APSI: Pre-AP High School Math for New Teachers: Pre-Calculus Focus, Week 3

The building of mathematical knowledge and understanding can be a complex and daunting endeavor for high school students. This course is designed to delve into the content and activities appropriate for a Pre-AP Pre-Calculus course.

Participants will experience classroom activities designed to help prepare students for Advanced Placement Calculus. Topics and activities will include using multi-representational approaches to examine problems algebraically, graphically, numerically, and verbally. Time will also be spent modeling and selecting appropriate strategies for teaching linear through trigonometric functions, accumulation and area, limits, optimization, sequences and series, rates of change, polar graphing, and other topics. In addition to constant focus on content rich mathematics, time will be dedicated to adapting AP test questions, assessments, and technology. Answering the question “What makes a test question Pre-AP?” will be addressed. Examples and non-examples will be explored and teachers will have an opportunity to develop and adapt test questions for their own classroom use. Participants will share best practices and strategies.


Section Instructor Format Schedule start date
CCR42317 Dickie Thomasson On-campus 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 1, 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Dickie Thomasson
FORMAT: On-campus
SCHEDULE: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
START DATE: Aug. 01, 2017

Instructor: Dickie Thomasson

Lead Consultant

Dickie Thomasson graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello with a BSE in mathematics and a minor in English. He received his MSE in secondary education from the University of Arkansas and an administrator’s certificate from the University of Central Arkansas. Dickie has taught mathematics for 40 years in grades 6 through college in public schools in Arkansas. He is currently teaching at Prairie Grove High School (about 10 miles west of Fayetteville.)  This year he is teaching  Algebra I, Precalculus, and Advanced Placement Calculus AB. Mr. Thomasson is active in the Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics having served as membership chairperson, treasurer, and president.  Dickie was the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2001.  He is a College Board endorsed consultant and presents at one-day and two-day AP and Pre-AP conferences as well as conducting summer institutes. Dickie has presented at summer institutes at the University of Arkansas, the University of Tulsa, University of Texas El Paso, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas A&M International University, TCU and Rice University. One of his favorite things to do each summer is being a reader for the AP Calculus exams. Dickie presents workshop sessions at the local, state, national, and international levels. He was an original participant and trainer for the Arkansas Math Crusades and is a national trainer for the National Math and Science Initiative (formerly LTF®.)  Dickie has presented AP Calculus 2-Day follow-ups and mock exam trainings for NMSI. Mr. Thomasson was the math content director for the Arkansas Initiative for Math and Science during the 2008-2009 school year.

Term: Spring/Summer 2017

Start Date: Aug. 01, 2017

End Date: Aug. 04, 2017

Schedule: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Length: Tuesday-Friday

Location: Rice campus

Fee: $549.00

Continuing Professional Education (CPE): 30

  • Graphing Calculator
  • Copies of tests/activities (small sample) used in their classroom. When we discuss assessment, participants will have an opportunity to create assessment questions, tweak their own questions, and create items they can use in their own classroom
  • Participants can always bring a copy of the textbook they use in class but it is not necessary
  • A flash drive if you want a paper copy of some activities