken, she has struggled most with Counting and Probability.  In an old thread, one person mentioned that the two classes correlated; people who did well in one did well in the other and vice versa.  Opinions?  Has anyone had this experience?  Should I be concerned?

 

For those whose DC have taken this class, do you have any feedback or recommendations that you’d like to share?  Are there any areas that are particularly difficult?  Any topics (esp. Alcumus) that she should be sure to master?  We have until October, so if anyone has suggestions for prep materials, I am all ears.

 

Finally, the lack of video support has me a bit worried (although she did fine without them in the Algebra B class.)  Does anyone know of an online tutor who is familiar with and able to teach AoPS Geometry?  Sadly, I am of absolutely no use to her in math anymore. 

 

Thank you for any help you might be able to offer!

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From our experience, it is very important that she work through the book section prior to class (or at the very least, prior to starting the challenge problems, which are due the following week).  It is a long schedule and it can be difficult to catch up if the student falls behind.  Take advantage of holiday breaks to get some work done. Oh, and I highly recommend not waiting until the night a proof is due to get started thinking about it - writing it up may not take long, but figuring it out can take some "sleeping on it."  ETA, I don't think this advice is different for any of the other classes, so you would already know this.

 

In that regard, if she wants to get a head start in the book, I think that's a fine idea.  There will be plenty to do when the class starts - Alcumus will still need doing and the challenge problems will still be challenging :).  It's a fun course IMO!

 

 

Edited by wapiti
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From our experience, it is very important that she work through the book section prior to class (or at the very least, prior to starting the challenge problems, which are due the following week).  It is a long schedule and it can be difficult to catch up if the student falls behind.  Take advantage of holiday breaks to get some work done. Oh, and I highly recommend not waiting until the night a proof is due to get started thinking about it - writing it up may not take long, but figuring it out can take some "sleeping on it."  ETA, I don't think this advice is different for any of the other classes, so you would already know this.

 

In that regard, if she wants to get a head start in the book, I think that's a fine idea.  There will be plenty to do when the class starts - Alcumus will still need doing and the challenge problems will still be challenging :).  It's a fun course IMO!

 

Thanks, wapiti!

 

Working through the book section - as opposed to glancing through it - has been a bit of a challenge here.  Amazingly enough, if she spends more time preparing, the questions seem to go faster. Quelle surprise, non?  :cursing:  Typically I insist that she get started on the written problem by Friday, so she has a chance to ask a question and get an answer (she's taking a Tuesday class); that has helped a bit with the last-minute panic.

 

Are there any parts of the book you found to be particularly challenging?  Any Alcumus topics that might be good prep?  She's taking Number Theory over the summer and maybe a competition class in the early fall, so I'm not sure how much book work I can realistically expect.

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Start reading, doing the exercises and trying the challenge problems in the book now at her own pace. My kids have semester exams for some if their outside classes so having a headstart before any outside class is helpful in terms of spread the load.

 

My oldest find having the online textbook useful on days we are doing academic work at the library. Saves him from having to bring the book as well. Well worth the $19 top up for us. He use the softcopy when at home.

 

As for video support, there are none for the textbook but there are videos of geometry questions from the AMC8/10/12 by AoPS. Those are still fun to watch if your daughter likes the AoPS videos.

 

As for C&P and geometry, I don't see any correlation in my family. Even my slightly spatial challenged hubby is better in geometry proofs than in C&P. Being meticulous and being able to visualize 3D help.

 

Color pencils/pens/sharpies, rulers, compass (or draw circles freehand) and lots of blank paper helps. I think my kids use up a ream or more of printing paper on geometry. I remind my kids to draw it out for geometry problems. If they draw a wrong diagram they will waste time solving. If there is no diagram, it is hard for me to see where they go wrong.

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If you could convince her to work through the Alcumus problems prior to the weekly challenge problems, that might go a long way, if she isn't as diligent about working the book problems first.  They aren't quite the same, though.  Various chapters were easier and harder than others - ch 7 sticks in my mind as one that's on the harder side (especially if a person doesn't work through the book first :glare: BTDT).

 

About drawing the diagrams, it was only at the end of the course that I realized we could print out the diagram that comes with a problem (by snipping or copying or whatever) if it helped in figuring it out.  That might help a reluctant-to-draw student.  We just had a regular 5-subject lined notebook (one lived in the dining room and another in the bedroom) for scratch paper.

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Start reading, doing the exercises and trying the challenge problems in the book now at her own pace. My kids have semester exams for some if their outside classes so having a headstart before any outside class is helpful in terms of spread the load. This is an excellent point.  She's starting Geometry in October, so it looks like I made a good choice!

 

My oldest find having the online textbook useful on days we are doing academic work at the library. Saves him from having to bring the book as well. Well worth the $19 top up for us. He use the softcopy when at home. Another good idea.

 

As for video support, there are none for the textbook but there are videos of geometry questions from the AMC8/10/12 by AoPS. Those are still fun to watch if your daughter likes the AoPS videos. Aaaaand another great suggestion!  DD loves(!) the videos; the highlight of her life (so far) was meeting Richard.Ruscyzk. :svengo:

Are these videos found on the AoPS site or at the AMC website?

