One of the things we value most at Calc Medic is helping students build deep and flexible understanding of math concepts. This begins with our EFFL lessons and is further developed through thoughtfully written homework, quiz, and test questions. In this article we'll talk about what makes a great question and then share a sample homework assignment from our new assessment platform.
Homework questions should develop student thinking around a topic.
The purpose of homework questions is not just to align with the topic covered in class but also with how students reasoned in class, i.e. the conceptual learning they developed in the lesson. A homework assignment should contain questions that develop and assess the thought process, not just the skill or the ability to arrive at a correct answer. Homework is a formative assessment tool! We should be able to use the questions to determine what students understand based on their thinking, not just based on a right or wrong answer. This means we have to write questions differently in a way that illuminates students' thinking, so that students themselves and teachers can assess what they do and do not yet understand. This is why we have taken great care to ensure that the questions we write for the Assessment Platform are high-quality, mathematically rich, and meet the needs of you and your students.
Use multiple representations
Ask students to justify and explain, not just give an answer.
Connect ideas from previous courses and lessons
Assess conceptual understanding, not just skills and procedures
Stretch students to explore ideas just beyond what they were taught
Include open-ended prompts with multiple correct answers
Encourage students to wrestle with constraints, counterexamples, and conjectures
Reflect the style and rigor of the AP Exam
Good homework, quiz, and test questions are essential for building on students’ in-class learning. This is why we are so excited to launch the Assessment Platform for AP Precalculus to provide you with ready-to-use assessments that are customizable and can be assigned to students digitally or printed as hard copies.
Here is a sample homework assignment aligned with Calc Medic Lesson 2.1 on Polynomial Functions and Rates of Change. We hope this gives you a good idea of what to expect from the Calc Medic AP Precalc assessments as you're planning for this fall!