Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

I was very happy with the class. The subject matter and the textbooks and videos were engaging, the workload was not too large, and the tests did a good job of preparing me for the exam. I feel like I learned a lot about political structure and theory, and I feel better equipped now to understand world news and politics.

AP Class Reviews

AP Calculus AB taught by Susan Gilleran

by Students and Parents

Amazing AP Calculus AB Course! posted by Kanika Chopra on May 29 2019 at 20:17:37

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

I felt very prepared for the AP Exam. Because we finished learning material in late February, we were able to dedicate many weeks to reviewing all the subjects. We also took 6 Practice Exams, which I found incredibly helpful!

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

During the first semester, I spent 1.5 hours a day on this class (about 7-8 hours per week). In the second semester, because we were reviewing much more, I spend about 2 hours per day, including some time on the weekends (around 12+ hours per week).

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

This class uses a discussion board as a means of communicating with other students and Mrs. Gilleran. I found this source incredibly helpful, and if I had a question about a problem, I was able to refer to the discussion board, where another student had most likely had the same question.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Students who work hard and have the want to better their math skills will do very well in this course. This class is incredibly thorough; a student will complete one lesson a day and tests periodically. By completing the assignments, but also going back and seeing what they got wrong (and why they got it wrong) you can make great leaps with your Calculus learning (and it will greatly help at the end of the year!). Overall, I would highly recommend this course to those thinking of taking it!


AP Calc AB Review posted by Kara Sipe on May 23 2019 at 14:07:18

Mrs. Gilleran's Calc. AB course was rigorous, and taught me so much. Fall semester consisted of new information, but it was doable if I stayed on track with the schedule. Spring semester was primarily review, which was wonderful in preparing for the AP exam. I would typically spend two hours a day on this course. While it can be difficult learning math online without a set class time, the discussion board was helpful, as well as videos Mrs. G suggested throughout the year in her daily comments. The WebAssign work was fun and helpful in the fall semester, as it would immediately show step-by-step solutions on new concepts if I didn't get the problem right after two tries. Being able to take countless former AP exams was helpful in the spring, and made me feel more comfortable with the format of questions on exam day. I would recommend this course to students who are disciplined, organized, and ready to take their math education to the next level. 


AP Calculus AB posted by Patrick Czabala on May 15 2019 at 22:08:31

Let me begin my saying how awesome this class has been! Because of Mrs. Gilleran, I actually looked forward to doing my Calculus homework. I want my review to be as candid as possible.

I typically put around 2 hours a day into this particular course. Sometimes it was more like 4, sometimes it was less than an hour. First, I would take notes on the material. This would include writing out formulas and sometimes examples. This was one of the reasons I believe I did so well in this class. Taking some time and making nice, pretty notes really helps in the long run especially when you need to go back to them (I had a notes notebook and 2 full homework notebooks by the end). Then, I read Mrs. Gilleran's comments for the day. She always has something witty to say, and a comic (or 7) at the end. Depending on how well I understood the concept being talked about, I'd read it very quickly, or spend an hour or more really digesting the examples. Then, I'd do the homework. I regret not always putting in enough time to really make sure I understood all the quirks of a specific concept as I made up for those shortfalls in the review months. 

We finished new material at the end of February, which gave us a great deal of time to review. NOT SLACKING OFF during this time was critical to my exam success. At one point, I spent four days on one particularly difficult problem that ended up making the entire topic of differential equations quite easy. On the exam, I knew how to do every single multiple choice question (I am aware of only one mistake/confusion point, I forgot to apply the product rule in one question, a cardinal sin!). I understood the concepts on the Free Response Questions (FRQs), but in the heat of the moment I broke character and misread the wording of the question (which I'll admit was unusually deceiving). I DO believe that practicing the exam so many times as Mrs. Gilleran had us do was part of why I was certain I would get a 5 before I walked into the exam.

The practice tests we completed were seemingly neverending, but they served a purpose. If you do take this course, take my wisdom and spend as much time as you have to going back over what you got wrong and why. 

 

One of the challenges of this learning environment is communication. Sometimes, it felt like I was stuck with nowhere to turn to with my questions. The discussion board, TAs, and fellow students helped with this (Later on, being able to explain and help another student overcome and error increased MY understanding as well). Mrs. Gilleran teaches multiple AP Calculus, and tries to have a life (though I'm sure it must feel like a dichotomy for her at times). She does get backed up on emails occasionally, so you may have to gently remind her if you have a probing question/need, but she always gets back to you. 

 

And the (most important) question you're probably asking at this point: Should I take this class?

My answer: It depends on you. If you are lazy or a slacker, this class is NOT for you. You need to be committed to putting in the effort (I really did spend almost 2 hours a day during the week on this class) to review your mistakes because in this environment that is the path to learning. IF you do the work, you will get a 5. I have no doubt about that. However, if you think that taking an online class is an easy way to do less work, you're gonna find yourself falling behind by weeks or months, or asking your classmate if they knew there was a class website that had more than just WebAssign because you had no idea. I'm not saying that you shouldn't take this class, quite the contrary. If you have enough respect for yourself and for your teacher to actually go and do what is assigned, this class will take you the distance. 


AP Calculus AB review posted by Caitlin Hefner on May 15 2019 at 13:16:03

I felt prepared for the AP exam I would not say that I felt extremely over prepared but I do think that I was prepared. I probably spent between five to fifteen hours a week on calculus (fifteen being when we had a big test). I found that most of the assignments were equally valuable but I did find the personal study plan optional activities especially helpful. I would recommend this course to students that are exceptional at math, but if a student is willing to put in the hard work an average student would also excel. 


Would Recommend to Motivated, Hard Workers posted by Maya Powell on May 15 2019 at 13:10:30

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? 

Yes, I felt even overly prepared to take the exam. At the end of the year, Mrs. Gilleran  assigned us a practice test per week so that the format was familiar and so that we got plenty of practice with questions that actually were on AP exams.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into this course?

I would say that while it varied, I definitely worked at least an hour a day usually two hours. It really depends on what the student puts into it. Obviously if you don't work all of the examples Mrs. Gilleran provides or watch all the videos you would be spending a lot less time than say someone who did. 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? 

I've already said this, but I think that the real AP tests Mrs. Gilleran assigned were the most valuable assignments for me. Knowing exactly what was going to be on the test helped me not feel stressed when test day came along. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

No.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? 

Not really. Don't get me wrong, the TAs always responded quickly to any questions I had, but I still don't know who all was taking the class with me. To be fair, it is a calculus course so not much discussion is to be expected. 

What sort of student would do well in this course? 

A student who wants to get a 5. He would have to be motivated enough to work by himself and to go looking for help online when he comes across a particularly difficult problem. This course is not for the weak. 

 


posted by Maya Powell on May 15 2019 at 12:52:05

 


Fantastic class! posted by Owen Johnson on May 14 2019 at 19:04:01

I don't think I knew quite what to expect going into Mrs. Gilleran's class, it being my first class online. The first time I logged on to the class website and started reading the daily comments, I felt like I was listening to Mrs. Gilleran teach calculus to me personally. All the daily comments were helpful, the assigned text readings allowed me to learn all the concepts I needed while not being too much. Not everything always made sense on my first readthrough, but when I didn't understand at first, I used some of the many resources Mrs. Gilleran made avaliable to us: email, a class discussion forum, and links to other resources such as videos and help sheets. I was definitely challenged as I went through the year, putting more time in than I had previously done in classes, but this challenge to learn the material and put in the effort was the very thing that allowed me to go further in learning math than I had ever done before. I would most certainly recomend this course to other students!


Good class. Everything a homeschooling course requires. posted by Peter Yim on May 15 2018 at 20:57:43

This was a good class that prepared me well for the exam. If I put in the work, I found the results very satisfying, just like any class out there. At times I slacked off and felt the repercussions in make up work I had to do later. Good class that prepared me well for the exam.


Mrs. Gilleran is a great teacher! posted by Nina on May 15 2018 at 15:16:27

I think this course prepared me for the AP exam, even though I only started in January. Mrs. Gilleran assigns a lot of practice tests, which give you practice with real questions. Then, you correct them, so you can see what you get wrong. I spent about an hour or an hour and a half a day on Calculus before the review began (including weekends), and then two+ hours per day after. 

I found Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments incredibly useful. They frequently went over often-missed homework problems, difficult problems, or specific question types step by step. Those were very useful, and often entertaining (the included comics in particular).

This course did not enhance my interest in the subject, though it definitely enhanced my understanding. Calculus is very difficult for me, so it is hard to enjoy it. :)

A very driven student would do well in this course. The workload is substantial, particularly if you struggle with math. 

Overall, Mrs. Gilleran is a great teacher. She emphasizes learning, even through failure, so that you can learn without worrying about failing the class because you really struggle with a certain concept. I very much appreciated that approach, and would highly recommend this class.


AP Calc with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Paige C on May 17 2017 at 18:02:59

I came into AP Calc AB feeling pretty apprehensive.  I've always done pretty well in math classes but feel much more comfortable with humanities subjects.  I was worried that Calculus, as advanced math, would be over my head.  I wasn't sure that just trying hard would cut it for me this year.  Thanks to Mrs. Gilleran, I can say my fears were unfounded.  

First, the WebAssign software which this class revolves around is phenomenal!  All homework assignments are automatically graded by the computer and when you miss a question, the software will link you to a video explaining how to do that exact type of problem. Mrs. Gilleran has an orderly assignment plan each week so you can stay on top of your work, too.  On average, I would spent about 1.5 hours a day on Calculus work.  

I did not end up taking the AP Calc AB exam because of the way my college handles AP credits, but I'm sure that as long as I had studied as I was supposed to, I would have been well-prepared for the exam.  We finished all of the course material in late February/early March, and so the last few months of class were spent reviewing and doing practice AP exams.  

I would definitely recommend AP Calc with Mrs. Gilleran to other students.  As long as you are dedicated to doing your assignments on time and asking for help when necessary, you can succeed in this class. 


AP Calculus AB Class Review posted by Love Tsai on May 14 2017 at 15:50:09

The class prepared me for the AP exam pretty well! We went through numerous practice exams and always spent enough time on the topics that I didn't feel too lost or confused. I spent around two hours a day on the weekdays (so around 10 hours) and maybe did an hour or two on the weekends. Sometimes we'd work on the same topic for an extended period of time, so when there wasn't a new thing to learn, I would only spend one hour a day on math.

Communication weaned off as the year progressed, so it got harder and harder to get replies back from the TAs for some reason. But for the most part, they did answer back within 48 hours. There were some health complications on Mrs. Gilleran's side a couple of times during the year; during these times, students didn't have anything to do and had to resort to self-studying. Our review time got cut short and our finals got moved back afterwards. I am sure that there will be a Plan B next year so that this doesn't happen again. It wasn't always organized extremely well, so maybe work would be up late or there would be confusion on what was actually going on that day.

Since Calculus AB is one semester of college work done in two semesters/one year, it is definitely doable by even those who traditionally shy away from math. In my opinion, it was one of the easiest math classes that I've ever had to take! There are only three distinct areas (limits, derivatives, integrals/antiderivatives) and maybe a fourth if you count the nebulous stuff such as differential equations and area/volume, so it is super easy to compartmentalize and digest. I am not typically a wiz at math (just the word Calculus gave me a shiver a year ago) but learning Calculus this year has been quite enjoyable.  


If you want to pass the AP Calculus Exam, or just learn Calculus in general, Mrs. Gilleran is the right person for you. posted by Noah Jordan Schwartz on May 11 2017 at 19:02:14

Mrs. Gilleran is a truly incredible teacher! She is always happy to respond to questions, and she sometimes brings those questions to the whole class if she finds the question to be really interesting. You have a maximum of three days to complete each assignment, but Mrs. Gilleran will usually grant you an extension if you ask. Mrs. Gilleran is really kind, and she wants every one of her students to succeed in the AP Exam.

After taking her course on Calculus AB, I felt prepared and ready to take the exam. In the exam room, I actually had fun answering all the AP questions, and that is all thanks to Mrs. Gilleran. She tries to motivate her students each day by posting an inspirational quote, and she will even give an fascinating tidbit every so often.

Everything I learned in this course has been immensely valuable, both for the exam and the beauty of Calculus. You should put around two to three hours each day for this course, but what you gain is much more precious then the time it takes to gain it. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

I would recommend this course to everyone. There is no teacher as unique and as special as Mrs. Gilleran. If you want to pass the AP Calculus Exam, or just learn Calculus in general, Mrs. Gilleran is the right person for you.


AP Calculus AB posted by Anne Dye on May 10 2017 at 16:25:59

I went into the exam feeling very prepared. I spent 8-10 hours a week studying, and probably close to 10-12 during the review months. The amount of practice and review Mrs. Gilleran has us do is amazing! It wasn't always fun because it took a lot of time, but because of all that practice, I was able to feel confident going into the exam.

I definitely liked the AP Practice Tests she had us do because they were past AP Test Questions and helped to give me a feel for what questions on the test would look like. I wouldn't say I enjoy math any more than I did before (and I don't enjoy math much), but I would definitely say i've gained a better appreciation for math and how it applies to the real world.

I love that Mrs. Gilleran had a discussion board set up for the students to ask questions on and to recieve help when they needed it. That certainly was helpful. And her daily comments were fantastic and super helpful. I also loved the inspirational quotes she put at the end of each set of comments.

Anyone who is willing to work hard and put in the time and effort required will do well in this course. You don't have to lie math, but you do need to be willing to spend quite a bit of time learning the material and seeing it in an exam format and interpreting the exam questions. If you're willing to do that, you will suceed! I for one, do not like math much, but because I put forth the effort to learn the material, I did well in the course. :)


Calc AB posted by Elijah Han on May 09 2017 at 22:11:48

Mrs. Gilleran did a fantastic job preparing the class for the exam. I studied about 2-3 hrs 6 days a week. She was beyond friendly, approachable, motivational, and knowledgeable. Mrs. Gilleran is easily a top-tier teacher. I would definitely recomend this class.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained!"


AP Calculus AB posted by Anonymous on May 09 2017 at 18:16:18

Yes, I feel the course prepared me very well for the AP exam.  We finished covering new material in February, and even though Mrs. Gilleran was out for 6 weeks with medical issues, we still had plenty of time to review and review and review.  Mrs. Gilleran has us do so many practice tests that by the time I sat down to take the AP exam, I was comfortable with the tricky AP-style wording and timing.  Also, she shares so many tips and strategies on tackling the AP exam that I was calm and confident after my many hours of practice.

I spent at least 8 hours a week on this course (more in review months).  I would recommend setting aside 4 hours of undistrubed time at least one week in March or April to take a full practice test to practice the stamina necessary for the AP exam.  Mrs. Gilleran is pretty flexible and lets you complete a practice test in one week, allowing you to complete different sections whenever you have time that week though.

All the practice test she gave us were so valuable (not sure about favorite though)!  In the review time, she also groups problems (multiple-choice and FRQ) by topic, allowing me to hone my skill on that one concept before mastering the next, which was extremely helpful.

Math has not been my favorite subject, but I liked the textbook's real-world applications of calculus.

There was a Google Group to post questions, and although it wasn't very active for our class this year, the TAs were always very quick to respond and help when there were questions.  It was more difficult to contact Mrs. Gilleran sometimes, but her daily comments were so conversational it felt like she was talking directly to me-encouraging, explaining, and teaching.

Besides hardworking, a student would have to be very disciplined and have integrity.  The only one holding you accountable to doing the work for this course the right way without cheats, hints, and shortcuts, is you.  Preparing for the AP exam is not easy, and the questions are designed to be difficult and frustrating, but if you are willing to not do well the first time and put in the hours to improve, then you should do well in this course.


AP Calculus AB -- I learned tons and felt well-prepared. posted by Daniel Lisle on May 15 2016 at 15:33:28

First of all, I felt the course prepared me very well for the AP exam. We had covered everything I saw on the exam, and I went into it with many strategies for solving the problems.

On average, I worked on calculus for about 1.5-2 hours per weekday.

Mrs. Gilleran provided us with many practice tests (as well as abundant resources in general), which I enjoyed doing, after all, they're the best way to prep for the exam. The FRQ practice tests were especially helpful since they help you get better at solving problems in general. Mrs. Gilleran's daily PDF comments were always helpful and I thought she explained things quite clearly.

I am definitely more interested in calculus now that I see what it can be used for. The capabilities of algebra and geometry in computing measurements are extremely narrow compared to calculus.

The class has a Google Group where students get their questions answered by other students, TAs, or Mrs. Gilleran. I personally didn't use the message board a whole lot, but it was great to have when I needed to help with a problem or needed a concept explained further.

Students who focus well will do great in this course. Once you shift your brain in math mode and stay there, the work will go by really fast and before you know it you'll be great at calculus. Be ready for some big concepts in the first semester and take the time to understand the fundamentals, then become proficient and fast at applying them as the year goes on. I would recommend this course to students who are ready to move into higher maths and work hard to put in some time for good results.

All the best to future students!


AP Calc AB posted by Nathan Chen on May 13 2016 at 19:50:14

Hey everyone!

I got the opportunity this year to take AP Calc AB with Mrs. Gilleran through PA Homeschoolers. I had an amazing year. Although math isn't my strong point, I had lots of fun and felt pretty confident on that AP test. I would definitely recommend Mrs. Gilleran's class as it prepared me beyond belief for the final exams. Alright, now on to the burning questions you may have:

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes! The AB course went to about February/March. From there we reviewed for the AP exam. Mrs. Gilleran gave us released multiple choice exercises and FRQs from the actual exam to prepare us. She would often take questions that we had and explain them in the daily comments that she would post everyday.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I'd say about 1.5-2 hours a day, including Saturday.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

The released Multiple Choice(MCQs) and FRQs that Mrs. Gilleran gave us were amazing! Also, Mrs. Gilleran has a page full of all the resources that one could ever find on the web in relation to Calc. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Absolutely! I had very minimal Calc experience when coming into AP Calc. Through, Mrs. Gilleran's class, I was able to dive deeper into mathematics and truly see the beauty and logic behind it.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

The class had a disscussion board which wasn't used as frequently as some of the other classes I had taken. Despite this, you can get a response typically within a day of posting which is really helpful. The TAs (teacher assistants) did a fantastic job! Also, many of the students will join in the chase of helping solve a particular question. Wrong explanations are never looked down upon, rather they are used to gain deeper understanding of the problem at hand.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students

Definitely! Be prepared to work hard and put in time and effort into studying. The journey may be long and arduous at first, but in the end, when you look back upon the year, it'll be worth it! 

What was a day in class like?

First, I would log into the classroom portal and enter into the "classroom." In it, you would see a list of the months of the year. Clicking one of the months, you will see an agenda of what you would do each day, ie: what pages in the textbook to read, what problems to do, etc... Along with this, you would see a daily comment, which essentially is like a script of what a teacher would say in class. It would vary from 2 pages to 16 pages at most. This made the class feel alive and interactive. Mrs. Gilleran made sure that she was right there with you! She would often post funny cartoons at the bottom of the page, which were personally my favorite part of the class. 

Once again, I highly recommend this class, not just because it'll prepare you for the AP test, but also because Mrs. Gilleran really cares for her students. Good luck future students!!! 