 

As for C&P and geometry, I don't see any correlation in my family. Even my slightly spatial challenged hubby is better in geometry proofs than in C&P. Being meticulous and being able to visualize 3D help. That's encouraging.  Casework just about sent her over the edge.

 

Color pencils/pens/sharpies, rulers, compass (or draw circles freehand) and lots of blank paper helps. I think my kids use up a ream or more of printing paper on geometry. I remind my kids to draw it out for geometry problems. If they draw a wrong diagram they will waste time solving. If there is no diagram, it is hard for me to see where they go wrong.  Again, more great ideas!

 

Thank you so much, Arcadia!  This was a very helpful post!

 

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If you could convince her to work through the Alcumus problems prior to the weekly challenge problems, that might go a long way, if she isn't as diligent about working the book problems first.  They aren't quite the same, though.  Various chapters were easier and harder than others - ch 7 sticks in my mind as one that's on the harder side (especially if a person doesn't work through the book first :glare: BTDT). Oddly enough, DD has found that she does better doing the challenge problems first.  :confused1:

 

About drawing the diagrams, it was only at the end of the course that I realized we could print out the diagram that comes with a problem (by snipping or copying or whatever) if it helped in figuring it out.  That might help a reluctant-to-draw student.  We just had a regular 5-subject lined notebook (one lived in the dining room and another in the bedroom) for scratch paper.  Okay, this is GREAT.  DD is taking Algebra B now (well, just finished) and had issues with the mapping problems. This may very well prevent issues; thank you!

 

Another great (and helpful) post.  Thanks again, wapiti!

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Speaking of snipping diagrams - I recall that dd would copy the diagram in the problem to help start off drawing the problem for the proof answer.  Often that was easier than starting from scratch.  For drawing I think she just used the drawing tools in Word, which are kind of limited.

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The AMC videos by AoPS are here. They are not sorted by topic so I use youtube instead as I can guess from the "picture" what the video is about

http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/videos/amc

 

C&P casework makes my kids complain about hand strain. They just dislike the physical act of writing.

 

We printed out the homework problems so my kids can work offline and just key in the answer when they are done. My kids like asymptote for drawing the diagrams for the challenge question in the homework.

 

https://www.artofproblemsolving.com/wiki/index.php/Asymptote_(Vector_Graphics_Language)

 

My kids loved to take the spiral out of spiral notebooks so we don't use as much of those despite my old stockpile from back to school penny deals.

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DS did not take the class, but rather worked through the book on his own.  It took him 15 months of about 7 hours a week, if I remember correctly.  So I would suggest that you put aside a decent amount of time each day (like 2+ hours) to get the work done, because the class is quite compacted. 

 

DS also found that properly constructing all the diagrams really helped him have great intuition on geometry proofs.  Obviously, this takes time but he found it well worth the effort and still does it.

 

Ruth in NZ

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DS did not take the class, but rather worked through the book on his own.  It took him 15 months of about 7 hours a week, if I remember correctly.  So I would suggest that you put aside a decent amount of time each day (like 2+ hours) to get the work done, because the class is quite compacted. 

 

DS also found that properly constructing all the diagrams really helped him have great intuition on geometry proofs.  Obviously, this takes time but he found it well worth the effort and still does it.

 

Ruth in NZ

 

Oof.  We already plan for 2 hours a day; this sounds ominous.  :huh:

 

Taking care and constructing carefully is likely to be a challenge for my short person.  I am going to have her take a careful look at Asymptote, suggested above.  So far, she's mostly been drawing diagrams in Word, if necessary, but I don't think it works very well for her.

 

Thank you, Ruth!

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No no, I'm sure it will be fine!  I just did not want you to think an hour a day would be enough. DS did all the intro courses with the books, and the intermediate courses on-line.  He found that the on-line element allowed him to work through the material much faster than doing it on his own.  Not only are there lectures that explain the material so you don't have to slog through it on your own, but there is also the board where you can work on stuff together. And I'm sure that AoPS has designed the class so that it can be done properly in the time allotted. However, I will say that ds increased his hours when he started working through the online program -- from 1.5 to 2.5 hours a day.  10 problems each week doesn't sound like much, but they are pretty hard.  (However, he did not take the intro geometry online class) 

 

DS uses geogebra for his drawings when he wants to slide angles or enlarge etc to gain insight into the problem.

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DS just said that he would not recommend asymptote because it is hard core latex programming. You can do anything in it, but it just takes a super long time to make the drawing.  In contrast, Geogebra is just point and click so much faster. He said you can print them to PDF and upload them

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DS just said that he would not recommend asymptote because it is hard core latex programming. You can do anything in it, but it just takes a super long time to make the drawing.  In contrast, Geogebra is just point and click so much faster. He said you can print them to PDF and upload them

 

Thanks, Ruth, and please tell your son "thank you," as well!

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We have not taken the AoPS geometry class, because those online classes in general are too fast-paced for my kids.  Not to scare you, but some of the students may have already taken geometry at their B&M schools prior to taking this class for further challenge.

 

Having said that, I think the most difficult chapter is the one one triangles where you work with properties of the incenter, circumcenter, and all those cevians in chapter 7.  It gets confusing.  With my 2nd child, I made sure to review what was already learned before moving on to the next topic, so that everything was in context.   

