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MovingMomma

Math feedback, please

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DD13 easily finished MUS through precalculus, but instead of continuing on to MUS calculus I'm thinking of moving her to AoPS and digging a little deeper instead of progressing her to college math in early high school.

Precalculus is at my limit of ability to teach math effectively.

She tests as both ready for and not beyond AoPS Intermediate Counting and Probability and Introduction to Number Theory. She botched a few more questions than I'm comfortable with on the AoPS Precalculus pretest, but I think it's mostly a matter of a few spots of conceptual review. We could brush up on these with Khan and Saxon over the month before the AoPS Precalculus class starts.

I'm not sure if independent study or an AoPS online course would be the best fit. As far as scheduling with their online classes, Intermediate Number Theory and Precalculus are both options. 

Any thoughts on what's the best level of AoPS to start with after MUS Precalculus? Online or independent study?

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You might also want to look at the placement tests for Intermediate Algebra. AOPS’s text/class names don’t match up with the usual scope and sequence very well. As I understand it, a lot of what is usually covered in standard Precalculus classes is covered in their Intermediate Algebra book.

Online vs independent is a matter of preference. 

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Instead of using their "are you ready? tests for placement, which are way too easy IMO, I'd use the "do you need this?" tests, which are harder.  But this will only work for courses that have an assumed AoPS prerequisite.

Edited by EKS
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Before starting Intermediate C&P, does your students understand the basics of Intro C&P?  Does she have experience with combinations and permutations, probability and multiplication, expected value, pascal's triangle, hockey stick, binomial theorem?  I only ask because even basic C&P isn't very often taught in regular curriculum and I'm not familiar with MUS.  

Does your student have a lot of experience with math contests?  There are a lot of old math contest problems in their problem sets.  

I think either of the C&P books or the NT book would be a good place to start.  It will be more fun to learn something new rather than rehash old material.  For more fun, you can also have her take old AMCs to expand on her knowledge of algebra, probability, NT, and geometry.  

If you do decide to do precalculus, you can just skip to the end of chapter review and challenge problems, and then if there is material that she isn't familiar with, you can go back and study just that chapter.  Good luck.  

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As a FYI, the online AoPS precalc class is largely not what people call precalc. It does have trig, but that’s followed by complex numbers and linear algebra. It’s a really fun class (and I did a lot of work on a beta version), but if you’re talking standard precalc, you’ll want Intermediate Algebra first.

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If her only exposure to upper level math is MUS, I would not put her in the precal class. MUS and AoPS are essentially the polar extremes in math texts. I agree with EKS that I would have her take the end of course do you this tests.

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On 11/8/2019 at 12:51 AM, MovingMomma said:

We could brush up on these with Khan and Saxon over the month before the AoPS Precalculus class starts.

I wanted to add that what she will be missing for AoPS will not be found either on Khan or in Saxon.

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We’ve never done the on-line classes, but my oldest has worked through several AOPS books.

Do they use the books in the on-line classes? If so, I would buy a book you think is the correct level and have her start it before she dives into (and you pay for) a class that may be overwhelming. That will give you a better idea where to place her, too.

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6 hours ago, Black-eyed Suzan said:

We’ve never done the on-line classes, but my oldest has worked through several AOPS books.

Do they use the books in the on-line classes? If so, I would buy a book you think is the correct level and have her start it before she dives into (and you pay for) a class that may be overwhelming. That will give you a better idea where to place her, too.

This is what I came here to post. Get her to try the Alcumus problems for Intermediate Algebra to see if she can turn the topics blue. That is one way to “pretest”. And then buy the book for Intermediate Algebra and have her go through it before you decide to sign up for an online AOPS class.

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10 hours ago, mathnerd said:

This is what I came here to post. Get her to try the Alcumus problems for Intermediate Algebra to see if she can turn the topics blue. That is one way to “pretest”. And then buy the book for Intermediate Algebra and have her go through it before you decide to sign up for an online AOPS class.

 

Great idea! A free option. 

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I think what might also be useful is running her through the review sections of the latter part of the intro of algebra book (after ch. 16) so that she can get accustomed to AOPS style and to see if she is ready for something like AOPS. Going from MUS to AOPs is a pretty drastic change in style and approach for a student who may not be exposed to discovery approach or putting in the level of effort and time that AOPS requires. MUS is not generally a curricula that is commonly used with highly math adept students. Can you borrow a copy of the textbook from your library or someone? I find the reaction to AOPs is pretty much you love it or hate it.

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