A Really Great Class! posted by C. Peterson on May 08 2016 at 18:26:01

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? - Absolutely! We finished the textbook by March, and spent the rest of the school year taking daily practice tests and going over our weak spots. There were a few questions on the exam that I think I might have gotten wrong, but the vast majority of them frankly felt easy to me. After literally months of taking old College Board exams, the real one felt just like another practice test. I can't say for sure that I made a 5, but I think it's very likely.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? - It varied (and it was longer the first and last few weeks of the year), but I'd say it took me an average of about an hour and a half a day, Monday to Friday. The assignments roll out on a daily basis, and there aren't any on the weekends, so you're literally forced to take Saturday and Sunday off. This worked out well when I fell behind in the middle of the year (due to a cross-country move and then a wrist surgery), because by doing one day's worth of work on Saturday and Sunday I could make up my missed days without doubling up on weekdays.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? - The review period was definitely extremely valuable: Mrs. Gilleran had us done with the textbook by the beginning of March, and from then on out we spent our days working lots of practice problems.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? - Totally! I'm still not as much of a math geek as some people, but at least I didn't hate calculus the way I'd thought I would. It's kind of fun, really, in it's own way. I'm definitely not as scared of higher-level math as I used to be. Mrs. Gilleran is the reason I'm taking AP Calculus BC next year - I want to spend another year having her as a math teacher! 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? - Well, I didn't really use the chat board as much as some people did. I posted problems I had trouble with once or twice, and someone else explained the answer, but other than that I didn't spend much time communicating with my classmates. Math isn't really the most social of subjects, you know? People always got back pretty quickly, though, so if you need the extra help it's definitely a good resource.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?  - Since I myself am choosing to take Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus BC next year, I think it's pretty obvious that I would highly recommend this class. It's a fast-paced course that covers a lot of material, but Mrs. Gilleran makes it as painless as possible. Her daily "Comments" (which often run to over six pages long) offer a cheery greeting and a few worked out example problems; the daily assignments are scheduled out on the syllabus from the first day so you know exactly what to expect; the online site where we do our problems is amazing, because it gives you two tries on every problem and has tutorial videos that explain how to work many of them. You have to have at least a decent grasp of math (the stronger your trig skills the better - I definitely struggled with that at first!) and be willing to put in the time, but as long as you do exactly what Mrs. Gilleran assigns you shouldn't have any trouble at all getting a high grade both in the class and on the exam.


AP Calc AB (Mrs. Gilleran) posted by Matt Seida on May 07 2016 at 14:18:37

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, I felt the course prepared me very well. The assignments at the beginning material taught me the material and then all of the practice tests and AP review at the end of the year allowed me to translate my knowledge of the material into AP exam format. And the review videos from the site getafive were extremely helpful.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I would probably say that I spent about somewhere from 12-16 hours or so per week on this course.

Are there any particalarly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Definitely the many practice FRQs, practice MCQs, and the practice tests that we did in AP exam format. This made me very confident and familiar with the material going into the test.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Math was already my favorite subject, but this course helped me realize that Calulus is doable and can even me enjoyable at times. So yes, I would say this course did enhance my interest in the the subject.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

I know that it's hard to work with other students in Calulus, but I wish there had been a little more interaction with the other students. That said, though, our discussion board was very helpful to discuss various questions about the material.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I really just think students who are willing to work hard to understand the material, willing to ask questions and willing to seek other resources (getafive!!) will be the best suited to have success in this course. It's just a matter of understanding the processes to solve the different types of problems and this can be achieved if one is willling to use all available resources (Mrs. Gilleran, discussion board, review videos, etc) to accomplish this.


AP Calculus AB Course posted by Kasia Ashwill on May 06 2016 at 15:35:01

Late nights and early mornings. I'm saying this up front because in order to understand the material, this class requires a LOT of time and effort. Each day required between 1 to 3 hours of work. If the thought of hard work frightens you, good! Maybe it's time to conquer that fear - Mrs. Gilleran had more than enough wise tips and quotes to keep me on track. :) One of my favorite things about this class was that every day opened up with a note from Mrs. Gilleran. In it were explanations of the assignments, witty anecdotes, and worked over problems to help us better understand Calculus. 

Before I get into the questions, you must understand that I was not too fond of this subject at the start, and even though it is not my favorite subject in the entire world, I understand it *so* much better than I thought I ever would! It shouldn't come as a surpise, as my older brother took this class and is now finishing up his second year in engineering - he said that this class not only prepared him for the AP exam, but also in his higher level math studies! 

Yes, absolutely! Due to traveling, I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to study, but the constant practices tests, flashcards, and review charts definitely prepared me.

The practice AP tests and FRQs we were given were extremely helpful.

Yes... It's part of the reason I am not so frightened of studying engineering this coming fall. 

Yes! The discussion group was immensely helpful in answering questions. The TAs were invaluable as well. 

To be honest, anybody who is willing to work as hard as they need to would do well in this course. If you enjoy math, bonus! But don't worry if it's your nemesis, I had no particular fondness at the start, but I'm *so* glad I took this class!! Good luck, all you future students!


Great AP Calculus course posted by Davis Cousar on May 06 2016 at 14:46:22

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?


Up until the last two weeks before the exam, I thought for sure that I wouldn't even get a three. This was because I had struggled on a lot of the practice exams which Mrs. Gilleran had us do over the last two months before the exam. However, in the last couple of weeks before the test, by using the resources that Mrs. Gilleran provided and doing tons of practice, I feel that the material really became cemented in my brain, and I left the test confident that I had succeeded (hopefully I am right! I am writing this the day after the exam, and I will not be receiving scores until July.) 

Anyways, to be prepared for the exam, I recommend three things:

1) work hard in the course throughout the year and don't get discouraged when it seems that you can't remember or grasp all of the material. I had trouble with a lot of the material, but eventually came to master it after a lot of time and lots of practice problems. 

2) Use the AP Calculus AB GET A FIVE review videos online. Mrs. Gilleran provided us with this resource a few months before the exam, and it was SO helpful to me. I wish I had known about it earlier, because it really helped me to understand the material that was specific to the exam. If I could go back, I might have watched these as I worked though the course, but I think using them at the end is sufficient as long as you work hard throughout the year. Using these videos and other ones that Mrs. G provides really helped me to understand materials where it seemed like our textbook spoke in a foreign language. 

3) Do lots of practice before the exam. Mrs. Gilleran was very organized, and she got us through all of the new material by March. This gave us plenty of time for hardcore review.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?


On average, about 3 hours. I should note here that at the beginning of the course, I wanted to drop it. It was my senior year of high school, I am NOT a math-brained person, and I had alredy done a lot of AP courses. Why would dropping the class hurt? If you feel like this when the course begins, don't give in and drop the class. I eventually improved, and came to really enjoy the course. Also, I became increasingly efficient as time went on, and the amount of time the class took each day decreased as I went along.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?


The two months of review at the end were the most helpful and valuable. Using Mrs. Gilleran's practice tests, and the Get a Five videos (which Mrs. G provided) really helped me feel prepared for the exam. But putting the exam aside, they really expanded my grasp of Calculus. Reviewing all of our material for so long made me appreciate the many applications of Calculus (especially since so many of the practice problems were word problems).

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I kind of mentioned this above, but yes it certainly did. I was really amazed how Isaac Newton and Gottfired Leibnez invented Calculus, and Mrs. Gilleran provided us with lots of interesting info in her "TidBits" about the development of Calculus.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?


Yes. There was a discussion board where we could communicate with the students, Mrs. Gilleran, and the TAs who took the course last year. It was very helpful.

 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

 

If you are looking for a challenging course that will be totally worth it it the end, then I would definitely recommend Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calulus AB course. The course was VERY difficult at times, but Mrs. G was always very helpful and provided us with lots of excellent resources and loads of encouraging messages. She likes to say "nothing ventured, nothing earned." I would definitely recommend taking this course if you are willing to work hard, adventure into uncharted waters, and succeed but sometimes even fail. You will be glad you did it in the end. 

 


Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus AB posted by Susan Alexandra Gallagher on May 06 2016 at 13:16:26

Hi everyone! This year I ventured into the world of AP Calculus AB with Mrs. Gilleran, and it was a wonderful journey! I want to start by saying that if you are looking to take AP Calculus, I would definitely recommend Mrs. Gilleran's class!! I am writing this review the day after taking the AP Exam, and I think it is important to stress that I felt VERY prepared! One of my favorite aspects of this course was that we finished the course material around the end of February and basically had TWO WHOLE MONTHS to prepare! As someone who loves to spend lots of time reviewing, this was perfect for me! We used many different review materials and really got a chance to perfect the concepts we had learned and become comfortable with the format of the exam! When taking the exam, there really wasn't much I hadn't seen before, and I found myself saying, "Okay, I know how to do this!"

I felt that the pace of the class was excellent. As I said, we finished the material with ample time before the exam, but I still felt that we took our time in each lesson. As an estimate, I probably spent an average of 2-3 hours on my Calculus work per day. Mrs. Gilleran organized this class very well, and it was a pleasure to be her student! One of my favorite things was her "Daily Comments" section where she would help explain tough topics in an easy-to-understand manner and also just generally be really encouraging! I also felt that the class discussion page was a great way for the students to interact and help each other out with questions about our assignments. It was lovely to have people to help me if there was ever something I didn't understand!

As I said before, I would definitely recommend this class! You need to put in a lot of effort and time, but there is nothing unmanageable in this course. The whole process was really rewarding, and by the end of the year I a very good understanding of the major calculus concepts!


A Summary of AP Calculus AB with Mrs. Gilleran... posted by Yun Li Tan on May 06 2016 at 07:35:00

Let me say upfront that I had absolutely ZERO experience with Calculus before signing up with Mrs. Gilleran. However, though it was slightly harder at the beginning of the course, after I became accustomed to the workload and the concepts, I got along spiffingly well with all the explanations Mrs. Gilleran provided us with. I averaged perhaps 2-3 hours a day on Calculus, though sometimes I had to squeeze all 10 hours onto a Saturday because I had other activites during the week.

I personally think that in this course, even if you do not do extra practice outside of class, just completing all of the exercises and practice tests Mrs. Gilleran gives you will prepare you quite well for the exam (provided you strive to understand what you're doing, of course). I definitely recommend this course! You may not be a math whiz (or who knows, you might be :P), but with the help of Mrs. Gilleran and all the other students on the AB Calculus Discussion group, you'll most certainly be prepared for the AP Exam!


AP Calculus AB posted by Cole Riel on May 06 2015 at 05:30:26

I took the AP exam today, and I was rather impressed with how well I was prepared. For the last 4 weeks or so, we as a class have been working through many practice tests, including both MCQ's and FRQ's.  Throughout the year, I spent an average of around 2 hours per day on week days on Calculus, and over the last month I have spent about the same time on saturdays and sundays as well.  I did purchase a Barron's practice test book and a Princeton Review book, and those in combination with the materials provided by the teacher made me feel like I actually knew the material this morning on the test, which is always a good thing. :)


My AP Calculus Experience posted by Jaime Han on May 05 2015 at 21:24:09

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes! Mrs. Gilleran not only taught the material well, but also provided tons of practice exams. There was very little (if any) material I was unfamiliar with on the actual exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I would guesstimate 10-12 hours a week, but I will admit that math is not my strong point.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

This is a fantastic math course! Like I said, math isn't my strong point, but I feel like I have a good understanding of calculus. I found that it was easy to fall behind (and hard to catch up!), but if you're willing to persevere and work hard, it's feasible to keep and even have fun!!


AP Calculus AB - Susan Gilleran posted by Becca Brewbaker on May 05 2015 at 18:26:50

I was very impressed with how much this class prepared me for the Ap Calculus AB exam. At first, I was unsure how it would all turn out because it seemed very hard and overwhelming, but somewhere at the end of the year it all clicked for me. I also really appreciated finsihing the book 2 months early so  there was a lot of time to study and get familiar with the exam and how it worked. Thank you, Mrs. Gilleran!!!


Great AP Calc AB Class! posted by Anya Hong on May 05 2015 at 17:08:33

First things first: I AM NOT A MATH PERSON. Usually, when someone mentions something math-related, I'm that one kid who starts running in the opposite direction. I took this class because I thought it would be a nice challenge senior year (okay, and my mom sort of made me). Honestly, though, I don't regret it at all - this class taught me that I actually CAN do math, and I learned so much about calculus, algebra, geometry, trig...

Absolutely! We did so many practice tests - we spent about the last 5 weeks before the exam practicing. Mrs. Gilleran went through questions daily. One of the best parts was that we had to correct our own exams for the most part - we learned exactly what the AP graders look for!

Well, math doesn't come easily to me at all, so I spent about three to four hours a day doing calculus, plus usually a Saturday or Sunday as well. Of course, as we started doing more exams and stopped learning new material, I spent less time on calculus. In the beginning of the year, though, I found the courseload difficult. Mrs. Gilleran posted daily "Comments" that explained materials, and we were also assigned textbook reading, but I found it difficult to understand the concepts just reading explanations. I finally found some videos on YouTube that were really helpful, and Mrs. Gilleran also posted videos occasionally. Here's a mini-review of my favorite YouTube channels:

PatrickJMT - good for examples of concepts; quick and concise; most videos correspond to course material

KhanAcademygreat explanations of concepts; some videos correspond to course material, and it's generally not difficult to find what you're looking for

ProfRobBob - good for explanations and TONS of examples; definitely the funniest (in my opinion!)

Okay, I should also add that Mrs. Gilleran generally does not assign too many practice problems (which is nice!). I felt like I needed extra practice, though, and so I would often do all of the odd-numbered textbook problems for each unit...I'm sure that added significantly to the time I spent doing calculus each day!

Definitely the practice tests.

It really did! I no longer avoid math like the plague....The college I will be attending next year doesn't have any distributive requirements, but I think I'll take some math anyway...just 'cause!

Yes! Their was a "discussion board" on Google Plus were everyone was able to post questions. We had several wonderful TAs who always answered the questions within 24 hours....and, of course, we were always free to email Mrs. Gilleran with questions!

I think that as long as you are fairly self-motivated and perseverant, you can absolutely do well in this course (even if you don't consider yourself a "math person"!). I would definitely recommend this course.


A Challenging but Valuable Class posted by Nathan Emery on May 26 2014 at 18:50:41

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, tremendously. The concepts and problems in the textbook covered nearly every topic necessary on the AP exam, and often the questions in the textbook proved more difficult than AP questions. After we had covered all of the necessary material, we spent over a month working through AP practice exams, both MCQs and FRQs. By the end of the practice session, I felt very well prepared.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

This varied. On a typical day of the textbook, I generally spent between one and a half and two hours, depending on the difficulty of the topic, if there were videos to watch first, and how many problems we were assigned. Once we hit the practice exam time, the amount spent varied; sometimes a practice exam only required forty-five minutes or an hour plus review of the previous practice. A general idea, though, is about 8-10 hours a week.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Aside from the comic at the end of the daily Comments ;), I don't have a particular favorite assignment. There were, however, a few areas from the textbook that I enjoyed more than others. It was fun to put concepts to practice through hypothetical real-life applications, for example.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes. I had always enjoyed math, some more than others (like algebra over geometry). However, I found calculus to be, as a whole, more interesting than trigonometry. In addition, the practical applications of calculus added a level of interest that much of the math I had done before didn't have.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

The communication was valuable. Given the nature of calculus, the majority of the work is done on one's own; there are no essays to comment on, for example, and not a lot of room for debate or discussion. However, the discussion forum that was set up for the students to ask questions (and for others to answer them) was helpful. It was gratifying to aid other students when they had trouble, and the explanations that others gave for my questions was valuable.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Certainly a student must be willing to work hard if they are going to do well. Scanned homework is generally due every Wednesday and Friday, and tests on the day they are due. Certainly Mrs. Gilleran will give extensions if the student has a valid reason, but since there is new work every day catching up can be a challenge. Thus the student must be self-motivated to complete the work daily and turn in everything by the deadlines. In addition, since calculus fundamentally builds on previous maths, the student must have a grasp on trigonometry to do well.

If the student meets the prerequisite requirements and is willing to work hard, I would recommend this course. It is often difficult, but the skills gained not just in calculus concepts but also in thinking and analytical skills are worth it.


Great class! posted by Nicholas Emery on May 10 2014 at 02:14:02

I just want to start out by saying that I am not a math person. However, I really did enjoy this class and felt well-prepared for the AP exam.

Definitely. We did many practice tests, whether full tests or parts of multiple choice or free response sections. Mrs. Gilleran also gave us ample resources, from videos to cheat sheets to AP prep sites to an AP prep book, to prepare us for the exam. As such, I felt well-prepared for the AP exam. There were only about two problems for which I felt unsure of what I thought to be the answer.

I generally put in two hours a day on weekdays, a bit less after we wrapped up the textbook and a bit more on more involved topics (graphing a curve after performing a bunch of calculus analysis on a function, I'm looking at you :)).

I'd say writing story/word problems and solving the ones by my classmates really cemented in some of the more challenging calculus concepts by forcing me to look at familiar concepts in new ways.

As I said above, I'm not really a math person. However, I genuinely enjoyed this class. Because the class taught me so much about calculus, I came to understand it more clearly and enjoy it. And, hey, since I'm planning to major in economics, I need to at least kind of like math :).

This was probably the least inter-student (my neologism) interactive class I've taken online. Mrs. Gilleran did set up a discussion forum for questions we had. As well, she did have us write story problems for the class on a few occassions and then solve some classmates' problems. However, beyond that, it was mostly doing the work, learning from Mrs. Gilleran, and submitting assignments. However, even though the level of student interaction was rather low, I still benefitted from other students' advice on the forum and, as I said above, learned from the story problems. So, although the communication was relatively infrequent, it was still beneficial.

I would recommend this class to students who are willing to work hard, who are persistent, and who are self-motivated. This class is a lot of work; however, even if you're like me and don't love, love math, you can succeed in this course. As well, you must be persistent. Not all topics or problems will come as easily as others. That said, Mrs. Gilleran and classmates are more than willing to help you out. Finally, you must be self-motivated. Mrs. Gilleran only requires submission of homework on Wednesday and Friday. So, you don't want to save Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday homework for Wednesday, only to have to rush to submit it at midnight. Other committments and classes sometimes forced some of my homework from the previous day onto Wednesday. Trust me, you do not want that to happen often!

Anyway, if you're looking for a challenging yet fun math class that will prepare you well for the AP exam, strongly consider taking Mrs. Gilleran's.


Nicholas Emery


AP Calculus AB Review posted by Stephen Spivey on May 09 2014 at 16:27:42

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, absolutely. The month and a half leading up to the exam is entirely review, with practice tests every day. That practice was invaluable.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I usually put in about 6-8 hours a week. Less some weeks, more others, but overall about 6-8.

 What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

The student that would do well in this course is one that is good at math, good at self-study, and one willing to put in the time. There are no shortcuts in this class. I would definitely recommend this class to other students.


AP Calculus AB Review posted by Kirk B on May 07 2014 at 16:04:23

This is a good class. Expect LOTS of studying, but if you put the time and effort in (which you should) you will do well on the AP test. We covered all the textbook material by March if I remember correctly, and then April and May were review months, which was appreciated, as these concepts are often hard to grasp. Lots of sources to learn and different ways of approaching each subject. Overall good.


Certainly. posted by Nathan Leung on May 07 2014 at 15:58:59

This is being written literally hours after the AP Exam, and I feel and felt confident because of the material learned in this class.  I felt like we had ample time to review after all the stuff was covered, and I feel as if I definitely have a good understanding of basic calculus (sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it).  It's not an easy class by any means, and it does require quite a bit of work, but it's not overwhelming and is certanly manageable.  Also, the cartoons usually put a bright spot in my day.  The question explanations invariably made the material easier to understand, and sometimes questions posted to the forum would be answered by fellow students.  