 

I'm not sure if chapter 7 is something you can just jump into without the previous chapters, but if possible, I'd take a look at it.  You should be able to quickly derive what happens when the angle bisectors intersect versus when the medians intersect, versus when the altitudes intersect, what it all means and why.  

 

My advice for this summer is to just start working ahead through the book.  And keep working ahead as much as possible during the year.  Buy yourself as much time as possible so your student will have extra time (and extra experience) to work on those harder problems.  

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We have not taken the AoPS geometry class, because those online classes in general are too fast-paced for my kids.  Not to scare you, but some of the students may have already taken geometry at their B&M schools prior to taking this class for further challenge. DD has now taken several  and you are absolutely right.  They go veryfast and the other students frequently aren't approaching the topic for the first time (she just finished Intro to Algebra B and her study buddy was taking regular (not AoPS) calculus. :huh: On the upside, she has learned to work and work HARD.  We live in a very small area, so it's (relatively) easy to be the smartest kid around.  At AoPS, DD has to struggle to keep up and it's been a good experience so far.  I just want to make sure it doesn't become overwhelming, so I really appreciate the help you're giving.

 

Having said that, I think the most difficult chapter is the one one triangles where you work with properties of the incenter, circumcenter, and all those cevians in chapter 7.  It gets confusing.  With my 2nd child, I made sure to review what was already learned before moving on to the next topic, so that everything was in context.   

 

I'm not sure if chapter 7 is something you can just jump into without the previous chapters, but if possible, I'd take a look at it.  You should be able to quickly derive what happens when the angle bisectors intersect versus when the medians intersect, versus when the altitudes intersect, what it all means and why.  I will definitely take a look at this.  My ability to help is limited, but I can at least start looking for supporting resources.

 

My advice for this summer is to just start working ahead through the book.  And keep working ahead as much as possible during the year.  Buy yourself as much time as possible so your student will have extra time (and extra experience) to work on those harder problems.  This is excellent advice.  We did this with Algebra A (we studied the book on our own to Ch. 8) and it helped her transition to the pace.  Geometry sounds like a good time to re-visit that strategy.

 

Thank you very much for your insight, daijobu.  I appreciate the help!

 

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DS just said that he would not recommend asymptote because it is hard core latex programming. You can do anything in it, but it just takes a super long time to make the drawing. In contrast, Geogebra is just point and click so much faster. He said you can print them to PDF and upload them

Very nice to know - thanks!
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No no, I'm sure it will be fine!  I just did not want you to think an hour a day would be enough. DS did all the intro courses with the books, and the intermediate courses on-line.  He found that the on-line element allowed him to work through the material much faster than doing it on his own.  Not only are there lectures that explain the material so you don't have to slog through it on your own, but there is also the board where you can work on stuff together. And I'm sure that AoPS has designed the class so that it can be done properly in the time allotted. However, I will say that ds increased his hours when he started working through the online program -- from 1.5 to 2.5 hours a day.  10 problems each week doesn't sound like much, but they are pretty hard.  (However, he did not take the intro geometry online class) 

 

DS uses geogebra for his drawings when he wants to slide angles or enlarge etc to gain insight into the problem.

Thank you for sharing this.  I now feel so much better about my son spending roughly 3 hours a day on his online AOPS class.  I have to admit there were many times I wondered if perhaps he is just not good enough for this kind of challenge.  But he really does enjoy the class and would not want to have it any other way.  

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My son is one of the few that though Geometry was much easier than algebra - it's mostly how he thinks. Maybe geometry won't be too much harder. :)

 

I agree that working through the book early and consistently will help. Don't skip the constructions (the last section of most of the early chapters). Much is learned through the constructions about how to look at later problems.

 

I agree that chapter 7 is the hardest (but not something you can skip ahead to). Pythagorean theorem, along with 45-45-90 and 30-60-90 triangles in chapter 5 isn't too hard, but is foundational to knowing well for the rest of the book.

 

Have fun.

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Thank you for sharing this.  I now feel so much better about my son spending roughly 3 hours a day on his online AOPS class.  I have to admit there were many times I wondered if perhaps he is just not good enough for this kind of challenge.  But he really does enjoy the class and would not want to have it any other way.  

 

My ds has taken 5 AoPS classes, I think, and they are designed so that all students are challenged.  This means that there will always be problems above your level.  Depending on your temperament, you can either beat your head against a brick wall for hours, or go on the board and ask for help.  Clearly, there is a sliding scale that connect these two approaches, and you can use more of one or the other depending on the material each week and the time you have to put towards it.  The more beating- your- head- against- a- brick- wall you do, the better you get; however, this takes time.  DS is stubborn and persistent and he absolutely has taken AoPS classes where he put in 15 hours per week.  These longer hours have NOTHING to do with innate skill or talent and everything to do with the willingness to work hard.  Students in these classes come from many mathematical backgrounds and have a range of talent levels.  The class is designed for the student to tailor it to his/her skill level by asking for help when it is too hard, thus bringing the level of the class down to a doable level. However, each student decides *how* much help is required, so it is really the student's persistence which dictates how many hours are put in.  Does that make sense?  My point is that a student spending 2.5 to 3 hours a day and enjoying it is not misplaced in a class that is too hard, just because others can do the work in less time.  The others may just be asking for more help and solving the problems collaboratively, which is also fine and has its place.  DS has done different classes in different ways. 

