Ask Dr. Callahan Calculus
Its been awhile since Rainbow offered used textbooks but we are doing so once again for this Calculus course from Ask Dr. Callahan. Consider this course if you are looking for a course with good support material for you and your student. The Student Text is written in a straight-forward manner with clear instruction and lots of worked examples. There is a complete Solutions Manual to help with grading and, of course, there is the Ask Dr. Callahan online course that provides additional instruction, worked examples and some worked problems from the exercise sets. But, perhaps what will tip the scales is knowing that you can contact Dr. Callahan directly and know that he will respond with solutions, video solutions and even phone help. Calculus is doable at home!
As mentioned, both the Student Text (a well-respected college text) and the Solutions Manual are used so expect some signs of wear including bent pages and perhaps stray pencil marks. The text has eight chapters that take the student through review, limits and derivatives, differentiation rules and applications, integrals with applications, differential equations, and infinite sequences and series.
The Ask Dr. Callahan online video course, however, only covers the first four chapters or the material required for the AP Calculus AB Exam. In fact, the video course does not provide teaching material for the first chapter either since it is review. The videos in the course cover Chapters 2-4, one segment at a time. Also included with the video course is a PDF Teachers Manual that includes a course introduction, a syllabus (designed like college course syllabi) with projected dates assuming one two-hour class per week. [This PDF Teachers Manual can also be downloaded from the Ask Dr. Callahan website.] The course syllabus lists suggested problems from each chapter segment and the author encourages you to resist two temptations: 1) just look over the problems without working each out, and 2) assign ALL the problems in the set. They have carefully chosen the problems to represent the necessary examples and experience needed to proceed through the remainder of the material. The pdf Teachers Manual also includes quarterly tests (with solutions) and a Test Grading Guide both a sample and blank tests that can be printed.
The author notes that difficulty with Calculus can usually be traced back to a weakness in foundational skills, usually algebra. For this reason, he encourages special attention to be given to the first chapter which is a complete review of all foundational material. As mentioned before, because it is review, the actual teaching segments of the DVD do not cover that chapter. The Text appendix includes some review material as well.
The student should start by watching one video segment; then work problems going back to the video and text examples as needed. I would also suggest that reading through the text segment prior to watching the related video would be a good idea since Dr. Callahan often starts right in with examples.
While this is the most professional of the Dr. Callahan video courses, there is still an element of homespun-ness in the production. The doctor is featured in front of his white board, speaks clearly and his writing is easy to follow. In between segments there are short multi-media blips. There are also occasional Random History Notes that include interesting biographical or anecdotal information.
Please note that there are three different components to this course. The Ask Dr. Callahan video course is now completely online. Following purchase, you will receive an online access code from Ask Dr. Callahan with activation details. Activation is good for as long as you need it; there is no expiration date. The Student Text is a 780-page hardback non-consumable. Each chapter concludes with a concept review and a true-false quiz (answers in Solutions Manual). The text, itself, includes answers to odd-numbered exercises. The Solutions Manual is 356 pgs, pb. ~ Janice