AP Calculus AB - Susan Gilleran posted by Gavin Reeb on July 08 2013 at 11:00:16

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP Exam?

I have never taken an AP Course or exam before so did not know how prepared I actually was.  I came out of the test feeling like it really wasn't too bad while many other students at the local high school thought it was terrible.  I also got a 5 I think due to all the exam practice leading up to the exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

In the beginning I had a very hard time with the material as it was so different from any other math course I had taken.  I have done mostly Saxon math.  I would sometimes work on calculus for 3-4 hours a day as I don't like to do schoolwork on the weekends.  Second semester was much better with 1-2 hours a day, even less towards the end of the year as I finally was grasping the concepts better.  I also needed tutoring first semester.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

All the AP exam prep turned out to be so helpful.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

It actually kind of turned me off towards math which used to be my favorite subject.  Perhaps just not my particular area of math that I enjoy.

Did you find your communications with the other students to be interesting or valuable?

Sometimes it scared me because they all seemed leaps and bounds ahead of me, but without all their help I would have never made it.  Often it was one of them that explained things to me in a way I understand.  There were Teachers Assistants that also dutifully answered my questions, but often their answers were way over my head and they had a hard time explaining things in a way I could understand.  This is where tutoring came in as there is just nothing comparable to someone sitting next to you verbally walking you through concepts.

What sort of student would do well in this course?

Someone very, very strong in math.  Although I thought I was, many of my weak areas were revealed and had to be dealt with in order to continue.  I am thankful that I definitely walked away with way stronger math skills in general with all the time I put in.  Knowing that however, if you are not as strong in math but really desire to do well, Mrs. Gilleran is very interested in helping you succeed, encouraging you, and the more time you put in the more you will get out of it.  Despite feeling like everyone knew so much more than me, I got a 5 on the AP Exam, so it is possible.

Would you recommend this course to other students?

Definitely yes.  Though I hated it going through it because it was just plain extremely hard work, I have learned that nothing ventured means nothing gained.  I am proud of the hard work and results.


A Terrific Calculus AB Class posted by Thomas Hennessey on May 17 2013 at 19:38:43

Absolutely!  Mrs. Gilleran knows all the details about the AP Exam and teaches exactly the kind of strategies you need to do problems quickly and accurately.  She taught the material really thoroughly using the textbook and AP prep book, going beyond what the AB Exam required.  Her comments were incredibly detailed and always useful.  I walked out of the AP exam last week feeling like I really knew the material and did well.

I probably spent around 1-2 hours/day or 8-9 hours/week on this course.  The assignments can get heavy at times (especially in April with all the AP prep), but as long as you keep up it's very easy to get guidance on parts that are confusing.  You need to be prepared to tackle a lot of reading and homework problems yourself, but there's always help available.

My favorite part about the course was reading Mrs. Gilleran's comments.  They always delved deeply into the material without ever getting too technical.  I especially liked the bonus info she included at the end of some of the comments, which could cover anything from information about past mathematicians to funny comics.  Also, the Practice AP Tests were all great since they were actual past exam questions.  I ended up working an immense variety of problems before the test, so I knew exactly what would be coming.

Definitely!  I've always liked math, but Mrs. Gilleran taught me to love it with everything she went over in her Daily Comments.  I'm looking forward to studying more math in college!

Yes!  We had a Google Groups Discussion Board where Mrs. Gilleran and the TA's would answer any question you posted.  No matter what you were confused about, somebody would give a detailed answer to your question within an hour of you posting it.  Since everybody posted questions there, I often found that somebody else had already asked a question I was thinking of, which was really helpful for creating a collaborative atmosphere in an online course.  

I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn a lot of math in an entertaining and engaging way.  You need to be ready to work hard on the homework problems and do a ton of practice AP problems, but it will all pay off at the end of the course and on the AP Exam.  A motivated student who can do a lot of independent work would probably do best in this course.  And don't worry about the math being boring; Mrs. Gilleran will make it one of the best courses you take.

 

 


Absolutely Excellent! posted by AP Calculus AB on May 13 2013 at 13:05:43

My name is Taylor, and I'm a graduating classman from Mt. Juliet, TN. This class has been an incredible blessing to me for reasons beyond the more than suitable preparation for the AP Exam. Mrs. Gilleran allowed me to join this class halfway through the first semester, and the class runs so smoothly that I was able to catch up the extra nine weeks worth of work by the beginning of 2013.

I would typically spend 1-2 hours a day working on Calculus, and I really think the hands-on AP practice tests helped me feel comfortable and prepared for Test Day.

I would reccomend this course to another student in the blink of an eye. Mrs. Gilleran knows exactly how to teach someone without ever having to give a single lecture. It has been fantastic!


AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran--A Wonderful Class!! posted by Ian Pawelczyk on May 09 2013 at 21:46:55

AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran is a very excellent, well-taught, and challenging class. Mrs. Gilleran prepares her students extremely well for the AP exam with lots of practice tests and great explanations. I felt like I knew all of the math concepts in calculus very well at the end of the year, and I could not have been more prepared for the AP Calculus BC Exam. This class is a lot of work, but Mrs. Gilleran makes it fun and enjoyable with her inspirational daily comments. I spent about two hours a day on it, but it is well worth it. Moreover, it was very easy to ask questions and communicate with fellow students and Mrs. Gilleran through the discussion board that Mrs. Gilleran sets up through Google, which helped a lot. I would recommend Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus BC Class to any student who has the will to work hard and to stay up with the work.


Amazing Class! posted by Tim Seida on May 09 2013 at 13:26:14

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes. I just took the AP test, and am confident I did well on the exam, thanks to the awesome preparation of Mrs. Gilleran’s course.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

During most of the school year, I probably put in about 8 hours a week. However, that amount increased in April and May as I reviewed for the upcoming AP exam.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Mrs. Gilleran mixes in many practice tests throughout the year that are questions just like the FRQ’s on the College Board exam. By the time May rolls around, you are already familiar with the format of the questions and well-equipped to handle the real ones on the actual exam.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Our class had a Google discussion group where we could ask the TAs (who were always very helpful!) questions about the material we were covering. It definitely helped me to understand the more complex parts of calculus.

Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I wholeheartedly recommend Mrs. Gilleran’s calculus course for any student who wants to learn about calc, do well on the AP test, and have fun. :)


AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Elizabeth Daudelin on May 09 2013 at 13:14:01

This class really prepared me well for the AP exam. As Mrs. Gilleran said, it was just like taking another practice test. The course was a lot of work but because I enjoy math, I was fine with spending all the time on it. The part I liked best about this course was the fact that we took so many practice test near the end and continued to get comments from the teacher right up 'til the day of the exam, keeping us prepared and ready for the test. The online forum was a great experience as it provided a way to answer other's questions, which, in turn, helped me understand the concept better and helped me learn how to express my understanding of a concept in words.

Mrs. Gilleran was a great teacher, talked in terms that were easy to understand, and I loved the humor she used along the way.

I would recommend this course to other students if they are prepared to jump on the roller coaster and work hard!


Lots of Hard Work posted by Paul Advincula on May 09 2013 at 12:47:07

1. Yes, I did. After speaking with some of the students at my local high school about how little their courses had prepared them, I realized how much this course had actually done to help review.

2. I put in at least two hours a day. During the beginning of the course, I did not put in the necessary amount of time and my grades suffered as a result. Nearer to the end, I spent more time doing extra problems and my grades began to improve.

3. I liked that in the previous weeks to the AP Exam, we got to work though a LOT of problems in order to prepare us.

4. Previously, I had an interest in math, but taking Calculus has changed the way I perceive it and its purpose.

5. The study group was immensely helpful, even though I didn't contribute as much as I should have. Getting to ask questions and have them replied to immediately greatly aided my assignments.

6. Definitely students who are willing to really put in extra time to understand the material. Calculus is a faaaar different way of looking at math, and only repetition can get you to see that. So yes, I would recommend this course. 


How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? posted by Victoria Dickson on May 09 2013 at 11:48:54

This class only took me approximately an hour per day. There is always room to spend more time on the subject, but I cannot see spending any less time for this class.


AP Calc AB posted by Rachel Bringewatt on May 09 2013 at 01:19:40

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Definitely! I took the exam this morning and feel great about it! The two months of review (we worked tons of multiple choice questions and FRQs) prior to the exam made the actual test seem just like another practice assignment.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

It varied - anywhere from 1-4 hours a day (2 and half was probably the average). I do not naturally “get” math so I did have to spend some significant time looking up videos and rereading the textbook to get where I could work the homework problems.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

The midterm study guide was helpful. Also, all the practice AP tests we took were a HUGE help!

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, I like calculus way better than geometry, algebra 2, and pre-calc!

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

My communication with other students was okay. We had a google discussion group which you could post questions to. While classmates and TA's were very responsive (I would get an answer within the hour), I found it was really hard to ask and understand questions online sometimes. I think this was mainly because it is a math class. Sometimes when you’re really confused you need someone to look at your work and point out exactly what you’re doing wrong. Emailing back and forth didn’t always help :)

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)

I would definitely recommend this class to other students. My one piece of advice is do not sign up expecting Mrs. Gilleran to hold your hand every step of the way. She organizes the class and responds to questions, however, if you want to do well you have to put in the work. Probably my biggest benefit from the class (besides learning a ton of cool math!) was learning how to teach myself independently. I feel like I learned and understand the material much better because I really had to work hard to understand it.


Best AP Calculus AB ever! posted by Anna Bray on May 08 2013 at 23:40:19

This morning when I took the AP Calculus AB exam, I was again reminded of the quality of the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers AP courses. The teachers have been excellent, every time. This was my second AP class (last year I took APUSH), and I enjoyed it just as much as the first one. I did not think calculus was going to be "fun," but now I can honestly say that I enjoy it! A lot of people take AP classes to get out of a college course, but I have found myself hoping to take calculus again in college! I have heard people who are good at math say that they lost it all when calculus came along, but Mrs. Gilleran helped us really understand the material. If we were struggling with a concept, we could watch a video on it so it was more like a real classroom, if that is the kind of learning environment you like. I spent about 2-3 hours each day on this class.  

The organization and structure of the class is very easy to follow with a website that has each day's assignments. You can see the assignments for the entire month, so it is easy to plan ahead if you need to do some extra work. The google group and Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments were very helpful for answering questions. I would highly recommend this class to anyone! It was hard, but I feel confident that I have a solid understanding of the material and I even enjoyed it! Best of luck!


AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Ronnie Forster on May 08 2013 at 20:56:12

Mrs. Gilleran's Calculus BC class was an exceptional class.  I certainly learned a lot from it.  She was able to cover the content in a timely manner, covering everything from simple differentiation to series and sequences.  Her grading methodology is quite fair, and it is easyt to earn your grade if you complete the required readings and work.  She doesn't fool around, she teaches the required content and tests exactly what she says she will.  After taking the AP Test, I felt very prepared for the exams, the FRQs especially were a breeze.  She sets aside a minth before the exam simply for review, so you will go into the test with a lot of experience with AP like questions under your belt.  She gives you a lot of practice and review materials, so you really are familiar with the exam.  If you are ready to work and put in the effort (estimated 1-2 hours of homework a day plus studying when one feels it appropriate, nothing ridiculous, very manageable if one doesn't fall behing or slack off), Mrs. Gilleran will make sure you get where you want to be.  I would definitely recommend this class to a friend.


AP Calc BC posted by Tyler B. on May 08 2013 at 19:14:40

Did you feel this course prepared you for the AP exam?

This class prepared me extremely well for the AP exam.  I just took the AP exam this morning.  There was not a single problem on the test that we had not covered in class.

How many hours of work per week did you generally put into the course?

I put in about 12 hours per week on this class.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

I didn't participate much on the message board, but many other students did.

Would you recommend this course to other students?

I would definitely recommend this class to other students. 


Take from Mrs. Gilleran posted by Will Brewbaker on May 08 2013 at 18:23:16

As an English-minded student stepping into the world of AP Calculus, Mrs. Gilleran's class both challenged and prepared me for the AP exam. I finished the exam 2 hours ago, so my positive attitude might have something to do with that...Kidding of course. The night before the exam I didn't cram or stress because I knew I was prepared. That's what you get with this course. The students at the public school where I took the exam were stressed and "hoping to make a 3." I'm happy to say that I felt extreme confidence in my math abilities, all in part to the excellent design of this course. Because of the extended review period, all the topics felt fresh and came to me naturally during the exam. Confidence is a huge part of doing well on the AP test, and Mrs. Gilleran provides her students with it every day. I highly recommend this course. I'm not going to tell you that it wasn't difficult (it required over an hour of work daily, generally more), and you have to be prepared to work hard. But it all pays off when you take the exam. 


AP Calculus AB posted by Kevin Drew on May 08 2013 at 17:38:31

Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus AB class prepared me very well for the exam. I spent around 2-3 hours a day on the course. While the class didn't enhance my interest in the subject (I'm more of a science student), I still enjoyed participating in the course nonetheless. The assignments that I found especially valuable were the numerous sample exams and FRQ tests we took throughout the final two months, which I felt were great practice for the actual exam. I am glad that Mrs. Gilleran started a Google Group so that we could communicate with other students, conversing about topics and specific problems from our class. While the course load can be heavy at times, it was always manageable. A student who is hard-working and prepared to spend substantial time learning the material would do well in this course. I, myself, am glad to have taken the class.


Perfect level of intensity--a rewarding finish. posted by Justin Yen on May 08 2013 at 17:17:07

First off, I want to say DO NOT fall behind! I fell behind, and it took more than an arm and leg to LEARN the material, then RELEARN the newer material because I had to focus on both. It's really worth keeping up and retaining more than just a good grade, but the facets of calculus. It's important to get a good grade, but LEARNING the material is probably more important. Had I not fallen behind, I would walk out of the class confident I had a 5 on the exam. The amount of material Mrs. Gilleran presents for AP review is tremendous. She gives more than enough to to practice with. Here's a secret that's not a secret anymore: practice, practice, practice, and practice some more. The exam is not difficult if you spend effort learning the material presented in class. The pace is rather rapid, but nothing to strenuous, and if you do it every day, you'll do well on the exam. 

In this class, you don't just learn math, but you learn about yourself. I learned that the degree to which I applied myself in math was not enough, and that I needed to give more time and be patient in learning. I also learned to just keep plugging away and keep doing it. When I was catching up, I hated math, but when I was doing the math in the second quarter, I found myself loving it. I felt like a detective.

To sum it all up, apply yourself. All the resources are more than enough in this course, you get out of it what you put in. 


My lovely calc class... posted by Georgia Murray on May 08 2013 at 16:00:03

I just finished the AP Calc BC exam (literally, just an hour ago), so if this post sounds sickeningly nostalgic, I'm sorry.

Yep!  We took many MANY practice tests, especially toward the end of the year (a month and a half review, with a full AP spread over 4 days each over and over and over again).  The thing about math is you either know it, or you don't, so if you do what Mrs. Gilleran says, you will know it.

Mmm, it varied a lot.  Probably 2 to 2.5 hours a day around the middle of the year (the hardest part), with it sometimes dropping to around an hour for the easier concepts.  However, I think this really depends on you: I think a lot when I do problems - random abstractions and what not - which is very interesting, but not necessarily the most efficient for getting all the problems done quickly.  Also, I started working through the examples as I read par way through the year, so that made the reading take a while, too.  (Also, since we took mock exams for the last month or so, that took lest time because you just finish the timed test, check it, and the go over your mistakes.)

Probably creating a review sheet for the midterm.  This was an optional extra-credit opportunity, but it was also the absolute best way to prepare for the midterm.  Mrs. Gilleran also gave us an "Easter Bunny Problem," which was a lot of fun – did you know that the Easter Bunny ran a major corporation?? He provides an awful lot of jobs to an awful lot of bunnies (according to what we found)…

Yes – this class showed me that math really is a giant puzzle, and everybody loves puzzles.  I doubt I will major in math simply because I have other things I love as well, but this class definitely gave me a much greater appreciation for the awesomeness that is higher math.

Yes.  We used a Google Group for discussion, so basically you could post a question and someone else (Mrs. Gilleran, a TA, or a fellow student) would respond to help you out.

A student who likes to think just for the sake of it will probably enjoy it most, but anyone who works hard will do fine.  If you work hard, you will do well, but you will appreciate it more if you play with the concepts as you go, I think.


Johanna's Review Form posted by Johanna Segura on May 08 2013 at 15:41:40

First and farmost, this course did a great job in preparing me for the AP Calculus exam. The test was a breeze. I had to put 6+ hours into this course a day, sounds like a lot, but I needed it. I'm not the fastest learner. Repitition and a LOT of studying helped.

My favorite assignments were when the class was asked to make up his/her very own word problem. These gave me such a rush of excitement because they were so challenging! I probably wrote lousy problems, but they made my mind really work. . .hard.

Before taking calculus, I had no idea what it was. I decided that since most people claim that calculus is difficult, that I should go for it. Well, I went from not knowing a thing about calculus to loving it to the point of obsession!

It seemed that every student had the same questions I had, and whenever I would post a question, I'd get a response within the hour! This is especially significant because I'd be up at all ungodly hours of the night/morning. Special thanks to my fellow classmates in California (I live in New Jersey). At 4am, I could rely on you guys for a response, haha.

IF you are willing to work hard, and thus feel at home with the test, TAKE THIS CLASS!!! It's invaluable, priceless. I HIGHLY recommend Mrs. Gilleran. She is excellent, and VERY accessible. Don't run away from math. Take this class if you are breathing.


A great course! posted by Michael Thompson on May 25 2012 at 03:39:41

I absolutely loved this course. Although calculus is challenging, it makes a lot of sense. The assignments have a lot of real life applications which are so much fun. The class moves at a very fast pace, which is really nice because it gives you a lot of time in March and April to study for the exam. I think the most useful assignments were all the practice FRQs in April. The best part about these FRQs is that Mrs. Gilleran would go over them in her comments the next day; this allowed us to know exactly what to do for any type of FRQ. This class definitely enhanced my interest in math, and I would recommend it to everyone who enjoys math. 


posted by Benjamin Noble on May 16 2012 at 21:11:02

I really liked Mrs. Gilleran's style of teaching; she always felt open and available if you needed any help.  The one thing I didn't like, and this is inherent with the set-up of this kind of class, was the lack of face-to-face interaction.  I personally feel like I perform better in an actual classroom, but despite that drawback, I enjoyed the class.  She also made math more fun.


AP Calculus BC Cource posted by Jasmine on May 16 2012 at 01:37:23

This was simply an excellent course for learning Calculus BC. It was very well organized and utilized every opportunity to prepare students for the AP exam. I probably put in at least 2 hours of work a day learning the material, but that is to be expected for an online AP class (allowing at least one hour to learn and another to do the assignments). I found the numerous practice tests we did extremely helpful in preparation for the test. I feel like by the end I really knew my stuff, from AB to BC. The communications between the other students was a great tool where you could ask anyone any questions you had and they would be answered usually the same day. Math has always been my favorite subject and I think that you should really be either into higher math or one of those people that likes taking advanced classes to do well in this course. Overall, I really applaud Mrs. Gilleran for organizing the course so well and all the work she put into it, and I think anyone who enters the course will feel very rewarded by the end.