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My ds has taken 5 AoPS classes, I think, and they are designed so that all students are challenged.  This means that there will always be problems above your level.  Depending on your temperament, you can either beat your head against a brick wall for hours, or go on the board and ask for help.  Clearly, there is a sliding scale that connect these two approaches, and you can use more of one or the other depending on the material each week and the time you have to put towards it.  The more beating- your- head- against- a- brick- wall you do, the better you get; however, this takes time.  DS is stubborn and persistent and he absolutely has taken AoPS classes where he put in 15 hours per week.  These longer hours have NOTHING to do with innate skill or talent and everything to do with the willingness to work hard.  Students in these classes come from many mathematical backgrounds and have a range of talent levels.  The class is designed for the student to tailor it to his/her skill level by asking for help when it is too hard, thus bringing the level of the class down to a doable level. However, each student decides *how* much help is required, so it is really the student's persistence which dictates how many hours are put in.  Does that make sense?  My point is that a student spending 2.5 to 3 hours a day and enjoying it is not misplaced in a class that is too hard, just because others can do the work in less time.  The others may just be asking for more help and solving the problems collaboratively, which is also fine and has its place.  DS has done different classes in different ways. 

You describe this so well! My DD is the brick-wall-head-banging type (I think she actually used a picture of that very thing in one of her solutions), so the challenging weeks for her have included upwards of 15 hours of math work.  But she's also scored perfects on her written solutions (in the same 15+hr class) multiple times.  It really is a function of the student.

 

DS is starting preA in the fall.  I suspect he will be on the chat boards getting as much help as possible to minimize his work effort.  He's just of a different nature than DD. I admire DD for her determination, I admire DS for his resourcefulness.

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My son is one of the few that though Geometry was much easier than algebra - it's mostly how he thinks. Maybe geometry won't be too much harder. :)

 

I agree that working through the book early and consistently will help. Don't skip the constructions (the last section of most of the early chapters). Thank you!  I'll keep this in mind as she goes.Much is learned through the constructions about how to look at later problems.

 

I agree that chapter 7 is the hardest (but not something you can skip ahead to). Pythagorean theorem, along with 45-45-90 and 30-60-90 triangles in chapter 5 isn't too hard, but is foundational to knowing well for the rest of the book.Good to know.

 

Have fun.

 

Thank you, Julie!

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My ds has taken 5 AoPS classes, I think, and they are designed so that all students are challenged.  This means that there will always be problems above your level.  Depending on your temperament, you can either beat your head against a brick wall for hours, or go on the board and ask for help.  Clearly, there is a sliding scale that connect these two approaches, and you can use more of one or the other depending on the material each week and the time you have to put towards it.  The more beating- your- head- against- a- brick- wall you do, the better you get; however, this takes time.  DS is stubborn and persistent and he absolutely has taken AoPS classes where he put in 15 hours per week.  These longer hours have NOTHING to do with innate skill or talent and everything to do with the willingness to work hard.  Students in these classes come from many mathematical backgrounds and have a range of talent levels.  The class is designed for the student to tailor it to his/her skill level by asking for help when it is too hard, thus bringing the level of the class down to a doable level. However, each student decides *how* much help is required, so it is really the student's persistence which dictates how many hours are put in.  Does that make sense?  My point is that a student spending 2.5 to 3 hours a day and enjoying it is not misplaced in a class that is too hard, just because others can do the work in less time.  The others may just be asking for more help and solving the problems collaboratively, which is also fine and has its place.  DS has done different classes in different ways. 

 

This is a great post, Ruth.  Thank you for sharing your insight.

 

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After reading these posts, I now have a couple of side questions.

 

Here, DD is using AoPS classes as her primary curriculum and is pretty much on her own ( :o ).  Is that the usual approach or are more people using it as a secondary curriculum?

 

Also, for those of you using the classes, what do you want to see out of your students in terms of outcome?  Are you looking for bars mostly in the blue? Or is in the green okay?  If a mix (which seems realistic), how much green vs. how much blue? What about on the writing problem?  What do you consider to be sufficient for your purposes?

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After reading these posts, I now have a couple of side questions.

 

Here, DD is using AoPS classes as her primary curriculum and is pretty much on her own ( :o ). Is that the usual approach or are more people using it as a secondary curriculum?

 

Also, for those of you using the classes, what do you want to see out of your students in terms of outcome? Are you looking for bars mostly in the blue? Or is in the green okay? If a mix (which seems realistic), how much green vs. how much blue? What about on the writing problem? What do you consider to be sufficient for your purposes?

e

We use AOPS as our only curriculum (DD has done preA with book, Alg A/AlgB/Intro C&P with online class).

