Project Ideas for AP Calculus

I’ve been away from my classroom for three days of “professional development,” aka training, on the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM).  During that time, I assigned my AP Calculus AB students a project to keep their minds focused on learning, rather than freewheeling and socializing in their newfound freedom with a substitute teacher this close to the end of the school year.  Not surprisingly, they socialized anyways so I left a sternly worded set of declarations of the white board yesterday.  I did so after reading the second in a series of not so positive daily reports from the sub.  From today’s report, the message I left for students got their full attention and concern.  It sounded as if their energies were directed at the topic for this post: their project.

Rather than reinforcing the adage “when the cat’s away, the mice will play” with this post, I want to share a set of projects I put together for my students.  I’ve copied the assignment I gave my students below.  I am excited about what they will deliver.  I hope they are equally jazzed.

End of Spring Semester Project


After a year in AP Calculus AB, each of you has expanded your mathematical knowledge in ways you may not have imagined possible.  As a fun way of capturing some of that knowledge for posterity’s sake, you will complete one of the projects listed below.  Please use your creative talents!  You may work in a group of two, as desired.


Select a project to submit from the following list, closely adhering to its requirements.  Questions about any project should be emailed to me as I am away from class until Thursday 5/17/12.

AP Calculus Project List

  • Collage: create a collage or collection of images related to calculus.  Images can be hand drawn, printed, or clipped from a magazine or newspaper.  Minimum collage size is 11” x 17”.  Maximum size is 24” x 36”.  Must be laminated.
  • Comic Strip Poster: create an illustrated comic strip poster covering one or more topics in calculus.  It should be no smaller than 11” x 17” and laminated for durability. Maximum size is 24” x 36”.
  • Crossword Puzzle Poster: create a crossword puzzle poster to review definitions of at least 50 calculus vocabulary words.  It should be no smaller than 11” x 17”. Maximum size is 24” x 36”.  Must be laminated.
  • Board Game: create a board game where students review calculus concepts.  Game play should be based around answering review questions correctly.  Minimum board size is 12” x 12”, maximum is 24” x 24”, however, it must fold into a 12” x 24” size.  Board must be laminated or of durable material.  All accessories must be durable as well.
  • Flash Cards: create at least 50 flash cards helpful for study and review of AP Calculus AB.  Minimum card size is 2½” x 3½”.  Max is 5” x 7”.  Must be laminated with smooth, rounded edges.
  • Murals: create a mural or a large drawing of many images related to calculus.  Consider depicting the evolution of calculus, or the different contributions made by various regions in the world.  Must be laminated.

Due Date:

This assignment is due on Monday, 5/21/12.  Late work may be submitted at the cost of one rating level per day late.  Late work will not be accepted after Wednesday, 5/24/12.

This counts towards your portfolio assignment for the final marking period, which is 15% of your grade, so do your best work.


The following rubric will guide my rating of your project.


About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Independent consultant and junior college adjunct instructor. Former secondary math teacher who taught math intervention, algebra 1, geometry, accelerated algebra 2, precalculus, honors precalculus, AP Calculus AB, and AP Statistics. Prior to teaching, I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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