Mrs. Gilleran's Calculus BC posted by Nathan Thomas on May 11 2012 at 22:05:00

Mrs. Gilleran's class is not for the fain of heart...it certainly required time and committment--like 6 to 8 hours of work a week at the minimum.

That being said, the course was both extremely interesting and helpful. I felt very prepared for the AP exam due to the reviews she gave. In addition, I felt as if I learned the material very well.

I would very much recommend it. Overall, A+


AP Calculus BC for the win! posted by Zac Barnett on May 11 2012 at 17:15:05

First off, looking back over the year, I am very glad that I took this course.  Mrs. Gilleran does an excellent job teaching and organizing the assignments.  If you apply yourself and do all of the assignments, this course will be fun to complete everyday, provided that you like math.

I feel pretty confident about the AP exam.  Over this course, we did such a huge amount of Free Response and Multiple Choice Practice Tests that when I did the actual AP exam, it was if I had seen almost every problem in some shape or form already through the practice tests.  The Be Prepared for the AP Calculus Exam book that we studied is extremely useful for studying for the exam. 

A normal day in this course: Read Mrs. G's comments (5-15 minutes), read section in textbook (up to 30 minutes), do the assignment (up to 2 hours).

Per day, it took me approximately 2 hours to complete, but you can expect 3 or more hours in the days leading up to the AP exam.

During the year, there were a few times where we had to write our own Calculus word problem and solution.  I found this helpful because it helped make concepts that we had been learning more concrete.
This course focused more on student-teacher communication.  While there was a online group for the students to talk about the course, the majority of the communication was talking to Mrs. Gilleran through email. 
  • What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they were willing to work hard!)?
I would recommend this course to any student who likes math.  That being said, this course is fast paced and it is easy to get lost if you don't complete the assignents daily.
It's very important to keep trying until you understand the concept in this course, but the reward of understanding a tough Calculus concept is definitely worth the struggle. Mrs. Gilleran is a great Calculus teacher!

 


AP Calculus AB posted by Kathryn Fodale on May 11 2012 at 17:09:52

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam. When I first started calc, I felt totally over-whelmed, but by the end I felt as ready as I could be to take the test. This was definitely my most challenging course ever. Before taking this class, all math was pretty easy for me, but I had a really hard time understanding calculus. The group email was certainly helpful, but I actually needed to get a tutor. I found that I really wasn't a person that could learn calculus through just reading the text or reading other's words, but I needed to be with someone talking it through, drawing it out. If you are a person who understands through reading, you will do excelently in this course. I am not, so I needed a bit of help. You also need to be very motivated to do a little bit of calculus everyday. Calculus isn't something you understand in the first (or even second) reading. You need to read it, say it, do problems over and over again. Like any AP, you need to be commited to the course and commited to working hard. 


Have no fear for Mrs. Gilleran is here! posted by Hannah Huynh on May 11 2012 at 14:23:01

Mrs. Gilleran's Calculus BC class is the best math class I have taken so far.  She adequately prepares you for the AP exam and yet you never feel rushed in the class.  There is daily homework so you will have to be willing to spend a little time on math every day.  But, the daily homework only serves to help you better prepare for the AP exam!  Mrs. Gilleran is super helpful whenever you ask her anything and she often posts explanations to problems that most students in the class have trouble on.

This course definitely affirmed my love for math :)

There was not as much student to student interection as there was teacher to student interaction.  But the interaction with Mrs. Gilleran was great.  Any student who is willing to spend around 20-30 mintues a day on math will do well in this class.  Mrs. Gilleran structures the class so that we get plenty of breaks and yet nearly a month of reviewing before the AP exam.  This is an excellent class!!!

Most people shy away from BC because they think it is too hard, but don't be scared.  If you are good in math, take this class!  As I said many times before, Mrs. Gilleran gets you adequately prepared for the exam!


Great Course! posted by Jeremiah Keenan on May 11 2012 at 04:33:39

Definitely!  By the time I got to the test, I had done so many FRQ’s that I almost thought I had seen one of the test questions before.  Especially in the last month, Mrs. Gilleran seriously preps us to the exam.

I generally put about 10 hours of work per week into the course.

Yes.  Calculus is a great deal more fun than Pre-calculus or Algebra.  I got especially carried away with the foundations of calculus (limits and derivatives) and wrote up pages of desultory explanations about them.  I sent off my ideas to Mrs. Gilleran who showed me how I could present my ideas in a fashion more suitable for a mathematical paper, pointed out where and how I had made a mistake in my logic, and helped me understand the epsilon delta definition of a limit (even though none of these things were required for the AP exam!). 

Somewhat.  However, my communication with Mrs. Gilleran and the TA’s was much more important.

I would definitely recommend this course to other students.  There’s no getting around the fact that Calculus is hard, but if you read the material Mrs. Gilleran provides, do the homework she assigns, and send her a question when you hit a snag, you’re pretty much guaranteed an interesting exploration of Calculus and a good score on the AP exam.

 


Review of AP Calculus AB posted by Gabriel Malarskey on May 10 2012 at 20:58:17

I really enjoyed this class. I feel that it prepared me very well for the AP test. Even though I didn’t end up taking the test, I feel that I would have done well if I had taken it. Mrs. Gilleran provided plenty of practice tests and question sets for review, and I felt comfortable not only with the material, but also with the way I needed to present it in my answers. I typically spent two and a half hours or more every weekday on the class, and sometimes an hour or more each day of the weekend, as well. There weren’t any specific assignments that I enjoyed more than others; I enjoyed pretty much everything. The course didn’t really make me more interested in calculus, because I was already interested, and I know that I want to go into physics, which requires it. I didn’t end up communicating with other students as much as in other AP classes, because I really didn’t find it all that necessary. Most of the time, the teacher was more helpful in answering questions than my fellow students were. A student who is strong in math, or at least likes math, would do best in this course. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like math, because it needs all the effort you can put into it. 


AP Calculus AB Review posted by Kealani Jensen on May 10 2012 at 20:38:48

This course is really hard if you are not motivated to do the work, if you don't have enough time in your schedule, and if you don't learn well without a teacher explaining a concept on the board in front of you. The actual book has really good practice problems and I can't even count how many practice exams I did. So I feel that if I put much more time into it, the product would be much more triumphant than it was. If you are considering this class make sure you have enough time in your schedule because you should really be prepared to do calculus for about two hours every day during the week plus extra studying on the weekend. So if you meet the traits I listed above, then take the class! Just be aware that it is a huge time commitment and you can't slack off!


AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Caleb Wilson on May 10 2012 at 19:26:35

First of all, this class will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. But, as Mrs. Gilleran would say, to earn that reward you're going to have do some serious venturing (aka hard work). The homework is definitely very heavy. Completely understanding the concepts of the textbook and THEN doing up to 50 or so exercises a day can be very exhausting. But, at the end of it, if you really work at the class, you'll look back and know its worth it like I do now. 

The homework, on average, usually takes around an hour and a half to two hours a day. On the heavier days (maybe a few times a month) sometimes up to three hours. But the course is time heavy for a reason--it's also resource heavy. Any concept at all can be completely explained, dissected, and broken down by the study group discussion board, Mrs. Gilleran in the comments, the 5 min video lectures she assigns, or the endless websites and resources she puts at your disposal. Basically, if you're willing to work at it, there is no concept you'll be tearing your hair out about. 

If you consistently work at understanding, completing, and studying the assignments, you will absolutely be completely and totally calculus-literate, more than ready to take on the AP Exam come May. But it wasn't all about the exam. Mrs. Gilleran's daily "Comments" were consistently more than just helpful, but also meaningful. She helped me understand why math is more than just algebra and derivatives. It's a living, breathing science. It was something put together, not be my heartless machines or robots who want us to spend our days indoors doing exercises, but by men like Isaac Newton, Liebniz, and more. She helped me to understand that calculus isn't just a skill necessary for the workforce, but also an astounding, fascinating, brilliant achievement of mankind. And it sure feels that way once you're through with it. I now feel confident, proud, and strangely more interesting moving forward with my high school career. And I have Mrs. Gilleran and her class to thank for it.

Finally, the one thing I think could be improved was the interactivity of the course. Although there are endless resources, they were almost entirely textbook/web based. And for some learners, that can be a very difficult format. Having a more intimate atmosphere or a way to learn math beyond graphs and sentences (which definitely do not explain math well) would have been the one thing to make this course a 10/10 experience. But all withstanding, for a web-based course, Mrs. Gilleran does the absolute best she can with the format provided. All is wonderfully organized on the class website. And questions, comments, tricky problems and more are all given clean, easy places to be taken care of. 

I highly reccomend Mrs. Gilleran's Calculus course for the proficiency in math, the rigorous preparation for the AP Exam, and the excellency of the advice, teaching, and insights into math and, sometimes, even how to live more effectively. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)


What a great course! posted by Matthew Nyhus on May 10 2012 at 11:40:34

This course was really well done.  I've done a couple of online courses and many of them have had really bad organisation, whether it be a bad web layout, confusing calendar or hard-to-find content.  However, this course's material was really easy to find, the calendar was well organised and the web layout was excellent.  It was really clear what I had to do each day and Mrs. Gilleran's comments (or lesson) were easily accessible.

More importantly, though, the course itself was really well done.  It wasn't easy, (there is a lot of content to get through), but Mrs. Gilleran assigned enough homework so that I could master each topic without the homework being onerous.  The lessons were also well done, and I never felt like I couldn't learn anything.  Some of the content was very difficult, but between the lesson, the textbook and the discussion board (where we could as other students and our TAs for help), I always felt like there were plenty of resources available to help me if I had trouble. 

Finally, the actual AP prep was excellent.  Of the three AP courses that I'm taking this year, this course prepped me the most for the AP exam, and consequently I felt most ready for this exam.  When it came time to write the actual AP exam, I felt really confident, and that's mostly due to the course.  I think that feeling ready for the exam and confident that you can get a 5 is probably the most important part of any course, so this course was excellent.

Overall, a fabulous course.


:) posted by Kaitlyn Hahn on May 09 2012 at 21:33:41

Students who are extremely disciplined should take this course. It was a little hard for me to keep up in the homework especially because we didn't have to turn it in. This led to me falling behind and not really feeling super confident the day I took the AP test.  This was pretty much my own fault, but if I had had to send in more required homework to Mrs. Gilleran, that would've helped me keep up.


Mrs Gilleran's AP Calculus AB class posted by Emily Morrison on May 09 2012 at 18:11:25

This class has prepared me very well for the Calc AB exam.  I personally found that all the practice tests and assorted tidbits that we did during the second half of the school year was more interesting and fun than the first half of the year, which was more tightly textbook-oriented.  After all those practice tests, the actual exam seemed easier than I was expecting.  What a pleasant surprise!  I generally put in between fifty and ninety minutes per day for this course.  The workload is very weel apportioned for each day.  For future students, just do your best to stay on schedule and make sure you check the answer keys and graded FRQs so you understand any questions you miss!  Good luck, future math people! :D


posted by Megan Marriott on May 09 2012 at 16:55:26

The course really prepared me for the AP exam.  I've heard that many other courses finish learning the actual  material the same week of the AP test, so they have to cram in studying while finishing the course.  With this course, we finished learning the material in early April and had over a month to simply review and study for the exam.  It's been helpful to ask other students questions online, and I believe they answered all of my questions.  Sometimes though, it would have been beneficial to have a deeper explanation of a concept, and it's kind of hard to do that over email.  However, that was not a handicap - I would definitely recommend this course if you are willing to work hard to understand concepts and if math is generally your strong point.


AP Calculus AB Review posted by Jordan Wright on May 09 2012 at 16:27:06

This class is the hardest high school course I have taken yet.  In the fall and the beginning of the spring semesters, I usually spent 2-3 hours on homework daily.  While this is a lot of time, it did very well prepare me for the AP Calculus test, which I took today.  I woud recommend to a student considering this course to take either pre-calculus or calculus course before taking this class.  I had not taken any calculus before this class, and it wasn't easy to keep up with the courseload, especially in the fall.  I definitely would recommend this course, as it does fully prepare students for the AP Exam, provided they are up for the work. 


Calculus AB was intense but awesome :) posted by Hannah Rears on May 09 2012 at 15:59:55

Less than an hour ago, I finished the AP Calculus AB exam. I can honestly say, I don't think I could have been any more prepared. This course was probably the hardest course I took this year, but it definitely paid off. It took a lot of commitment though. The first two months were the hardest for me--I probably logged about 3 hours alone everyday on calculus. On days before tests, I probably spent a good hour or two more than I usually did. At first, I felt frustrated, and I questioned whether I would ever be able to make sense of things like integration and differentiation and all of the different theorems. Mrs. Gilleran was really understanding and helpful throughout the whole process. I can remember there was one topic I was having a lot of trouble visualizing (related rates) and I emailed her asking for some extra explanations/problems. Instead of just giving me one simple response, she included a whole packet of practice problems, with a step by step process of how to solve them. Having those extra problems and explanations brought me from slightly understanding the problems to actually feeling comfortable solving the problems. 

There wasn't very much interaction with the other students, but I went in to this class knowing that there probably wouldn't be that much interaction. The morning messages that Mrs. Gilleran posted were always really helpful in clarifying particularly confusing topics, but at the same time they made calculus seem fun (I know, calculus fun? Really though, it is pretty cool...). I think that a love for problem-solving is pretty essential for anyone considering taking calculus. It requires a lot of thinking outside the box. If you are willing to put in the effort and are prepared to tackle some difficult (but pretty awesome) concepts, then I recommend this course all the way. 


AP Calculus BC posted by Ethan Johnson on May 13 2011 at 19:22:57

This course was a lot of work, but it was enjoyable and thorough. I thought the homework assignments (particularly the practice tests) were sometimes a tad excessive since I usually understood the material well right out of the textbook; but that said, it doesn't leave any stone unturned for someone who could potentially need more practice to fully absorb the material. I spent approximately four hours per day on this course. I felt I was extremely well-prepared for the exam and though I haven't received my score yet, in comparison to other AP courses that I've taken, I'm somewhat confident that I'll get a 5.

I found Mrs. Gilleran not only an effective instructor but also caring and supportive. She was excellent at responding to emails and answering invididual questions.  I would definitely give Mrs. Gilleran's course and instruction an A+ and would not hesitate to recommend it to any student who is committed to challenging themselves with this advanced work.

There needs to be improvement on the PA Homeschoolers side with regard to the transcript they provide. It does not have any kind of grade interpretation scale, listing only a vague, ambiguous letter grade. Given that students need these transcripts to be interpreted by colleges and scholarship organizations in juxtaposition with those produced by their own homeschools, the PA Homeschoolers transcript comes off as confusing, unprofessional, and meaningless. An A in one school can mean something totally different than an A in another school. The transcript either needs to have a clear grade scale listed on it, or be expressed entirely in numerical percentages (out of a standard 100%) that leave no ambiguity.

PA Homeschoolers could also improve in the area of communications. In communications regarding transcript needs, I found Mr. Richman to be particularly cranky and unhelpful. He seemed put out by my request to use a percentage grade instead of an unscaled letter grade. Even though Mrs. Gilleran had submitted a percentage grade to him per his instructions to me, he then apparently changed his mind and began personally attacking my motive for this request. Working with him was an experience I would not care to repeat.


Take this class! Seriously. posted by Calvin Gross on May 11 2011 at 15:30:36

First off, I HIGHLY recommend this class. Mrs. Gilleran is a fantastic teacher, and she knows how to make the material interesting. I felt very well prepared for the AP Exam: We’d done so much exam preparation that it seemed easy. Of the 55 or so multiple-choice questions, I only had to guess on one. For the last 4 weeks or so of class, we only did exam preparation: Each day, we did either a multiple-choice section or a set of free-response questions, and by the time the exam rolled around, it seemed routine.

 During the year, I generally spent 1-3 or so hours per day on my work. This came out to about 10 or so hours per week. My time spent each day varied, but the schedule was relatively predictable. A normal day’s work usually consisted of reading and taking notes on a section of the textbook and performing problem sets. Mrs. Gilleran posted comments each morning, which essentially were our morning lectures. In them, she would explain the day’s material, go over a few problems, and add in a couple of jokes about infinity and sums. Each day’s comments always ended with a comic poking fun at math in general, and they always made smile. Of all the assignments, I particularly enjoyed having to write story problems. It definitely made me appreciate how hard writing a textbook must be! I took Calculus AB with Mrs. Gilleran last year (which was superb too), and I really enjoyed learning new material this year. I probably won’t be a math major in college, but I’ll certainly take more math courses; Mrs. Gilleran has helped revive my interest in it.

 There wasn’t a great deal of required interaction between students except for responding to each other’s story problems, which were quite entertaining. There was, however, a good amount of interaction with Mrs. Gilleran. She was always available for questions, and I asked a lot of them. Her responses were, without fail, prompt and easy to understand. She is the best math teacher I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some good ones. Even though this is an online class, she still finds effective ways to communicate.. Last year, I took Calculus AB, and I recommend taking it before BC. The first semester of BC covers the material from AB, and this made my fall semester much easier: I was able to spend less time studying and more time on my college applications and other classes. Overall, I definitely recommend this class to any student who’s willing to work hard. I know I’ll miss waking up every day to Mrs. Gilleran’s humor and encouragement.  


AP Calculus BC posted by Brad Strylowski on May 06 2011 at 20:46:43


Class Review posted by Nicholas Ward on May 06 2011 at 16:14:53

I enjoyed taking AP Calculus from Pennsylvania Homeschoolers. The pace was good, and the assignments helpful. When the time came to take the exam, I felt confident and prepared. I also felt I had a good understanding of the concepts behind Calculus.


AP Calculus AB posted by Evelina Sweitzer on May 05 2011 at 20:36:44

This year I took AP Calc AB with Mrs. Gilleran, and I'd recommend the course! I took my exam yesterday and felt  well-prepared for it. I put in about two hours of work per day, or 11 a week. We took tons of actual practice exams, which made me very comfortable taking the actual test  (as opposed to the class that prepares for the material only, not the format). The class didn't inter-communicate very much, but I was fine with that, because I had several other classes to keep up with. Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments and lectures were very thorough, and her explanations and examples helped me understand the material. I had never had a class where the grade was based mainly on test scores, without factoring in the daily homework. It was a stretch at first, because I don't test as well as I would like, but I got through, and I think I did well on the exam!  I would recommend the class to someone interested in learning the ins and outs of Calc AB, who is willing to stay on top of the work every day (I got behind a bit mid-winter, but Mrs. Gilleran was very gracious), and who can hold themselves accountable to do the homework even though it's not graded. I'm glad I took this course! I think it prepared me for not only the exam, but also for college courses in the future. Thanks, Mrs. Gilleran!


Excellent Teacher, Challenging Course posted by Gwendolyn Cardiff on May 05 2011 at 16:36:52

Mrs. Gilleran is enthusiastic and really cares about her students. Mrs. Gilleran is organized, and was willing to go above and beyond for me. I sometimes had schedule conflicts and she was flexible in letting me get the work done around other commitments. Her daily Comments were encouraging and ended with an amusing, nerdy math comic. I would definitely recommend her, because she is an excellent teacher.

AP Calc is not for the faint of heart. AP Calc AB with Mrs. Gilleran is the hardest class I have ever taken, but it taught me what I need to know for the AP exam and for what lies beyond. The first semester I spent 2-4 hours a day on it. The second semester was easier, but we took many practice tests that are key in getting a good score. The AP test does not just test Calculus, it looks for an understanding of the concepts. Mrs. Gilleran can help you reach that deeper understanding.