 

As far as bars, I expect her to be overall in the green but encourage her to be overall in the blue (which is where she usually ends up anyway). I remind her where the weight of her grade is (40% is alcumus , so there's where you can make the biggest difference), but she takes a certain pride in the written solutions and so gives them a lot of time. The first class I think her highest score was a 5.5/7, but most of her scores were solidly in the green with occasional oranges. This last course she had her first perfect score, which boosted her confidence and lead to 5 more perfects (of her own head banging determination). I think it is so hard to know with the written solutions, so I was always just keeping an eye on the overall bar. If she has not made multiple attempts to answer a challenge problem and it still isn't correct I encourage her to make more attempts (after rereading the section in the book!).

 

I like the bar system because it gives them feedback, but the feedback is more qualitative than quantitative. I asked DD this last class whether she wanted to settle for a green or go for a blue, and she said "what I really want to do is learn math." That is an A+ for AOPS in my book.

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Here, DD is using AoPS classes as her primary curriculum and is pretty much on her own ( :o ). Is that the usual approach or are more people using it as a secondary curriculum?

 

My kids are using the online classes for socializing. They like study groups. They can do the books by self study but it is less fun for them. Since my oldest wants to be a small business owner and has no wish to be a mathematician, he is all too happy to collaborate rather than do it alone when he gets stuck for more than a day. My oldest used to be bad at asking for help. We want our boys to learn when to ask for help before taking their first dual enrollment class at the community college.

 

As for blue or green bars, hubby and I don't mind as long as it is best effort. We aren't using AoPS grades for transcript purpose since oldest will only be 7th grade in fall. Our boys can spend as much time as they want on doing their AoPS classes homework as long as all their other subjects are taken care of. So they can't get an A+ for AoPS class at the expense of another subject. We want our boys to pick up time management skills when they can still mess up without long term consequences.

 

Of course my boys can hone collaboration and time management skills using other outsourced courses, just that AoPS classes were convenient for our family.

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After reading these posts, I now have a couple of side questions.

 

Here, DD is using AoPS classes as her primary curriculum and is pretty much on her own ( :o ).  Is that the usual approach or are more people using it as a secondary curriculum?

 

Also, for those of you using the classes, what do you want to see out of your students in terms of outcome?  Are you looking for bars mostly in the blue? Or is in the green okay?  If a mix (which seems realistic), how much green vs. how much blue? What about on the writing problem?  What do you consider to be sufficient for your purposes?

My son has been using only this program for his math and he is completely on his own here, too.  Well, once in a while he would ask my husband to see his proof/writing problem right before it is due, but for the most part he is on his own.  I certainly don't see how he could have time for any other math unless one day he magically wakes up with extra math brain cells.

 

Since he is in high school this year we need grades, and the only way we can be sure he makes a good grade is to have mostly blue.  So that is what he shoots for but in reality it is a combination of green (for lectures he has had to miss, insufficient proofs, or simply not finishing all the challenging problems within a week) and blue.  Luckily lectures only count for 4% and challenging problems are not locked till the end of class so he still has time to work through them later.  He's had a challenging year but now that most other subjects are done he can devote more time to this class.

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After reading these posts, I now have a couple of side questions.

 

Here, DD is using AoPS classes as her primary curriculum and is pretty much on her own ( :o ).  Is that the usual approach or are more people using it as a secondary curriculum?

 

Also, for those of you using the classes, what do you want to see out of your students in terms of outcome?  Are you looking for bars mostly in the blue? Or is in the green okay?  If a mix (which seems realistic), how much green vs. how much blue? What about on the writing problem?  What do you consider to be sufficient for your purposes?

 

DS has used AoPS as his only curriculum until he hit Calculus, and then he needed to do an applied book also to dovetail with the local university.  However, he did spend much more time on intro algebra and intro geometry than the classes, so about 4+ years, going year round. He has done all AoPS classes completely on his own; as I see it, that is what I am paying for.  The first class he took he got yellow bars and only at the end got up to green.  Then it was green and blue, then mostly blue, then all blue.  This process occurred over the first 4 classes. Same with the proof writing.  In the first classes his grades were low, and now they are close to perfect every time, but once again this process occurred over 4 classes (the intermediate series). 

 

As you know my ds wants to be a mathematician, so his purpose is different than most.  But like Acadia's ds, mine has *definitely* enjoyed the socializing. 

Edited by lewelma
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e

We use AOPS as our only curriculum (DD has done preA with book, Alg A/AlgB/Intro C&P with online class).

 

As far as bars, I expect her to be overall in the green but encourage her to be overall in the blue (which is where she usually ends up anyway). I remind her where the weight of her grade is (40% is alcumus , so there's where you can make the biggest difference),Wait, what?  How do you know this?  Why do I not know this?  :svengo:  but she takes a certain pride in the written solutions and so gives them a lot of time. The first class I think her highest score was a 5.5/7, but most of her scores were solidly in the green with occasional oranges. This last course she had her first perfect score, which boosted her confidence and lead to 5 more perfects (of her own head banging determination). I think it is so hard to know with the written solutions, I've noticed that there is a fairly wide range of what is considered to be "right" depending upon the grader so I was always just keeping an eye on the overall bar.I definitely agree with you. If she has not made multiple attempts to answer a challenge problem and it still isn't correct I encourage her to make more attempts (after rereading the section in the book!).

