What have you heard from former Calculus students? That it's a challenging course?
The beginning can be easy or difficult depending on your understanding of Algebra. And the first few chapters will make or break your Calculus career.
Limits were challenging for me when I sat in AP Calculus. Sometimes I had lucky guesses but if I couldn’t plug in values (using substitution), the problems looked foreign to me. I didn't know where to begin or what method to use.
Lauren* had a similar experience. She started working with me after her limit exam in Calculus I. She didn’t do well on the exam so she wanted extra support.
When it came time to take the Calculus final exam, she dreaded going back to review limits. She felt confident about derivatives and integrals but that first Calculus topic was tricky for her.
We went through the concepts at a slower pace and I explained limits from multiple perspectives. See the graphic organizer below for more clarity.
Lauren became more confident in identifying which method to use to evaluate a limit. She was great with limits graphically, and remembered to check limits from both the left side and right side to verify that they match.
She ended up earning an A on her final exam. Limits weren't going to stop her from reaching her "limit" in Calculus.
Next week I'll post when to use each of the Analytical methods. Follow "Meryl's Magic Math Tutoring" @MerylsMagicMath on Facebook so you don't miss the update!
* name changed to protect her identity