Calculus BC posted by Hannah on May 05 2011 at 11:48:59

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam.  Back in March, when we finished covering all the material, I felt so unprepared.  I probably would have gotten a 2 on the exam if I took it then.  But that's why Mrs. Gilleran let us spend OVER A MONTH just reviewing, taking practice tests, going over hard topics, and preparing for the exam.  I have never felt so prepared for a test in my life.  Though I don't know my score yet, I am confident that Mrs. Gilleran helped me so that I could be as prepared as possible.

 

I averaged 2 and a half hours of time spent doing calculus each day throughout the year.  This would change if there was a test coming up, but usually it took me between 2 and 3 hours.  Towards the end, when I was taking lots of practice tests and reviewing for the final, I spent more like 3-4 hours every day.  This is not an easy class.  It requires a lot of time.  But it's worth it if you want to take the BC Calc exam 'cause Mrs. Gilleran really prepares you for it.

 

I have never LOVED math, though to some extent I have enjoyed doing some problems.  Mrs. Gilleran cultivated that love, and I was actually excited about taking the exam!  I felt that I was prepared and ready, and wanted to solve those impossible problems.

 

I definitely would recommend this class.  You need to be ready to work hard, put a lot of time in, and not give up when you've spent the last hour trying to figure out a problem.  This isn't an easy class, but I definitely feel like I learned a lot and was extremely prepared for the exam. 


AP Calculus AB posted by Andrew Min on May 05 2011 at 02:21:38

I came into this class kicking and screaming. My parents basically made me take the class; I promised them that I would fail. Pre-calculus was tough for me, and calculus was supposed to be even tougher. Plus, I hated math.

Now, looking back, I'm very grateful that my parents made me take it. I won't lie and say that calculus was easy; it wasn't. I won't lie and say that I love calculus now; let's just say that I certainly don't intend to be a math major next fall. On the other hand, Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calc AB calss was challenging, rewarding, and incredibly useful in preparing for the AP exam.

Like I noted before, I did end up needing a lot of help. I ended up using a tutor about six or seven times, mainly during the first semester. I'm not a math person, and Riemann sums just didn't come naturally to me. I spent at least an hour a day on calculus; during the first semester (when we were learning the foundatgional concepts), usually more. But Mrs. Gilleran proved to be a wonderful resource; she always answered any of my questions very simply and easily. Going into the final exam, I was as confident as I could reasonably be - far more so than I would have expected at the beginning of the year.

Mrs. Gilleran is also very flexible. I'm a senior who visted a lot of colleges, I do NCFCA debate, and I went with a touring choir in the spring; between the three, I traveled about nine weeks during the school year. Mrs. Gilleran always worked with me to plan my schedule around college visits to Nashua and debate tournaments in western Pennsylvania. Obviously, she won't let you get behind, but she's very flexible if you're willing to plan ahead.

The one change you might notice from other AP courses is that Calculus, unlike many of the other courses I've taken through PA Homeschoolers, isn't very interactive with the other students. I didn't really get a chance to meet my fellow students or to interact with them. I think this is more of a shortcoming of calculus than of Mrs. Gilleran's class, though; math is much more individualistic than most social science classes (and really, who wants to discuss integrals of f(x) on the interval [0,6]?). It certainly shouldn't deter you from taking this class.

So, if you're considering taking AP Calculus, what should you be prepared to do? You should be prepared to work hard, especially if (like me) you're not a math type. First semester was painful at times, but once you learn the basic material, it gets much easier. If you're willing to put the effort in, the work pays off.

~Andrew Min


Great Class posted by Stefan Zimmerman on May 04 2011 at 20:30:36

This class was very helpful to me when it came to preparing for the AP exam. I learned more in three months than I did in my actual high school class. The teacher was so helpful even though we never actually saw each other. I was able to work at my own pas and still get all the work done. I would strongly recommend this class to anyone looking to get a five on the AP test.


Mrs. Gillerans AP Calculus BC course posted by on May 04 2011 at 18:47:01

This course did a great job of preparing me for the AP exam; whatever my AP exam grade is (hopefully it's a five) is more a product of my time and effort in the course than the course itself. In other words, if you apply yourself throughout, you will be completely prepared for the exam--it will be easy even. As I've found all online (and even not) courses to be, it is what you put into it. Mrs. Gilleran does a great job with telling everyone what to expect, what they need to know, and need to be able to do, and hints and tips. Her daily comments show a fabulous understanding of the topics she teaches, and she always adds an inspirational quote and great comics. When questions arise, she is always available to help, and very good about quickly responding and returning work. The course took about 1-3 hrs/day 5 days per week, without distractions. Needless to say, it is a LOT of work, and not an easy course, but what BC Calc course is (that prepares you well for the exam)?


Calculus BC with Ms. Gilleran posted by Ellen on May 04 2011 at 17:46:43

I didn't actually end up taking the exam because by the time May rolled around, I knew where I was going to college and I knew I Calculus BC credit wouldn't transfer. I would say I probably put in 5-10 hours of class work a week. I came from 11 years of public schooling where I spent all day in school and then spent all evening on homework so my online classes definitely seemed more efficient. The first semester was easier for me because I took Calculus AB last year. The assignments are almost completely textbook questions (it's hard to do anything else when you're taking/teaching an online class). However, Mrs. Gilleran did include videos and other websites when relavant. I absolutely love calculus so I often enjoyed the textbook assignments. I would definitely reccommend this class. In addition, I took AP Music Theory from PA Homeschoolers (I'll call it PAH to save time from here on forward) but I also took AP Psychology and AP English Language from the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Distance Education program (CTY). My PAH classes were VASTLY superior. My PAH teachers communicated with me on a daily or weekly basis and I often felt like I was one of their top priorities. Meanwhile, at CTY I often would go MONTHS without hearing from my teachers, which was incredibly frustrating because the CTY classes cost twice as much as the PAH classes. I would definitely recommend this class because Mrs. Gilleran is really personable and definitely manages to spruce up a sometimes dry subject, and I would reccomend PAH in general because I think it's a top-notch educational organization!


AP Calculus AB with Mrs. Gilleran: an excellent introduction to a complicated subject posted by Thomas Nath on May 04 2011 at 17:37:35

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely.  I just took the exam this morning and despite knowing nothing about integrals, derivatives, curve sketching, and separable equations eight months ago, I feel confident that I learned the material well and did well on the AP exam.  Throughout the course, there are many, many, many practice exams and mini-tests that familiarize you with the exam format, which is very helpful.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I would usually spend about 30-45 minutes a day learning the new material (reading the textbook and Daily Comments, taking notes, watching any related videos Mrs. Gilleran had posted, etc.) and then an additional 45 minutes doing the homework or assignments.  This varied greatly; on test weeks I would spend an additional hour a day (or so) studying, and before the exam I also spent extra time.  It's not overwhelming, but the student does have to be prepared to put time and effort into the work; this is not a course one can just waltz through.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I found that Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments were the most helpful/valuable part of the course--the course doesn't deviate much from reading the textbook and completing the assignments, but the daily comments are always incredibly detailed and interesting to read.   

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Definitely.  I've never been much of a math person before but this course really interested me in calculus and gave me greater perspective on the math classes I've taken in the past.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

There isn't much student-to-student interaction--however, I would recommend to any prospective students that they use the discussion board as much as possible, as it is helpful when students use it.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I would recommend this course to students who have a very firm grip on trigonometry: the unit circle, trig functions, graphs of trig functions, etc., and those who are willing to work hard.  Calculus is a difficult subject, and the first month or so required me putting in extra hours to really grasp the mindset of the material.  It's an incredibly rewarding class with a great teacher and well worth the time you put in. 


Calculus BC posted by Andrew Patterson on May 04 2011 at 16:21:29

I would definitely recommend this class to anyone who is willing to take the time to learn a very useful skill. Math is not my best subject, but Mrs. Gilleran's class prepared me well for the AP Calculus BC test. At the beginning of the year, I went from knowing nothing about derivatives, integrals, and limits, to being able to solve any derivative problem, large differential equations, improper integrals, and many other interesting, useful tools. This class is not for the casual mathemetician, as it is the equivalent of a year's worth of college calculus, but it is very rewarding for those who want to gain a powerful tool that can be used in many fields, from business to science to engineering. While I was taking the class, I studied for slightly less than two hours a day. I would encourage anyone who did well in trigonometry and who is motivated to learn calculus to take this course, because, though it is very hard, the rewards last far beyond the grade you receive on the AP Test. Thank you Mrs. Gilleran!


Mrs. Gilleran's Calc BC: fun and valuable, but not easy! posted by Jonny Woodbury on May 14 2010 at 14:54:33

First of all, I'd like to say that I loved this class, and that it was probably one of my favorite of the year; however, this class is not for everyone. The pace is pretty fast (though not extreme) and it requires a very firm grip on precalculus (I guess that would sort of be Algebra-2-and-Trigonometry-type material) coming into the class. This said, if you are a hard enough worker, you obviously don't need to be perfect in every regard (mathematically) before entering the class--just don't expect it to be easy!

One of my favorite parts of the class is the daily comments posted by Mrs. Gilleran, which are always fun to read and immensely helpful (and they have a comic strip at the end!). The assignments are also daily (with a few exceptions), which turns out to be a very nice situation (and maybe not as regimented as it might sound).

One downside of the course was that there was not much student interaction (partly my fault), but a big part of this was technological, so it may not be like this in future years.

Aside from that, this class was a blast: I felt like I came out of it with a very strong grasp on all of the topics covered, as well as very prepared for the AP test. So, in one sentence, this class is fun and you'll learn a lot, providing that you work hard!


AP Calculus AB (Great Class!) posted by Nathan Huynh on May 10 2010 at 21:48:51

This is a great class! 

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Of course! I felt very confident!

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I put in 2-3 hours a day

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I wouldn't say I had a favorite assignment, but all of them were extremely helpful. Also Mrs. Gilleran has these really awesome comics at the end of her messages every day. These are a blast.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

These really isn't that much communication.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I would definitely recommend this course to other students. Those students must be dedicated and willing to work hard. If they do. they will definitely do well on the exam.


Calc BC revieww posted by Tiffany Yen on May 08 2010 at 23:54:32

1.) Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

-I think course did a lot to prepare me for the exam. Of course it is expected that the student has to put in his or her own effort in reviewing. I think that a not so ideal grade (hopefully I do get a 5) on the actual exam reflects my slacking off and not Mrs. Gilleran's teaching.

2.) How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Around one and a half to two and a half hours per day (sometimes more, and sometimes less although near the end I had to spend more time).

3.) Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

-Something I found very helpful was how we had to create our own problems for other students to solve. Then we had to actually solve the other students' problems. Getting frustrated over how to create a problem that actually works really drills the material into your head...

4.) Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

-I've always been more of a math person, so I can't say that this course has made me more interested in math. But it still amazes me when I see a problem that works. I know this sounds weird, but if you think about it, the universe is governed by all these laws that humans did not start out knowing. Just the fact that someone came up with Calculus (and physics for that matter) that every time, is amazing.

5.) Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

-For the most part, we did not have many discussions (of course math isn't something that starts and keeps discussions going unless one is a total math geek). We had a discussion board and sometimes it was very helpful to read the questions and answers that the other students asked and came up with.

-What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Yes! Take it! If you're going to seek a degree that has a Calculus requirement, then you're going to have to take a calc class anyways. And there's no better person to take it from than Mrs. Gilleran.


AP Calculus BC Course posted by Lynne Pťrez-Blanco on May 07 2010 at 15:37:41

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam. Mrs. Gilleran did a great job keeping us on track with the material, especially considering that it is all online. I think the course really improved my math skills quite a bit. By the end of the year, I started to make more connections; I felt like my vision was getting clearer, I was having an easier time choosing the right path to take in order to solve a problem. I think it came from the thorough practice we got every day, and Mrs Gilleran always had a lot of insight to share with us. She is very optimistic and encouraging, which showed in her daily comments.

Depending on the topic being studied, I spent from 10 to 15 hours a week. Before chapter tests, the midterm and the final I would spend a little extra time studying and reviewing. I still had enough time to focus on my other subjects and activities, and to study for and take the AP French exam.

A few times, Mrs. Gilleran had us make up our own problems. It was harder than you might think to make everything work out, but at the same time it was very instructional. It was like cutting a problem open and getting to see what was inside.

I’d recommend this course to students who want to improve their math abilities and learn calculus. You have to apply yourself on a daily basis but by the end of the year you’ll feel ready to take on the AP exam.


Take this class. No really, take it! posted by Calvin Gross on May 07 2010 at 14:42:54

Well you're probably wondering whether or not to take Mrs. Gilleran's Calculus class. And here's my response: TAKE IT. I was so incredibly well-prepared for the AP Calculus AB Test, and this wasn't just from the end of year review we did for the test. The entire course prepared me, so there was little left to study when it came time for review. In general, I spent between 1 and 2 hours per day on my work, for an average of 5-10 hours per week. Occasionally I spent 30 minutes and a few times I spent 3-4 hours on my work in one day. Atypical day's work consisted of reading Mrs. Gilleran's morning comments, reading and taking notes on a chapter in the textbook, and doing 10-30 problems. Several times, Mrs. Gilleran would have us write our own problems, and we would all solve each other's problems, and these were my favorite assignments. After taking Precalculus, I was somewhat bored with math; I started to find it boring. Then I started this class. Two weeks later it was my favorite subject. The only minus for me in this class is that there was very little interaction between students within the class. So take this class if you want to have fun and are willing to work hard. Do your problem sets, keep up with the work, study for the tests, and you'll be incredibly well prepared for the AP Test. 


Great AP Calculus BC Class posted by Mary Brewbaker on May 07 2010 at 11:57:56

I would highly recommend this course for anyone who is interested in taking AP Calculus BC. Mrs. Gilleran is very clear and goes over every subject on the AP Exam. I was completely prepared to take the AP exam. I spent an average of 10 hours a week on the class, but I had taken AP Calculus AB from Mrs. Gilleran the year before and it would have taken me much longer had I not had the prior math. Mrs. Gilleran gives the student a lot of experience with practice AP Tests, which I think is one of the most valuable aspects of this particular course. She also obviously enjoys teaching and calculus itself, so her Comments are very interesting and motivating to read. I didn't really communicate with other students unless it was assigned. A student who is willing to work hard and has a gift for math should definitely take this course. I would highly recommend this to other students.


Excellent preparation for APs. posted by David Wright on May 06 2010 at 10:42:33

This course was really solid preparation for the AP Calculus test. This means that it is also a large amount of work. I spend between 45 minutes and an hour and a half in tests and homework every day.   I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to take the AP Calculus test.  It will be difficult, but did you think it would be easy?  


Mrs. Gilleran's Exceptional AP Calculus BC Course posted by Philip Bonneville on May 06 2010 at 08:03:43

This excellent course will completely prepare you for the AP exam and probably enhance your interest in mathematics as well.  Mrs. Gilleran genuinely coached the class throughout the year despite the limitations of an online course.  Her daily comments − in which she discussed applicable subject material, reviewed practice problems, included “tidbits” of extra information, and displayed comics − contributed to the academic, yet personal and lively, attributes of the course.

 

During the majority of the year, Mrs. Gilleran assigned reading in a Larson Eighth Edition calculus text.  (I do not know whether she will use the same version next year.)  The information contained within the textbook was, for the most part, very clear and thorough.  Furthermore, when a section was even slightly lacking (or simply difficult), Mrs. Gilleran elaborated on it.  She also assigned approximately ten to twenty relatively simple review problems most days, for which she provided straightforward solutions.

 

For the last six weeks, having mastered the material related to the AP Calculus BC exam, the class studied a book containing several complete practice tests.  Mrs. Gilleran assigned reasonable amounts of work, typically spread one practice test over three or four days.

 

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

 

Definitely!  Mrs. Gilleran thoroughly covered all the topics on the exam.  Further, she assigned a total of six, complete practice tests, in addition to numerous free response questions throughout the year.  I finished the actual exam with complete confidence.  I cannot imagine a course which could prepare students better.

 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

 

I typically spent 7-10 hours a week on this course.  For me, the days varied extensively, with reading days as short as one hour and testing days as long as two and a half hours.  I spent about the same amount of time each day during the review period as during the earlier portions of the year.  I am sure that the time required for this course varies based upon processing speed, experience, and other factors.  Thus, it may take you more or less time to complete assignments and study for tests.

 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

 

I particularly liked the activities Mrs. Gilleran assigned where students developed problems for others to solve.  They allowed the class to study and understand mathematical concepts more deeply in an enjoyable way.  I also enjoyed studying some of the purely Calculus BC topics, such as integration by parts and series.  These areas enhanced my interest – and therefore aptitude – in the calculus.  With the variety of subject areas covered, nearly every student could find something enjoyable.

 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

 

The unique topics – as well as Mrs. Gilleran’s successful methods of introducing them – augmented my mathematical interests.  In fact, this course played a role in my decision to plan on majoring in mathematics.

 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

 

For the most part, there was little interaction between the students this year, largely because mathematics does not typically trigger debates and other self-perpetuating forms of communication.  However, the interactions that did exist (such as the one I mentioned earlier, relating to students developing problems) were valuable.

 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

 

I would recommend this course only to students who have some interest in mathematics and have completed a strong pre-calculus program or to students who have an extensive interest in mathematics and are willing to work hard to fill any gaps in the pre-calculus training.  (I am an example of the latter category: I received a low grade on the summer assignment Mrs. Gilleran assigned − due to my poor pre-calculus curriculum − yet excelled throughout the rest of the course through her excellent instruction and selection of resources coupled with my desire to improve.)  Besides that condition, I would definitely recommend this course to any prospective student.  Mrs. Gilleran’s teaching, explanations, coaching, and humor are exceptional!


AP Calculus AB with Mrs. Gilleran. :] posted by Payton on May 05 2010 at 24:54:32

I have to admit that in the beginning I was slacking and had a C in the class. I would recommend doing at the MINIMUM! 6 hours a week for the first semister. Once you start getting into Second semister(closer to the AP Exam) you need 3 hours a day. I did 4 Mon-Fri, and almost every other Sat. Calculus is a difficult subject, so you do need a good base/knowledge of math before you take the course. Mrs. Gilleran was a great teacher and goes over the material that is on the AP Exam. After we went through the AP Calc book we went to a practice test book that I have really enjoyed. It helps with studying a lot! Mrs. Gilleran really knows what to give you when you are preparing for the Exam. It is not too easy, but not too difficult. You have to be ready to work and be focused when taking this class. I enjoy math and was not looking forward to taking Calc, but now love the subject and all the ways you can view graphs and their limits and everything else so unique about math. :] Hope I helped in answering some questions.


AP Calculus BC posted by Christina Zhang on May 05 2010 at 22:16:14

The course definitely prepared me for the AP exam, because of the review books that we used in class, as well as the practice FRQs that were incorporated into each chapter. 

I spent, on average, about 1 hour a day. Some days would take longer, and some days would take less time. Because I only took this class for the second semester of the year, I can say that it didn't take any longer than it would in a public school. I actually got more out of the time I spent studying calculus online because I could work at my own pace and focus more on the areas that I didn't understand as well. 