 

I like the bar system because it gives them feedback, but the feedback is more qualitative than quantitative. I asked DD this last class whether she wanted to settle for a green or go for a blue, and she said "what I really want to do is learn math." That is an A+ for AOPS in my book.  Amen and amen!  I don't have enough words to say how impressed I am with AoPS.

 

Thanks, Targhee.  Despite my humiliation at just now learning that there's a way to know how grades are weighted ( :o ), I appreciate hearing others' experiences.  DD is my absolute, total, and complete opposite, and I so, so cannot keep up with or relate to her math experiences.  I frequently feeling like I'm wandering around in the dark when it comes to directing her math education. Your post is very helpful.

 

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My kids are using the online classes for socializing. My DD loves the social side of AoPS, too.  Algebra B is the first time she's developed a specific study buddy, but she's spent time on the forums and playing Mafia.  She just loves it! They like study groups. They can do the books by self study but it is less fun for them. Since my oldest wants to be a small business owner and has no wish to be a mathematician, he is all too happy to collaborate rather than do it alone when he gets stuck for more than a day. My oldest used to be bad at asking for help. We want our boys to learn when to ask for help before taking their first dual enrollment class at the community college.

 

As for blue or green bars, hubby and I don't mind as long as it is best effort. We aren't using AoPS grades for transcript purpose since oldest will only be 7th grade in fall. That's great!  Our boys can spend as much time as they want on doing their AoPS classes homework as long as all their other subjects are taken care of. So they can't get an A+ for AoPS class at the expense of another subject. We want our boys to pick up time management skills when they can still mess up without long term consequences.This is an excellent point and really gives me something to think about.  Because math is so demanding, I have found that I've needed to flex other things in the schedule at times.  You are absolutely right about needing time management skills, though, so I need to think carefully about how much outside balancing I do for her.

 

Of course my boys can hone collaboration and time management skills using other outsourced courses, just that AoPS classes were convenient for our family.

 

Thank you, Arcadia.  You've given me much to think about.

 

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Nothing to contribute re Aops geometry, because this is where we leave the AOPS wagon, but! Interesting point on C&P because that is my DS's most well tolerated class to date... He still has stuff he has to complete from his alg 1 class that just ended but reaches for the C&P books first.

So I guess I'm glad we jumped off the wagon when we did (doing geometry at Wilson next year).

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My son has been using only this program for his math and he is completely on his own here, too. Maybe we could create the AoPS Slacker Mom Club?  :laugh:  Well, once in a while he would ask my husband to see his proof/writing problem right before it is due, but for the most part he is on his own.  I certainly don't see how he could have time for any other math unless one day he magically wakes up with extra math brain cells. This is kinda how I look at it, but there ARE kids for whom it's secondary.  For example, they will be accelerated in math at BM school, taking say Pre-Calc or Calc, and are taking Intro to Algebra at AoPS.  And finding it hard. Given the amount of energy that goes into math here, I truly cannot imagine.  Maybe their advancement shows them to be more mature?

 

Since he is in high school this year we need grades, and the only way we can be sure he makes a good grade is to have mostly blue.  So that is what he shoots for but in reality it is a combination of green (for lectures he has had to miss, insufficient proofs, or simply not finishing all the challenging problems within a week) and blue.  Luckily lectures only count for 4% ACK.  Am I the only person who does not know how the grades are formulated? facepalm-gesture-smiley-emoticon.gifand challenging problems are not locked till the end of class so he still has time to work through them later.  He's had a challenging year but now that most other subjects are done he can devote more time to this class. This is the pattern here, as well; the last couple of week are used as kind of a "clean up" time.

 

Thanks, Malory.  Again, I really appreciate the input!

 

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DS has used AoPS as his only curriculum until he hit Calculus, and then he needed to do an applied book also to dovetail with the local university.  However, he did spend much more time on intro algebra and intro geometry than the classes, I hope that DD is developing sufficient understanding in the classes.  They go so very quickly. (On the other hand, though, despite the initial shock, DD does seem to have adjusted to the pace.  And she has CERTAINLY developed a healthy work ethic.)so about 4+ years, going year round. He has done all AoPS classes completely on his own; as I see it, that is what I am paying for. That's a great way to look at it. I have issues with mommy guilt here; can you tell? The first class he took he got yellow bars and only at the end got up to green.  Then it was green and blue, then mostly blue, then all blue.  This process occurred over the first 4 classes. This helps to know.  Interestingly, I've been seeing a bit of that pattern within each class, too.  Typically, the first week is easy, then things get hard and she struggles and bogs down, and then she finishes strong.  Same with the proof writing.  In the first classes his grades were low, and now they are close to perfect every time, but once again this process occurred over 4 classes (the intermediate series). I just love the writing component of this curriculum.  What a great tool to demonstrate understanding!

 

As you know my ds wants to be a mathematician, so his purpose is different than most.  But like Acadia's ds, mine has *definitely* enjoyed the socializing. I really think that the socializing is what keeps my kid hooked.  She simply DOES NOT have peers like the AoPS kids in real life.  She LOVES AoPS; that's why I am so determined to support her in the classes as much as is possible.  (And holy cow it was cute to see her rendered speechless by meeting Richard Rusczyk.  Speechless does not happen often around here. :glare: )

 

Thank you, Ruth, for another excellent post!

