We’re on Review Topic 3 (out of four) in calculus this week. Today was the kids’ day to take a couple FRQs cold, grade their own, and then grade student samples. I don’t take these for a grade: they will get an actual quiz on Friday. This is solely formative assessment for them. 

After we did both FRQs, a student came up to ask me a question about the scoring guideline. When we were finished, she said proudly, “I’m getting really good at these!”

I looked over and she had scored a 7/9 and a 9/9 (national average for those two were both less than 4/9). 

So, yes–she is getting really good at these. 

This part of the year can be so hard on both the kids and me because they realize how very difficult the AP Exam is going to be. These tests are crazy, let’s be honest. I mean, I mostly agree with everything they test over, but good golly when are these kids going to take a 3.5-hour calculus test ever again? It’s just so intense and so intimidating. 

So, when I see kids start to feel confident, I know we’re doing something right. When I see scores like that, I know that we’re making progress and I know that the confidence is not unfounded. And that confidence is the very reason I love teaching mathematics in the first place. 


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