I definitely found that communicating with other students was valuable. It allowed everyone to work through difficult problems together and gave the course a bit of a classroom feel. I wasn't afraid to ask questions because I knew that there would be many people willing to help. Additionally, Mrs. Gilleran did a great job of communicating with students through her comments for every day. She made the class feel a lot more personal; I felt less like I was reading a screen and more like she was actually talking to me.

This course was my first online learning/homeschooling experience and I really enjoyed it. I liked the flexibility and I liked working mostly independently with the opportunity to communicate with other students. I'm the type of person who likes working alone, but also likes working with other people. When I took calculus last semester at a public school, I often had review sessions with friends. However, this course was easy to adjust to, and I still was able to review with friends via Skype.

Mrs. Gilleran did a wonderful job, and I think that everyone who takes this course will enjoy it.  


Course not for the faint at heart posted by on May 05 2010 at 19:58:21

AP Calculus is a very challenging course and I would recommend it to students who are prepared to work hard all year.  Most importantly you MUST have a very strong math background to take this course.  Make sure you have a strong understanding of key concepts taught in your previous courses.  I am fairly slow at math but regardless you need to be prepared to spend about 2 hours a day on this course...depending on how fast you are. 

Mrs. Gilleran was very good at responding to questions via email and her comments really helped me understand the material because to me the textbook didn't do a very good job a lot of the time.  Online math courses are tough, I think it is a challenge to have it taught this way but the course did a good job in spite of that issue. 


Great Class posted by Will Duncan on May 05 2010 at 17:05:10

I really enjoyed this class. Calculus is hard, there's no way around it, but this class has made it a lot easier and even fun. Mrs. Gilleran is great.


Best Calculus BC Course You Will Ever Take!!!!!!! posted by Nathaniel Pawelczyk on May 05 2010 at 15:35:49

It prepared me totally!  There were no subjects Mrs. Gilleran skipped at all--we went into each subject in-depth.
About 2 hours per day on average.
Definitley the Lederman BC Exam review book.  Those were extremely helpful in preparing me for the exam.  I knew exactly how to pace myself and what to expect.
The problems that we made up in the beginning of the year were actually pretty fun.
Definitely.  This course has opened up a whole new interesting world of mathematics to me.
Yes, I became friends with a few students and other students were always available to post their responses to any of your questions.
I would 1000000% recommend this course!!! You learn a ton about calculus and this course, I think, will greatly prepare you for college.  Of course, you have to work hard, but, when you finish the AP Exam, it is completely worth it!


AP Calculus BC posted by Elizabeth Ten-Hove on May 05 2010 at 15:33:28

I've had a wonderful year taking calculus with Mrs. Gilleran. I felt very well-prepared for the exam, with plenty of practice and individual feedback. Mrs. Gilleran was always ready to answer questions, provide pointers, and go through problems in her daily comments. The year-end review was probably the most rigorous I've had for an AP course.

I spent one to two hours a day on the material, with a few long days and a few very short ones. My favorite assignments for the year were at those two extremes. I spent almost half a day designing an optimization word problem. On Friday of last week, the Friday before the exam, our assignment for the day was to visualize success.

This course definitely enhanced my interest in the subject. I'm not naturally math or science oriented (I'm planning on majoring in classics next year), but Mrs. Gilleran's clear explanations, helpful comments, and sense of humor made calculus a pleasure.

I believe any student willing to put in a good effort would do well and enjoy this course. I would encourage both those who love math and those who aren't so sure to try it--all will emerge with a greater appreciation for the subject.


A challenging course with a great instructor posted by Daniel Wingert on May 05 2010 at 14:28:33

--I definitely felt prepared for the AP exam.  Mrs. Gilleran is a fantastic teacher, and she does do a great job of covering all the subjects that are tested.  In addition to the regular course work, Mrs. Gilleran did a great job of assisting and directing the year-end review process, which is a very important part of the preparation.

--I generally spent between 7 and 12 hours per week on this course.  The workload can vary from day to day.  Some days I may have spent three hours on class assignments, but the next day, only 40 minutes.  Mrs. Gilleran does a great job of balancing the tougher days with lighter ones so that you don't get too burnt out.

--Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments, where she breaks down the most important concepts, are always very helpful, positive, and inspiring.  In terms of real graded assignments, I feel like the many, many practice FRQs were helpful because they helped me figure out exactly what kind of questions would be on the test and how quickly I needed to work to succeed.

--This course does not require very much communication with other students.  While there is a forum for discussing assignments and asking questions for your classmates to answer, there is not a lot of required communication, which I found to be a time saver, as I wasn't being distracted by a chat forum.  If you are the kind of person that needs classmate interaction in all of your classes, though, this class may not satisfy your social urges like some other PA Homeschoolers classes do.

--Obviously, to do well in this class, a student needs to be hard-working and self-motivated.  Because of the challenging nature of the subject matter, I would only recommend the BC class to someone who is "math-oriented."  Other than those prerequisites, I would recommend this Calc BC class to anyone who is interested!  Mrs. Gilleran is a wonderful instructor who is great at encouraging her students.  She is obviously concerned with helping her students' math skills develop, but she is also interested in helping her students develop personal character.


AP Calculus BC with mrs. Gilleran posted by Noemi Hormann on May 05 2010 at 14:25:43

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, it certainly did. The class itself is completely geared toward the AP exam with frequent practice for both major parts of the exam. We covered a lot of material, but Mrs. Gilleran gave us a lot of material and explanations to help us through the entire process.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I generally put in an average of 1 - 2 hours a day, but I regret not spending longer on my homework

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Out of all the different types of assignments, the most valuable/helpful ones for me both as a student, and on the AP exam were the practice free response questions.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Unfortunately, not really. I feel neither particularly negative or positive about the subject. This course did, however, give me a greater appreciation for the subject (different from interest) and an understanding of why someone else might love it.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Again, I regret not doing more of that. There were opportunities to communicate with other students, but I did not avail myself of them as I ought. I would suspect, though, that if I had paid more attention, they would have been very helpful.

I would certainly recommend this course. Mrs. Gilleran has found an effective and thorough way to teach math through the internet.


Review Of Mrs. Gillerans AP Calc Class posted by Andrew Johnson on May 05 2010 at 13:03:41

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

   Yes, I felt very well prepared

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

    About 10-15hrs

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

  I enjoyed reading the daily comments.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

  Yes, I see that calulus can be applied to so many real world problems . 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

   There was not that much communication with other students

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

  People with  good fundamental math skills will do well in this class, and I would recomend it to other students.

 

I have to say I really enjoyed this class, and would recomend it to other homeschoolers. It challenged me and opened up a wealth of new knowldge. While you never meet the teacher she manages to come through the computer with her daily comment section which was inciteful and provided a laugh everyday. Mad Props to Mrs. G.

 


Susan Gilleran Calc BC Review posted by Nathan Chai on May 05 2010 at 12:58:51

- This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam. There's definitely a lot of work you are going to be doing though, but it will prepare you for the test that much more. Usually, I put in around 1 to 2 hours per day into the course. That changes a bit depending on how hard or easy the material is at the time, though.

- I think that this course is great because you get to see some really practical applications of mathematics. With a lot of the things that you learn, it's easy to see how they apply to the real world (Except maybe infinite series :p).

- Mrs. Gilleran's daily morning messages are great! She really takes the time to communicate with the students, and her comments are always very thorough.

- Obviously, a hard-working student would do best in this course, but I think that's the case for just about any class you take. This is my personal opinion, but I would say it's easier than say AP Chem, but harder than say the Government classes. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is looking to take AP Calc BC. If you put in the time and effort, you will most definitely be prepared for the test.


Good Class posted by Zachary Miller on May 05 2010 at 12:58:39

The course prepared me very well for the AP exam. Although I haven't received my grade yet, I am confident that I did well. I put in about 5 hrs/week for this class in a normal week. I can't think of any assignments that really stand out or helped me more than others. Prior to the class I was already interested in math and this class did increase my interest in it even more. I would highly recomend this class.


Amazing AP Calculus AB Course! posted by Kanika Chopra on May 29 2019 at 20:17:37

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

I felt very prepared for the AP Exam. Because we finished learning material in late February, we were able to dedicate many weeks to reviewing all the subjects. We also took 6 Practice Exams, which I found incredibly helpful!

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

During the first semester, I spent 1.5 hours a day on this class (about 7-8 hours per week). In the second semester, because we were reviewing much more, I spend about 2 hours per day, including some time on the weekends (around 12+ hours per week).

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

This class uses a discussion board as a means of communicating with other students and Mrs. Gilleran. I found this source incredibly helpful, and if I had a question about a problem, I was able to refer to the discussion board, where another student had most likely had the same question.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Students who work hard and have the want to better their math skills will do very well in this course. This class is incredibly thorough; a student will complete one lesson a day and tests periodically. By completing the assignments, but also going back and seeing what they got wrong (and why they got it wrong) you can make great leaps with your Calculus learning (and it will greatly help at the end of the year!). Overall, I would highly recommend this course to those thinking of taking it!


AP Calc AB Review posted by Kara Sipe on May 23 2019 at 14:07:18

Mrs. Gilleran's Calc. AB course was rigorous, and taught me so much. Fall semester consisted of new information, but it was doable if I stayed on track with the schedule. Spring semester was primarily review, which was wonderful in preparing for the AP exam. I would typically spend two hours a day on this course. While it can be difficult learning math online without a set class time, the discussion board was helpful, as well as videos Mrs. G suggested throughout the year in her daily comments. The WebAssign work was fun and helpful in the fall semester, as it would immediately show step-by-step solutions on new concepts if I didn't get the problem right after two tries. Being able to take countless former AP exams was helpful in the spring, and made me feel more comfortable with the format of questions on exam day. I would recommend this course to students who are disciplined, organized, and ready to take their math education to the next level. 


AP Calculus AB posted by Patrick Czabala on May 15 2019 at 22:08:31

Let me begin my saying how awesome this class has been! Because of Mrs. Gilleran, I actually looked forward to doing my Calculus homework. I want my review to be as candid as possible.

I typically put around 2 hours a day into this particular course. Sometimes it was more like 4, sometimes it was less than an hour. First, I would take notes on the material. This would include writing out formulas and sometimes examples. This was one of the reasons I believe I did so well in this class. Taking some time and making nice, pretty notes really helps in the long run especially when you need to go back to them (I had a notes notebook and 2 full homework notebooks by the end). Then, I read Mrs. Gilleran's comments for the day. She always has something witty to say, and a comic (or 7) at the end. Depending on how well I understood the concept being talked about, I'd read it very quickly, or spend an hour or more really digesting the examples. Then, I'd do the homework. I regret not always putting in enough time to really make sure I understood all the quirks of a specific concept as I made up for those shortfalls in the review months. 

We finished new material at the end of February, which gave us a great deal of time to review. NOT SLACKING OFF during this time was critical to my exam success. At one point, I spent four days on one particularly difficult problem that ended up making the entire topic of differential equations quite easy. On the exam, I knew how to do every single multiple choice question (I am aware of only one mistake/confusion point, I forgot to apply the product rule in one question, a cardinal sin!). I understood the concepts on the Free Response Questions (FRQs), but in the heat of the moment I broke character and misread the wording of the question (which I'll admit was unusually deceiving). I DO believe that practicing the exam so many times as Mrs. Gilleran had us do was part of why I was certain I would get a 5 before I walked into the exam.

The practice tests we completed were seemingly neverending, but they served a purpose. If you do take this course, take my wisdom and spend as much time as you have to going back over what you got wrong and why. 

 

One of the challenges of this learning environment is communication. Sometimes, it felt like I was stuck with nowhere to turn to with my questions. The discussion board, TAs, and fellow students helped with this (Later on, being able to explain and help another student overcome and error increased MY understanding as well). Mrs. Gilleran teaches multiple AP Calculus, and tries to have a life (though I'm sure it must feel like a dichotomy for her at times). She does get backed up on emails occasionally, so you may have to gently remind her if you have a probing question/need, but she always gets back to you. 

 

And the (most important) question you're probably asking at this point: Should I take this class?

My answer: It depends on you. If you are lazy or a slacker, this class is NOT for you. You need to be committed to putting in the effort (I really did spend almost 2 hours a day during the week on this class) to review your mistakes because in this environment that is the path to learning. IF you do the work, you will get a 5. I have no doubt about that. However, if you think that taking an online class is an easy way to do less work, you're gonna find yourself falling behind by weeks or months, or asking your classmate if they knew there was a class website that had more than just WebAssign because you had no idea. I'm not saying that you shouldn't take this class, quite the contrary. If you have enough respect for yourself and for your teacher to actually go and do what is assigned, this class will take you the distance. 


AP Calculus AB review posted by Caitlin Hefner on May 15 2019 at 13:16:03

I felt prepared for the AP exam I would not say that I felt extremely over prepared but I do think that I was prepared. I probably spent between five to fifteen hours a week on calculus (fifteen being when we had a big test). I found that most of the assignments were equally valuable but I did find the personal study plan optional activities especially helpful. I would recommend this course to students that are exceptional at math, but if a student is willing to put in the hard work an average student would also excel. 


Would Recommend to Motivated, Hard Workers posted by Maya Powell on May 15 2019 at 13:10:30

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? 

Yes, I felt even overly prepared to take the exam. At the end of the year, Mrs. Gilleran  assigned us a practice test per week so that the format was familiar and so that we got plenty of practice with questions that actually were on AP exams.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into this course?

I would say that while it varied, I definitely worked at least an hour a day usually two hours. It really depends on what the student puts into it. Obviously if you don't work all of the examples Mrs. Gilleran provides or watch all the videos you would be spending a lot less time than say someone who did. 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? 

I've already said this, but I think that the real AP tests Mrs. Gilleran assigned were the most valuable assignments for me. Knowing exactly what was going to be on the test helped me not feel stressed when test day came along. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

No.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? 

Not really. Don't get me wrong, the TAs always responded quickly to any questions I had, but I still don't know who all was taking the class with me. To be fair, it is a calculus course so not much discussion is to be expected. 

What sort of student would do well in this course? 

A student who wants to get a 5. He would have to be motivated enough to work by himself and to go looking for help online when he comes across a particularly difficult problem. This course is not for the weak. 

 


posted by Maya Powell on May 15 2019 at 12:52:05

 


Fantastic class! posted by Owen Johnson on May 14 2019 at 19:04:01

I don't think I knew quite what to expect going into Mrs. Gilleran's class, it being my first class online. The first time I logged on to the class website and started reading the daily comments, I felt like I was listening to Mrs. Gilleran teach calculus to me personally. All the daily comments were helpful, the assigned text readings allowed me to learn all the concepts I needed while not being too much. Not everything always made sense on my first readthrough, but when I didn't understand at first, I used some of the many resources Mrs. Gilleran made avaliable to us: email, a class discussion forum, and links to other resources such as videos and help sheets. I was definitely challenged as I went through the year, putting more time in than I had previously done in classes, but this challenge to learn the material and put in the effort was the very thing that allowed me to go further in learning math than I had ever done before. I would most certainly recomend this course to other students!


Good class. Everything a homeschooling course requires. posted by Peter Yim on May 15 2018 at 20:57:43

This was a good class that prepared me well for the exam. If I put in the work, I found the results very satisfying, just like any class out there. At times I slacked off and felt the repercussions in make up work I had to do later. Good class that prepared me well for the exam.


Mrs. Gilleran is a great teacher! posted by Nina on May 15 2018 at 15:16:27

I think this course prepared me for the AP exam, even though I only started in January. Mrs. Gilleran assigns a lot of practice tests, which give you practice with real questions. Then, you correct them, so you can see what you get wrong. I spent about an hour or an hour and a half a day on Calculus before the review began (including weekends), and then two+ hours per day after. 

I found Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments incredibly useful. They frequently went over often-missed homework problems, difficult problems, or specific question types step by step. Those were very useful, and often entertaining (the included comics in particular).

This course did not enhance my interest in the subject, though it definitely enhanced my understanding. Calculus is very difficult for me, so it is hard to enjoy it. :)

A very driven student would do well in this course. The workload is substantial, particularly if you struggle with math. 

Overall, Mrs. Gilleran is a great teacher. She emphasizes learning, even through failure, so that you can learn without worrying about failing the class because you really struggle with a certain concept. I very much appreciated that approach, and would highly recommend this class.


AP Calc with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Paige C on May 17 2017 at 18:02:59

I came into AP Calc AB feeling pretty apprehensive.  I've always done pretty well in math classes but feel much more comfortable with humanities subjects.  I was worried that Calculus, as advanced math, would be over my head.  I wasn't sure that just trying hard would cut it for me this year.  Thanks to Mrs. Gilleran, I can say my fears were unfounded.  

First, the WebAssign software which this class revolves around is phenomenal!  All homework assignments are automatically graded by the computer and when you miss a question, the software will link you to a video explaining how to do that exact type of problem. Mrs. Gilleran has an orderly assignment plan each week so you can stay on top of your work, too.  On average, I would spent about 1.5 hours a day on Calculus work.  

I did not end up taking the AP Calc AB exam because of the way my college handles AP credits, but I'm sure that as long as I had studied as I was supposed to, I would have been well-prepared for the exam.  We finished all of the course material in late February/early March, and so the last few months of class were spent reviewing and doing practice AP exams.  

I would definitely recommend AP Calc with Mrs. Gilleran to other students.  As long as you are dedicated to doing your assignments on time and asking for help when necessary, you can succeed in this class. 


AP Calculus AB Class Review posted by Love Tsai on May 14 2017 at 15:50:09

The class prepared me for the AP exam pretty well! We went through numerous practice exams and always spent enough time on the topics that I didn't feel too lost or confused. I spent around two hours a day on the weekdays (so around 10 hours) and maybe did an hour or two on the weekends. Sometimes we'd work on the same topic for an extended period of time, so when there wasn't a new thing to learn, I would only spend one hour a day on math.

Communication weaned off as the year progressed, so it got harder and harder to get replies back from the TAs for some reason. But for the most part, they did answer back within 48 hours. There were some health complications on Mrs. Gilleran's side a couple of times during the year; during these times, students didn't have anything to do and had to resort to self-studying. Our review time got cut short and our finals got moved back afterwards. I am sure that there will be a Plan B next year so that this doesn't happen again. It wasn't always organized extremely well, so maybe work would be up late or there would be confusion on what was actually going on that day.

Since Calculus AB is one semester of college work done in two semesters/one year, it is definitely doable by even those who traditionally shy away from math. In my opinion, it was one of the easiest math classes that I've ever had to take! There are only three distinct areas (limits, derivatives, integrals/antiderivatives) and maybe a fourth if you count the nebulous stuff such as differential equations and area/volume, so it is super easy to compartmentalize and digest. I am not typically a wiz at math (just the word Calculus gave me a shiver a year ago) but learning Calculus this year has been quite enjoyable.  


If you want to pass the AP Calculus Exam, or just learn Calculus in general, Mrs. Gilleran is the right person for you. posted by Noah Jordan Schwartz on May 11 2017 at 19:02:14

Mrs. Gilleran is a truly incredible teacher! She is always happy to respond to questions, and she sometimes brings those questions to the whole class if she finds the question to be really interesting. You have a maximum of three days to complete each assignment, but Mrs. Gilleran will usually grant you an extension if you ask. Mrs. Gilleran is really kind, and she wants every one of her students to succeed in the AP Exam.

After taking her course on Calculus AB, I felt prepared and ready to take the exam. In the exam room, I actually had fun answering all the AP questions, and that is all thanks to Mrs. Gilleran. She tries to motivate her students each day by posting an inspirational quote, and she will even give an fascinating tidbit every so often.