 

(And how is the trip preparation going for your son?  He goes to Hong Kong next month, doesn't he?)

 

 

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Regarding how grades are weighted, it is on the last tab of the summary screen. You can see the breakdown there.

 

Alcumus is up to the intro series. There is no alcumus assignments for Intermediate algebra, precalc and I guess same goes for intermediate C&P as well.

 

My kids had done the intro to geometry questions in Alcumus before class started. My oldest ended up with harder questions than youngest for class homework.

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I hope that DD is developing sufficient understanding in the classes.

 

 DS has said that some of the kids ask for so much help that they actually don't learn the material.  Typically, they know it and retake the class. AoPS is designed to have 10 really hard problems that allow you to master the material as long as you struggle over them.  If you get enough help that they end up like a standard textbook in difficulty, then you actually need a standard textbook number of problems to master the material -- so like 30 or 50 problems (or think Saxon which is lots more).  So as the parent, I would suggest that if you feel your daughter is asking for lots of help, that you might have her do some extra problems from the textbook.  You can learn the material from a few really hard, a moderate number of moderate problems, or a heck of a lot of easy problems.  The goal is to learn the material, doesn't really matter how.  The only reason I bring up the amount of time my ds took to get through the intro algebra and geo books is to counter the sense that kids can master the material quickly, and if they don't that either AoPS is not for them or that they don't have the innate talent. My ds took longer on the Intro Algebra book than any other poster on this board, and clearly it has nothing to do with talent or appropriateness of the program. As for Hong Kong, ds is working his butt off trying to prepare.  So much to learn! :001_smile:  :thumbup1:

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DS has said that some of the kids ask for so much help that they actually don't learn the material.

When kids are using the grade for school, time to complete and get an A grade becomes a factor. When use for afterschooling or when the grade is not use for high school GPA, kids don't have to stress as much about the written problems being locked and not being able to get green bars.

 

Now that AoPS intro to geometry is UC A-G approved, I won't be surprise if more California public school kids take the class for high school credit. The stakes to complete homework on time to maintain a good grade does become higher for those.

 

ETA:

For the OP,

 

I just pull random problems off random high school geometry books since my local libraries have them. Quick way to test retention.

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I hope that DD is developing sufficient understanding in the classes.

 

 DS has said that some of the kids ask for so much help that they actually don't learn the material. Snort.  Asking for help is not a problem.  As in, it's not something that she does. Unless prodded. Sharply.  :glare: I will take heart that your budding mathematician sees this as a potential positive. My concern is more long-term, but I'm just worrying in a vacuum for now.  I've considered having DD take a test from a traditional program for comparison (I have the Foerster text and the Math Without Borders material), but I also don't want to punish her unfairly for MY uncertainties.  Because, the truth is, she's done really well.  Counting and Probability was, for her, really, REALLY hard, but she got an "A", so I need to give her credit, you know? It's just that I don't really know what that means, absent tests and percentages - you know, those lovely objective measurements which speak so powerfully TO ME...) Typically, they know it and retake the class. AoPS is designed to have 10 really hard problems that allow you to master the material as long as you struggle over them.  If you get enough help that they end up like a standard textbook in difficulty, then you actually need a standard textbook number of problems to master the material -- so like 30 or 50 problems (or think Saxon which is lots more).(although, for comparison, on one Alcumus topic for Algebra B, DD did over 80 problems.  I thought that was bad until she told me her record topic during the C&P class - over 150. Oh, my. :ohmy: )  So as the parent, I would suggest that if you feel your daughter is asking for lots of help, that you might have her do some extra problems from the textbook.  You can learn the material from a few really hard, a moderate number of moderate problems, or a heck of a lot of easy problems.  The goal is to learn the material, doesn't really matter how.  The only reason I bring up the amount of time my ds took to get through the intro algebra and geo books is to counter the sense that kids can master the material quickly, and if they don't that either AoPS is not for them or that they don't have the innate talent. And that information is EXTREMELY valuable and much appreciated. My ds took longer on the Intro Algebra book than any other poster on this board, and clearly it has nothing to do with talent or appropriateness of the program. As for Hong Kong, ds is working his butt off trying to prepare.  So much to learn!Good for him! We wish him the very best of luck! :001_smile:  :thumbup1:

 

Thanks, Ruth.  I so appreciate your help!

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although, for comparison, on one Alcumus topic for Algebra B, DD did over 80 problems.  I thought that was bad until she told me her record topic during the C&P class - over 150. Oh, my. :ohmy:

 

Ouch. I was wondering why people complain about turning Alcumus topics to green/blue. Now I see why. So far DD has been lucky. I think her max is 18, but it looks like she returned to this topic several times, just for practice. If she will have to do 80 problems... no, I don't want to think about it :) I wonder if there was any reason for so many problems? So far most topics were in 6-12 range for us.

 

I also wanted to thank everyone who contributed to this topic. I am soaking up every word, as my DD starts it in August, and then adds a DE class for science. I am oscillating between being hopeful and scared about this.

 

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I'm curious because we haven't taken online AoPS for a regular class.  (Just extras like AMC/MathCounts Prep.)  