Everything I learned in this course has been immensely valuable, both for the exam and the beauty of Calculus. You should put around two to three hours each day for this course, but what you gain is much more precious then the time it takes to gain it. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

I would recommend this course to everyone. There is no teacher as unique and as special as Mrs. Gilleran. If you want to pass the AP Calculus Exam, or just learn Calculus in general, Mrs. Gilleran is the right person for you.


AP Calculus AB posted by Anne Dye on May 10 2017 at 16:25:59

I went into the exam feeling very prepared. I spent 8-10 hours a week studying, and probably close to 10-12 during the review months. The amount of practice and review Mrs. Gilleran has us do is amazing! It wasn't always fun because it took a lot of time, but because of all that practice, I was able to feel confident going into the exam.

I definitely liked the AP Practice Tests she had us do because they were past AP Test Questions and helped to give me a feel for what questions on the test would look like. I wouldn't say I enjoy math any more than I did before (and I don't enjoy math much), but I would definitely say i've gained a better appreciation for math and how it applies to the real world.

I love that Mrs. Gilleran had a discussion board set up for the students to ask questions on and to recieve help when they needed it. That certainly was helpful. And her daily comments were fantastic and super helpful. I also loved the inspirational quotes she put at the end of each set of comments.

Anyone who is willing to work hard and put in the time and effort required will do well in this course. You don't have to lie math, but you do need to be willing to spend quite a bit of time learning the material and seeing it in an exam format and interpreting the exam questions. If you're willing to do that, you will suceed! I for one, do not like math much, but because I put forth the effort to learn the material, I did well in the course. :)


Calc AB posted by Elijah Han on May 09 2017 at 22:11:48

Mrs. Gilleran did a fantastic job preparing the class for the exam. I studied about 2-3 hrs 6 days a week. She was beyond friendly, approachable, motivational, and knowledgeable. Mrs. Gilleran is easily a top-tier teacher. I would definitely recomend this class.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained!"


AP Calculus AB posted by Anonymous on May 09 2017 at 18:16:18

Yes, I feel the course prepared me very well for the AP exam.  We finished covering new material in February, and even though Mrs. Gilleran was out for 6 weeks with medical issues, we still had plenty of time to review and review and review.  Mrs. Gilleran has us do so many practice tests that by the time I sat down to take the AP exam, I was comfortable with the tricky AP-style wording and timing.  Also, she shares so many tips and strategies on tackling the AP exam that I was calm and confident after my many hours of practice.

I spent at least 8 hours a week on this course (more in review months).  I would recommend setting aside 4 hours of undistrubed time at least one week in March or April to take a full practice test to practice the stamina necessary for the AP exam.  Mrs. Gilleran is pretty flexible and lets you complete a practice test in one week, allowing you to complete different sections whenever you have time that week though.

All the practice test she gave us were so valuable (not sure about favorite though)!  In the review time, she also groups problems (multiple-choice and FRQ) by topic, allowing me to hone my skill on that one concept before mastering the next, which was extremely helpful.

Math has not been my favorite subject, but I liked the textbook's real-world applications of calculus.

There was a Google Group to post questions, and although it wasn't very active for our class this year, the TAs were always very quick to respond and help when there were questions.  It was more difficult to contact Mrs. Gilleran sometimes, but her daily comments were so conversational it felt like she was talking directly to me-encouraging, explaining, and teaching.

Besides hardworking, a student would have to be very disciplined and have integrity.  The only one holding you accountable to doing the work for this course the right way without cheats, hints, and shortcuts, is you.  Preparing for the AP exam is not easy, and the questions are designed to be difficult and frustrating, but if you are willing to not do well the first time and put in the hours to improve, then you should do well in this course.


AP Calculus AB -- I learned tons and felt well-prepared. posted by Daniel Lisle on May 15 2016 at 15:33:28

First of all, I felt the course prepared me very well for the AP exam. We had covered everything I saw on the exam, and I went into it with many strategies for solving the problems.

On average, I worked on calculus for about 1.5-2 hours per weekday.

Mrs. Gilleran provided us with many practice tests (as well as abundant resources in general), which I enjoyed doing, after all, they're the best way to prep for the exam. The FRQ practice tests were especially helpful since they help you get better at solving problems in general. Mrs. Gilleran's daily PDF comments were always helpful and I thought she explained things quite clearly.

I am definitely more interested in calculus now that I see what it can be used for. The capabilities of algebra and geometry in computing measurements are extremely narrow compared to calculus.

The class has a Google Group where students get their questions answered by other students, TAs, or Mrs. Gilleran. I personally didn't use the message board a whole lot, but it was great to have when I needed to help with a problem or needed a concept explained further.

Students who focus well will do great in this course. Once you shift your brain in math mode and stay there, the work will go by really fast and before you know it you'll be great at calculus. Be ready for some big concepts in the first semester and take the time to understand the fundamentals, then become proficient and fast at applying them as the year goes on. I would recommend this course to students who are ready to move into higher maths and work hard to put in some time for good results.

All the best to future students!


AP Calc AB posted by Nathan Chen on May 13 2016 at 19:50:14

Hey everyone!

I got the opportunity this year to take AP Calc AB with Mrs. Gilleran through PA Homeschoolers. I had an amazing year. Although math isn't my strong point, I had lots of fun and felt pretty confident on that AP test. I would definitely recommend Mrs. Gilleran's class as it prepared me beyond belief for the final exams. Alright, now on to the burning questions you may have:

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes! The AB course went to about February/March. From there we reviewed for the AP exam. Mrs. Gilleran gave us released multiple choice exercises and FRQs from the actual exam to prepare us. She would often take questions that we had and explain them in the daily comments that she would post everyday.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I'd say about 1.5-2 hours a day, including Saturday.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

The released Multiple Choice(MCQs) and FRQs that Mrs. Gilleran gave us were amazing! Also, Mrs. Gilleran has a page full of all the resources that one could ever find on the web in relation to Calc. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Absolutely! I had very minimal Calc experience when coming into AP Calc. Through, Mrs. Gilleran's class, I was able to dive deeper into mathematics and truly see the beauty and logic behind it.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

The class had a disscussion board which wasn't used as frequently as some of the other classes I had taken. Despite this, you can get a response typically within a day of posting which is really helpful. The TAs (teacher assistants) did a fantastic job! Also, many of the students will join in the chase of helping solve a particular question. Wrong explanations are never looked down upon, rather they are used to gain deeper understanding of the problem at hand.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students

Definitely! Be prepared to work hard and put in time and effort into studying. The journey may be long and arduous at first, but in the end, when you look back upon the year, it'll be worth it! 

What was a day in class like?

First, I would log into the classroom portal and enter into the "classroom." In it, you would see a list of the months of the year. Clicking one of the months, you will see an agenda of what you would do each day, ie: what pages in the textbook to read, what problems to do, etc... Along with this, you would see a daily comment, which essentially is like a script of what a teacher would say in class. It would vary from 2 pages to 16 pages at most. This made the class feel alive and interactive. Mrs. Gilleran made sure that she was right there with you! She would often post funny cartoons at the bottom of the page, which were personally my favorite part of the class. 

Once again, I highly recommend this class, not just because it'll prepare you for the AP test, but also because Mrs. Gilleran really cares for her students. Good luck future students!!! 


A Really Great Class! posted by C. Peterson on May 08 2016 at 18:26:01

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? - Absolutely! We finished the textbook by March, and spent the rest of the school year taking daily practice tests and going over our weak spots. There were a few questions on the exam that I think I might have gotten wrong, but the vast majority of them frankly felt easy to me. After literally months of taking old College Board exams, the real one felt just like another practice test. I can't say for sure that I made a 5, but I think it's very likely.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? - It varied (and it was longer the first and last few weeks of the year), but I'd say it took me an average of about an hour and a half a day, Monday to Friday. The assignments roll out on a daily basis, and there aren't any on the weekends, so you're literally forced to take Saturday and Sunday off. This worked out well when I fell behind in the middle of the year (due to a cross-country move and then a wrist surgery), because by doing one day's worth of work on Saturday and Sunday I could make up my missed days without doubling up on weekdays.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? - The review period was definitely extremely valuable: Mrs. Gilleran had us done with the textbook by the beginning of March, and from then on out we spent our days working lots of practice problems.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? - Totally! I'm still not as much of a math geek as some people, but at least I didn't hate calculus the way I'd thought I would. It's kind of fun, really, in it's own way. I'm definitely not as scared of higher-level math as I used to be. Mrs. Gilleran is the reason I'm taking AP Calculus BC next year - I want to spend another year having her as a math teacher! 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? - Well, I didn't really use the chat board as much as some people did. I posted problems I had trouble with once or twice, and someone else explained the answer, but other than that I didn't spend much time communicating with my classmates. Math isn't really the most social of subjects, you know? People always got back pretty quickly, though, so if you need the extra help it's definitely a good resource.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?  - Since I myself am choosing to take Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus BC next year, I think it's pretty obvious that I would highly recommend this class. It's a fast-paced course that covers a lot of material, but Mrs. Gilleran makes it as painless as possible. Her daily "Comments" (which often run to over six pages long) offer a cheery greeting and a few worked out example problems; the daily assignments are scheduled out on the syllabus from the first day so you know exactly what to expect; the online site where we do our problems is amazing, because it gives you two tries on every problem and has tutorial videos that explain how to work many of them. You have to have at least a decent grasp of math (the stronger your trig skills the better - I definitely struggled with that at first!) and be willing to put in the time, but as long as you do exactly what Mrs. Gilleran assigns you shouldn't have any trouble at all getting a high grade both in the class and on the exam.


AP Calc AB (Mrs. Gilleran) posted by Matt Seida on May 07 2016 at 14:18:37

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, I felt the course prepared me very well. The assignments at the beginning material taught me the material and then all of the practice tests and AP review at the end of the year allowed me to translate my knowledge of the material into AP exam format. And the review videos from the site getafive were extremely helpful.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I would probably say that I spent about somewhere from 12-16 hours or so per week on this course.

Are there any particalarly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Definitely the many practice FRQs, practice MCQs, and the practice tests that we did in AP exam format. This made me very confident and familiar with the material going into the test.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Math was already my favorite subject, but this course helped me realize that Calulus is doable and can even me enjoyable at times. So yes, I would say this course did enhance my interest in the the subject.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

I know that it's hard to work with other students in Calulus, but I wish there had been a little more interaction with the other students. That said, though, our discussion board was very helpful to discuss various questions about the material.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I really just think students who are willing to work hard to understand the material, willing to ask questions and willing to seek other resources (getafive!!) will be the best suited to have success in this course. It's just a matter of understanding the processes to solve the different types of problems and this can be achieved if one is willling to use all available resources (Mrs. Gilleran, discussion board, review videos, etc) to accomplish this.


AP Calculus AB Course posted by Kasia Ashwill on May 06 2016 at 15:35:01

Late nights and early mornings. I'm saying this up front because in order to understand the material, this class requires a LOT of time and effort. Each day required between 1 to 3 hours of work. If the thought of hard work frightens you, good! Maybe it's time to conquer that fear - Mrs. Gilleran had more than enough wise tips and quotes to keep me on track. :) One of my favorite things about this class was that every day opened up with a note from Mrs. Gilleran. In it were explanations of the assignments, witty anecdotes, and worked over problems to help us better understand Calculus. 

Before I get into the questions, you must understand that I was not too fond of this subject at the start, and even though it is not my favorite subject in the entire world, I understand it *so* much better than I thought I ever would! It shouldn't come as a surpise, as my older brother took this class and is now finishing up his second year in engineering - he said that this class not only prepared him for the AP exam, but also in his higher level math studies! 

Yes, absolutely! Due to traveling, I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to study, but the constant practices tests, flashcards, and review charts definitely prepared me.

The practice AP tests and FRQs we were given were extremely helpful.

Yes... It's part of the reason I am not so frightened of studying engineering this coming fall. 

Yes! The discussion group was immensely helpful in answering questions. The TAs were invaluable as well. 

To be honest, anybody who is willing to work as hard as they need to would do well in this course. If you enjoy math, bonus! But don't worry if it's your nemesis, I had no particular fondness at the start, but I'm *so* glad I took this class!! Good luck, all you future students!


Great AP Calculus course posted by Davis Cousar on May 06 2016 at 14:46:22

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?


Up until the last two weeks before the exam, I thought for sure that I wouldn't even get a three. This was because I had struggled on a lot of the practice exams which Mrs. Gilleran had us do over the last two months before the exam. However, in the last couple of weeks before the test, by using the resources that Mrs. Gilleran provided and doing tons of practice, I feel that the material really became cemented in my brain, and I left the test confident that I had succeeded (hopefully I am right! I am writing this the day after the exam, and I will not be receiving scores until July.) 

Anyways, to be prepared for the exam, I recommend three things:

1) work hard in the course throughout the year and don't get discouraged when it seems that you can't remember or grasp all of the material. I had trouble with a lot of the material, but eventually came to master it after a lot of time and lots of practice problems. 

2) Use the AP Calculus AB GET A FIVE review videos online. Mrs. Gilleran provided us with this resource a few months before the exam, and it was SO helpful to me. I wish I had known about it earlier, because it really helped me to understand the material that was specific to the exam. If I could go back, I might have watched these as I worked though the course, but I think using them at the end is sufficient as long as you work hard throughout the year. Using these videos and other ones that Mrs. G provides really helped me to understand materials where it seemed like our textbook spoke in a foreign language. 

3) Do lots of practice before the exam. Mrs. Gilleran was very organized, and she got us through all of the new material by March. This gave us plenty of time for hardcore review.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?


On average, about 3 hours. I should note here that at the beginning of the course, I wanted to drop it. It was my senior year of high school, I am NOT a math-brained person, and I had alredy done a lot of AP courses. Why would dropping the class hurt? If you feel like this when the course begins, don't give in and drop the class. I eventually improved, and came to really enjoy the course. Also, I became increasingly efficient as time went on, and the amount of time the class took each day decreased as I went along.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?


The two months of review at the end were the most helpful and valuable. Using Mrs. Gilleran's practice tests, and the Get a Five videos (which Mrs. G provided) really helped me feel prepared for the exam. But putting the exam aside, they really expanded my grasp of Calculus. Reviewing all of our material for so long made me appreciate the many applications of Calculus (especially since so many of the practice problems were word problems).

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I kind of mentioned this above, but yes it certainly did. I was really amazed how Isaac Newton and Gottfired Leibnez invented Calculus, and Mrs. Gilleran provided us with lots of interesting info in her "TidBits" about the development of Calculus.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?


Yes. There was a discussion board where we could communicate with the students, Mrs. Gilleran, and the TAs who took the course last year. It was very helpful.

 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

 

If you are looking for a challenging course that will be totally worth it it the end, then I would definitely recommend Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calulus AB course. The course was VERY difficult at times, but Mrs. G was always very helpful and provided us with lots of excellent resources and loads of encouraging messages. She likes to say "nothing ventured, nothing earned." I would definitely recommend taking this course if you are willing to work hard, adventure into uncharted waters, and succeed but sometimes even fail. You will be glad you did it in the end. 

 


Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus AB posted by Susan Alexandra Gallagher on May 06 2016 at 13:16:26

Hi everyone! This year I ventured into the world of AP Calculus AB with Mrs. Gilleran, and it was a wonderful journey! I want to start by saying that if you are looking to take AP Calculus, I would definitely recommend Mrs. Gilleran's class!! I am writing this review the day after taking the AP Exam, and I think it is important to stress that I felt VERY prepared! One of my favorite aspects of this course was that we finished the course material around the end of February and basically had TWO WHOLE MONTHS to prepare! As someone who loves to spend lots of time reviewing, this was perfect for me! We used many different review materials and really got a chance to perfect the concepts we had learned and become comfortable with the format of the exam! When taking the exam, there really wasn't much I hadn't seen before, and I found myself saying, "Okay, I know how to do this!"

I felt that the pace of the class was excellent. As I said, we finished the material with ample time before the exam, but I still felt that we took our time in each lesson. As an estimate, I probably spent an average of 2-3 hours on my Calculus work per day. Mrs. Gilleran organized this class very well, and it was a pleasure to be her student! One of my favorite things was her "Daily Comments" section where she would help explain tough topics in an easy-to-understand manner and also just generally be really encouraging! I also felt that the class discussion page was a great way for the students to interact and help each other out with questions about our assignments. It was lovely to have people to help me if there was ever something I didn't understand!

As I said before, I would definitely recommend this class! You need to put in a lot of effort and time, but there is nothing unmanageable in this course. The whole process was really rewarding, and by the end of the year I a very good understanding of the major calculus concepts!


A Summary of AP Calculus AB with Mrs. Gilleran... posted by Yun Li Tan on May 06 2016 at 07:35:00

Let me say upfront that I had absolutely ZERO experience with Calculus before signing up with Mrs. Gilleran. However, though it was slightly harder at the beginning of the course, after I became accustomed to the workload and the concepts, I got along spiffingly well with all the explanations Mrs. Gilleran provided us with. I averaged perhaps 2-3 hours a day on Calculus, though sometimes I had to squeeze all 10 hours onto a Saturday because I had other activites during the week.

I personally think that in this course, even if you do not do extra practice outside of class, just completing all of the exercises and practice tests Mrs. Gilleran gives you will prepare you quite well for the exam (provided you strive to understand what you're doing, of course). I definitely recommend this course! You may not be a math whiz (or who knows, you might be :P), but with the help of Mrs. Gilleran and all the other students on the AB Calculus Discussion group, you'll most certainly be prepared for the AP Exam!


AP Calculus AB posted by Cole Riel on May 06 2015 at 05:30:26

I took the AP exam today, and I was rather impressed with how well I was prepared. For the last 4 weeks or so, we as a class have been working through many practice tests, including both MCQ's and FRQ's.  Throughout the year, I spent an average of around 2 hours per day on week days on Calculus, and over the last month I have spent about the same time on saturdays and sundays as well.  I did purchase a Barron's practice test book and a Princeton Review book, and those in combination with the materials provided by the teacher made me feel like I actually knew the material this morning on the test, which is always a good thing. :)


My AP Calculus Experience posted by Jaime Han on May 05 2015 at 21:24:09

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes! Mrs. Gilleran not only taught the material well, but also provided tons of practice exams. There was very little (if any) material I was unfamiliar with on the actual exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I would guesstimate 10-12 hours a week, but I will admit that math is not my strong point.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

This is a fantastic math course! Like I said, math isn't my strong point, but I feel like I have a good understanding of calculus. I found that it was easy to fall behind (and hard to catch up!), but if you're willing to persevere and work hard, it's feasible to keep and even have fun!!


AP Calculus AB - Susan Gilleran posted by Becca Brewbaker on May 05 2015 at 18:26:50

I was very impressed with how much this class prepared me for the Ap Calculus AB exam. At first, I was unsure how it would all turn out because it seemed very hard and overwhelming, but somewhere at the end of the year it all clicked for me. I also really appreciated finsihing the book 2 months early so  there was a lot of time to study and get familiar with the exam and how it worked. Thank you, Mrs. Gilleran!!!


Great AP Calc AB Class! posted by Anya Hong on May 05 2015 at 17:08:33

First things first: I AM NOT A MATH PERSON. Usually, when someone mentions something math-related, I'm that one kid who starts running in the opposite direction. I took this class because I thought it would be a nice challenge senior year (okay, and my mom sort of made me). Honestly, though, I don't regret it at all - this class taught me that I actually CAN do math, and I learned so much about calculus, algebra, geometry, trig...