 

When we work through the books, I have my kids at least attempt every problem: the Exercises, Review Problems, and Challenge Problems.  I'm wondering out of all the problems assigned in the book, how many of them are assigned to students taking the online classes?   If not all are assigned, do your students do them anyway?  Do the problem sets differ from the problems in the textbook?  

 

At home, we cover one chapter section per day, then spend 1-3 days on Review Problems and 1-3 days on Challenge Problems.  How does this pace compare to the online classes?  

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I'm curious because we haven't taken online AoPS for a regular class.  (Just extras like AMC/MathCounts Prep.)  

 

When we work through the books, I have my kids at least attempt every problem: the Exercises, Review Problems, and Challenge Problems.  I'm wondering out of all the problems assigned in the book, how many of them are assigned to students taking the online classes?   If not all are assigned, do your students do them anyway?  Do the problem sets differ from the problems in the textbook?  

 

At home, we cover one chapter section per day, then spend 1-3 days on Review Problems and 1-3 days on Challenge Problems.  How does this pace compare to the online classes?  

 

The online class does not use the problems from the book.  Each week, there is assigned reading that ranges from a couple of sections to an entire chapter, depending upon difficulty.  Also assigned weekly are 2-3 Alcumus topics to be mastered, 9-12 Challenge Problems, and a Writing Problem.

 

I know that some people have their students complete problems out of the book, as well, but I.Cannot.Imagine.  As it is, we budget 2 hours a day for math. (She doesn't always need it, but I set it aside for the hard topics.)  As for pace, you can look at the webpage.  The Intro to Algebra book is divided into 2 classes, 16 and 15 weeks long, respectively.  Counting and Probability and Number Theory are each 12 weeks, etc.  The classes cover the book; they just don't use the same problems, necessarily.

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Ouch. I was wondering why people complain about turning Alcumus topics to green/blue. Now I see why. So far DD has been lucky. I think her max is 18, but it looks like she returned to this topic several times, just for practice. If she will have to do 80 problems... no, I don't want to think about it :) I wonder if there was any reason for so many problems? So far most topics were in 6-12 range for us.

 

I also wanted to thank everyone who contributed to this topic. I am soaking up every word, as my DD starts it in August, and then adds a DE class for science. I am oscillating between being hopeful and scared about this.

 

 

Thankfully, they're not all that bad! :laugh:   She tells me that 7-12 is more usual.  The two that I mentioned were her Nemeses Topics, one in Counting and Probability (150) and one in Algebra B (actually went up from 80 to 103 before it went blue!)

 

On the plus side, she's learning persistence, Olga! :lol:

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I'm curious because we haven't taken online AoPS for a regular class.  (Just extras like AMC/MathCounts Prep.)  

 

When we work through the books, I have my kids at least attempt every problem: the Exercises, Review Problems, and Challenge Problems.  I'm wondering out of all the problems assigned in the book, how many of them are assigned to students taking the online classes?   If not all are assigned, do your students do them anyway?  Do the problem sets differ from the problems in the textbook?  

 

At home, we cover one chapter section per day, then spend 1-3 days on Review Problems and 1-3 days on Challenge Problems.  How does this pace compare to the online classes?  

 

My ds only took the intermediate classes.  There were no alcumus questions for them at that time (don't know if there are now). To prep for his class, DS always read the chapter prior to class which included solving the problems rather than just reading the solutions.  He did not do any exercises or challengers.  He asked for help in the Intermed Number Theory Class and Olympiad Geometry class.  And people were really good about giving only tiny hints rather than giving away the problem.  He never asked for help on a problem for Intermed Algebra or Counting or PreCalc (but helped others).  He was able to master the material with doing only the questions in the class.  However, ds also does 2 hours of competition math every day, so he has a LOT of built in review.  And he is currently restudying PreCalc for 2 hours a day for 2 weeks in prep for a Linear Algebra class at the university starting in July.  So although he mastered the material at the time (with blue bars), he has had to review quite a lot to keep the material strong in his head.  There are absolutely a group of younger kids who take all the classes twice to build up their skill.

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.I'm wondering out of all the problems assigned in the book, how many of them are assigned to students taking the online classes? If not all are assigned, do your students do them anyway? Do the problem sets differ from the problems in the textbook?

None of the problems in the book were assigned.

My kids do them because that is the agreement between us. Else they don't get to take any more aops online classes.

The problem set questions differ from those in the book in that they are not identical. But the method to solve some of them can be similar to the problems in the book.

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I'm curious because we haven't taken online AoPS for a regular class. (Just extras like AMC/MathCounts Prep.)

 

When we work through the books, I have my kids at least attempt every problem: the Exercises, Review Problems, and Challenge Problems. I'm wondering out of all the problems assigned in the book, how many of them are assigned to students taking the online classes? If not all are assigned, do your students do them anyway? Do the problem sets differ from the problems in the textbook?

 

At home, we cover one chapter section per day, then spend 1-3 days on Review Problems and 1-3 days on Challenge Problems. How does this pace compare to the online classes?

None of the book problems are assigned/scored. However, working them helps! DD and I talked about it and agreed that she should work the "problems" (discovery ones that take you through the learning) and take a stab at a couple practice problems. If she gets them without trouble then move on. If she's still struggling try doing some more and reading the solutions.
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