Absolutely! We did so many practice tests - we spent about the last 5 weeks before the exam practicing. Mrs. Gilleran went through questions daily. One of the best parts was that we had to correct our own exams for the most part - we learned exactly what the AP graders look for!

Well, math doesn't come easily to me at all, so I spent about three to four hours a day doing calculus, plus usually a Saturday or Sunday as well. Of course, as we started doing more exams and stopped learning new material, I spent less time on calculus. In the beginning of the year, though, I found the courseload difficult. Mrs. Gilleran posted daily "Comments" that explained materials, and we were also assigned textbook reading, but I found it difficult to understand the concepts just reading explanations. I finally found some videos on YouTube that were really helpful, and Mrs. Gilleran also posted videos occasionally. Here's a mini-review of my favorite YouTube channels:

PatrickJMT - good for examples of concepts; quick and concise; most videos correspond to course material

KhanAcademygreat explanations of concepts; some videos correspond to course material, and it's generally not difficult to find what you're looking for

ProfRobBob - good for explanations and TONS of examples; definitely the funniest (in my opinion!)

Okay, I should also add that Mrs. Gilleran generally does not assign too many practice problems (which is nice!). I felt like I needed extra practice, though, and so I would often do all of the odd-numbered textbook problems for each unit...I'm sure that added significantly to the time I spent doing calculus each day!

Definitely the practice tests.

It really did! I no longer avoid math like the plague....The college I will be attending next year doesn't have any distributive requirements, but I think I'll take some math anyway...just 'cause!

Yes! Their was a "discussion board" on Google Plus were everyone was able to post questions. We had several wonderful TAs who always answered the questions within 24 hours....and, of course, we were always free to email Mrs. Gilleran with questions!

I think that as long as you are fairly self-motivated and perseverant, you can absolutely do well in this course (even if you don't consider yourself a "math person"!). I would definitely recommend this course.


A Challenging but Valuable Class posted by Nathan Emery on May 26 2014 at 18:50:41

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, tremendously. The concepts and problems in the textbook covered nearly every topic necessary on the AP exam, and often the questions in the textbook proved more difficult than AP questions. After we had covered all of the necessary material, we spent over a month working through AP practice exams, both MCQs and FRQs. By the end of the practice session, I felt very well prepared.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

This varied. On a typical day of the textbook, I generally spent between one and a half and two hours, depending on the difficulty of the topic, if there were videos to watch first, and how many problems we were assigned. Once we hit the practice exam time, the amount spent varied; sometimes a practice exam only required forty-five minutes or an hour plus review of the previous practice. A general idea, though, is about 8-10 hours a week.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Aside from the comic at the end of the daily Comments ;), I don't have a particular favorite assignment. There were, however, a few areas from the textbook that I enjoyed more than others. It was fun to put concepts to practice through hypothetical real-life applications, for example.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes. I had always enjoyed math, some more than others (like algebra over geometry). However, I found calculus to be, as a whole, more interesting than trigonometry. In addition, the practical applications of calculus added a level of interest that much of the math I had done before didn't have.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

The communication was valuable. Given the nature of calculus, the majority of the work is done on one's own; there are no essays to comment on, for example, and not a lot of room for debate or discussion. However, the discussion forum that was set up for the students to ask questions (and for others to answer them) was helpful. It was gratifying to aid other students when they had trouble, and the explanations that others gave for my questions was valuable.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Certainly a student must be willing to work hard if they are going to do well. Scanned homework is generally due every Wednesday and Friday, and tests on the day they are due. Certainly Mrs. Gilleran will give extensions if the student has a valid reason, but since there is new work every day catching up can be a challenge. Thus the student must be self-motivated to complete the work daily and turn in everything by the deadlines. In addition, since calculus fundamentally builds on previous maths, the student must have a grasp on trigonometry to do well.

If the student meets the prerequisite requirements and is willing to work hard, I would recommend this course. It is often difficult, but the skills gained not just in calculus concepts but also in thinking and analytical skills are worth it.


Great class! posted by Nicholas Emery on May 10 2014 at 02:14:02

I just want to start out by saying that I am not a math person. However, I really did enjoy this class and felt well-prepared for the AP exam.

Definitely. We did many practice tests, whether full tests or parts of multiple choice or free response sections. Mrs. Gilleran also gave us ample resources, from videos to cheat sheets to AP prep sites to an AP prep book, to prepare us for the exam. As such, I felt well-prepared for the AP exam. There were only about two problems for which I felt unsure of what I thought to be the answer.

I generally put in two hours a day on weekdays, a bit less after we wrapped up the textbook and a bit more on more involved topics (graphing a curve after performing a bunch of calculus analysis on a function, I'm looking at you :)).

I'd say writing story/word problems and solving the ones by my classmates really cemented in some of the more challenging calculus concepts by forcing me to look at familiar concepts in new ways.

As I said above, I'm not really a math person. However, I genuinely enjoyed this class. Because the class taught me so much about calculus, I came to understand it more clearly and enjoy it. And, hey, since I'm planning to major in economics, I need to at least kind of like math :).

This was probably the least inter-student (my neologism) interactive class I've taken online. Mrs. Gilleran did set up a discussion forum for questions we had. As well, she did have us write story problems for the class on a few occassions and then solve some classmates' problems. However, beyond that, it was mostly doing the work, learning from Mrs. Gilleran, and submitting assignments. However, even though the level of student interaction was rather low, I still benefitted from other students' advice on the forum and, as I said above, learned from the story problems. So, although the communication was relatively infrequent, it was still beneficial.

I would recommend this class to students who are willing to work hard, who are persistent, and who are self-motivated. This class is a lot of work; however, even if you're like me and don't love, love math, you can succeed in this course. As well, you must be persistent. Not all topics or problems will come as easily as others. That said, Mrs. Gilleran and classmates are more than willing to help you out. Finally, you must be self-motivated. Mrs. Gilleran only requires submission of homework on Wednesday and Friday. So, you don't want to save Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday homework for Wednesday, only to have to rush to submit it at midnight. Other committments and classes sometimes forced some of my homework from the previous day onto Wednesday. Trust me, you do not want that to happen often!

Anyway, if you're looking for a challenging yet fun math class that will prepare you well for the AP exam, strongly consider taking Mrs. Gilleran's.


Nicholas Emery


AP Calculus AB Review posted by Stephen Spivey on May 09 2014 at 16:27:42

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, absolutely. The month and a half leading up to the exam is entirely review, with practice tests every day. That practice was invaluable.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I usually put in about 6-8 hours a week. Less some weeks, more others, but overall about 6-8.

 What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

The student that would do well in this course is one that is good at math, good at self-study, and one willing to put in the time. There are no shortcuts in this class. I would definitely recommend this class to other students.


AP Calculus AB Review posted by Kirk B on May 07 2014 at 16:04:23

This is a good class. Expect LOTS of studying, but if you put the time and effort in (which you should) you will do well on the AP test. We covered all the textbook material by March if I remember correctly, and then April and May were review months, which was appreciated, as these concepts are often hard to grasp. Lots of sources to learn and different ways of approaching each subject. Overall good.


Certainly. posted by Nathan Leung on May 07 2014 at 15:58:59

This is being written literally hours after the AP Exam, and I feel and felt confident because of the material learned in this class.  I felt like we had ample time to review after all the stuff was covered, and I feel as if I definitely have a good understanding of basic calculus (sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it).  It's not an easy class by any means, and it does require quite a bit of work, but it's not overwhelming and is certanly manageable.  Also, the cartoons usually put a bright spot in my day.  The question explanations invariably made the material easier to understand, and sometimes questions posted to the forum would be answered by fellow students.  


AP Calculus AB - Susan Gilleran posted by Gavin Reeb on July 08 2013 at 11:00:16

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP Exam?

I have never taken an AP Course or exam before so did not know how prepared I actually was.  I came out of the test feeling like it really wasn't too bad while many other students at the local high school thought it was terrible.  I also got a 5 I think due to all the exam practice leading up to the exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

In the beginning I had a very hard time with the material as it was so different from any other math course I had taken.  I have done mostly Saxon math.  I would sometimes work on calculus for 3-4 hours a day as I don't like to do schoolwork on the weekends.  Second semester was much better with 1-2 hours a day, even less towards the end of the year as I finally was grasping the concepts better.  I also needed tutoring first semester.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

All the AP exam prep turned out to be so helpful.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

It actually kind of turned me off towards math which used to be my favorite subject.  Perhaps just not my particular area of math that I enjoy.

Did you find your communications with the other students to be interesting or valuable?

Sometimes it scared me because they all seemed leaps and bounds ahead of me, but without all their help I would have never made it.  Often it was one of them that explained things to me in a way I understand.  There were Teachers Assistants that also dutifully answered my questions, but often their answers were way over my head and they had a hard time explaining things in a way I could understand.  This is where tutoring came in as there is just nothing comparable to someone sitting next to you verbally walking you through concepts.

What sort of student would do well in this course?

Someone very, very strong in math.  Although I thought I was, many of my weak areas were revealed and had to be dealt with in order to continue.  I am thankful that I definitely walked away with way stronger math skills in general with all the time I put in.  Knowing that however, if you are not as strong in math but really desire to do well, Mrs. Gilleran is very interested in helping you succeed, encouraging you, and the more time you put in the more you will get out of it.  Despite feeling like everyone knew so much more than me, I got a 5 on the AP Exam, so it is possible.

Would you recommend this course to other students?

Definitely yes.  Though I hated it going through it because it was just plain extremely hard work, I have learned that nothing ventured means nothing gained.  I am proud of the hard work and results.


A Terrific Calculus AB Class posted by Thomas Hennessey on May 17 2013 at 19:38:43

Absolutely!  Mrs. Gilleran knows all the details about the AP Exam and teaches exactly the kind of strategies you need to do problems quickly and accurately.  She taught the material really thoroughly using the textbook and AP prep book, going beyond what the AB Exam required.  Her comments were incredibly detailed and always useful.  I walked out of the AP exam last week feeling like I really knew the material and did well.

I probably spent around 1-2 hours/day or 8-9 hours/week on this course.  The assignments can get heavy at times (especially in April with all the AP prep), but as long as you keep up it's very easy to get guidance on parts that are confusing.  You need to be prepared to tackle a lot of reading and homework problems yourself, but there's always help available.

My favorite part about the course was reading Mrs. Gilleran's comments.  They always delved deeply into the material without ever getting too technical.  I especially liked the bonus info she included at the end of some of the comments, which could cover anything from information about past mathematicians to funny comics.  Also, the Practice AP Tests were all great since they were actual past exam questions.  I ended up working an immense variety of problems before the test, so I knew exactly what would be coming.

Definitely!  I've always liked math, but Mrs. Gilleran taught me to love it with everything she went over in her Daily Comments.  I'm looking forward to studying more math in college!

Yes!  We had a Google Groups Discussion Board where Mrs. Gilleran and the TA's would answer any question you posted.  No matter what you were confused about, somebody would give a detailed answer to your question within an hour of you posting it.  Since everybody posted questions there, I often found that somebody else had already asked a question I was thinking of, which was really helpful for creating a collaborative atmosphere in an online course.  

I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn a lot of math in an entertaining and engaging way.  You need to be ready to work hard on the homework problems and do a ton of practice AP problems, but it will all pay off at the end of the course and on the AP Exam.  A motivated student who can do a lot of independent work would probably do best in this course.  And don't worry about the math being boring; Mrs. Gilleran will make it one of the best courses you take.

 

 


Absolutely Excellent! posted by AP Calculus AB on May 13 2013 at 13:05:43

My name is Taylor, and I'm a graduating classman from Mt. Juliet, TN. This class has been an incredible blessing to me for reasons beyond the more than suitable preparation for the AP Exam. Mrs. Gilleran allowed me to join this class halfway through the first semester, and the class runs so smoothly that I was able to catch up the extra nine weeks worth of work by the beginning of 2013.

I would typically spend 1-2 hours a day working on Calculus, and I really think the hands-on AP practice tests helped me feel comfortable and prepared for Test Day.

I would reccomend this course to another student in the blink of an eye. Mrs. Gilleran knows exactly how to teach someone without ever having to give a single lecture. It has been fantastic!


AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran--A Wonderful Class!! posted by Ian Pawelczyk on May 09 2013 at 21:46:55

AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran is a very excellent, well-taught, and challenging class. Mrs. Gilleran prepares her students extremely well for the AP exam with lots of practice tests and great explanations. I felt like I knew all of the math concepts in calculus very well at the end of the year, and I could not have been more prepared for the AP Calculus BC Exam. This class is a lot of work, but Mrs. Gilleran makes it fun and enjoyable with her inspirational daily comments. I spent about two hours a day on it, but it is well worth it. Moreover, it was very easy to ask questions and communicate with fellow students and Mrs. Gilleran through the discussion board that Mrs. Gilleran sets up through Google, which helped a lot. I would recommend Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus BC Class to any student who has the will to work hard and to stay up with the work.


Amazing Class! posted by Tim Seida on May 09 2013 at 13:26:14

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes. I just took the AP test, and am confident I did well on the exam, thanks to the awesome preparation of Mrs. Gilleran’s course.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

During most of the school year, I probably put in about 8 hours a week. However, that amount increased in April and May as I reviewed for the upcoming AP exam.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Mrs. Gilleran mixes in many practice tests throughout the year that are questions just like the FRQ’s on the College Board exam. By the time May rolls around, you are already familiar with the format of the questions and well-equipped to handle the real ones on the actual exam.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Our class had a Google discussion group where we could ask the TAs (who were always very helpful!) questions about the material we were covering. It definitely helped me to understand the more complex parts of calculus.

Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I wholeheartedly recommend Mrs. Gilleran’s calculus course for any student who wants to learn about calc, do well on the AP test, and have fun. :)


AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Elizabeth Daudelin on May 09 2013 at 13:14:01

This class really prepared me well for the AP exam. As Mrs. Gilleran said, it was just like taking another practice test. The course was a lot of work but because I enjoy math, I was fine with spending all the time on it. The part I liked best about this course was the fact that we took so many practice test near the end and continued to get comments from the teacher right up 'til the day of the exam, keeping us prepared and ready for the test. The online forum was a great experience as it provided a way to answer other's questions, which, in turn, helped me understand the concept better and helped me learn how to express my understanding of a concept in words.

Mrs. Gilleran was a great teacher, talked in terms that were easy to understand, and I loved the humor she used along the way.

I would recommend this course to other students if they are prepared to jump on the roller coaster and work hard!


Lots of Hard Work posted by Paul Advincula on May 09 2013 at 12:47:07

1. Yes, I did. After speaking with some of the students at my local high school about how little their courses had prepared them, I realized how much this course had actually done to help review.

2. I put in at least two hours a day. During the beginning of the course, I did not put in the necessary amount of time and my grades suffered as a result. Nearer to the end, I spent more time doing extra problems and my grades began to improve.

3. I liked that in the previous weeks to the AP Exam, we got to work though a LOT of problems in order to prepare us.

4. Previously, I had an interest in math, but taking Calculus has changed the way I perceive it and its purpose.

5. The study group was immensely helpful, even though I didn't contribute as much as I should have. Getting to ask questions and have them replied to immediately greatly aided my assignments.

6. Definitely students who are willing to really put in extra time to understand the material. Calculus is a faaaar different way of looking at math, and only repetition can get you to see that. So yes, I would recommend this course. 


How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? posted by Victoria Dickson on May 09 2013 at 11:48:54

This class only took me approximately an hour per day. There is always room to spend more time on the subject, but I cannot see spending any less time for this class.


AP Calc AB posted by Rachel Bringewatt on May 09 2013 at 01:19:40

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Definitely! I took the exam this morning and feel great about it! The two months of review (we worked tons of multiple choice questions and FRQs) prior to the exam made the actual test seem just like another practice assignment.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

It varied - anywhere from 1-4 hours a day (2 and half was probably the average). I do not naturally “get” math so I did have to spend some significant time looking up videos and rereading the textbook to get where I could work the homework problems.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

The midterm study guide was helpful. Also, all the practice AP tests we took were a HUGE help!

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, I like calculus way better than geometry, algebra 2, and pre-calc!

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

My communication with other students was okay. We had a google discussion group which you could post questions to. While classmates and TA's were very responsive (I would get an answer within the hour), I found it was really hard to ask and understand questions online sometimes. I think this was mainly because it is a math class. Sometimes when you’re really confused you need someone to look at your work and point out exactly what you’re doing wrong. Emailing back and forth didn’t always help :)

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)

I would definitely recommend this class to other students. My one piece of advice is do not sign up expecting Mrs. Gilleran to hold your hand every step of the way. She organizes the class and responds to questions, however, if you want to do well you have to put in the work. Probably my biggest benefit from the class (besides learning a ton of cool math!) was learning how to teach myself independently. I feel like I learned and understand the material much better because I really had to work hard to understand it.


Best AP Calculus AB ever! posted by Anna Bray on May 08 2013 at 23:40:19

This morning when I took the AP Calculus AB exam, I was again reminded of the quality of the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers AP courses. The teachers have been excellent, every time. This was my second AP class (last year I took APUSH), and I enjoyed it just as much as the first one. I did not think calculus was going to be "fun," but now I can honestly say that I enjoy it! A lot of people take AP classes to get out of a college course, but I have found myself hoping to take calculus again in college! I have heard people who are good at math say that they lost it all when calculus came along, but Mrs. Gilleran helped us really understand the material. If we were struggling with a concept, we could watch a video on it so it was more like a real classroom, if that is the kind of learning environment you like. I spent about 2-3 hours each day on this class.  

The organization and structure of the class is very easy to follow with a website that has each day's assignments. You can see the assignments for the entire month, so it is easy to plan ahead if you need to do some extra work. The google group and Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments were very helpful for answering questions. I would highly recommend this class to anyone! It was hard, but I feel confident that I have a solid understanding of the material and I even enjoyed it! Best of luck!


AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Ronnie Forster on May 08 2013 at 20:56:12

Mrs. Gilleran's Calculus BC class was an exceptional class.  I certainly learned a lot from it.  She was able to cover the content in a timely manner, covering everything from simple differentiation to series and sequences.  Her grading methodology is quite fair, and it is easyt to earn your grade if you complete the required readings and work.  She doesn't fool around, she teaches the required content and tests exactly what she says she will.  After taking the AP Test, I felt very prepared for the exams, the FRQs especially were a breeze.  She sets aside a minth before the exam simply for review, so you will go into the test with a lot of experience with AP like questions under your belt.  She gives you a lot of practice and review materials, so you really are familiar with the exam.  If you are ready to work and put in the effort (estimated 1-2 hours of homework a day plus studying when one feels it appropriate, nothing ridiculous, very manageable if one doesn't fall behing or slack off), Mrs. Gilleran will make sure you get where you want to be.  I would definitely recommend this class to a friend.


AP Calc BC posted by Tyler B. on May 08 2013 at 19:14:40

Did you feel this course prepared you for the AP exam?

This class prepared me extremely well for the AP exam.  I just took the AP exam this morning.  There was not a single problem on the test that we had not covered in class.

How many hours of work per week did you generally put into the course?

I put in about 12 hours per week on this class.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

I didn't participate much on the message board, but many other students did.

Would you recommend this course to other students?

I would definitely recommend this class to other students. 


Take from Mrs. Gilleran posted by Will Brewbaker on May 08 2013 at 18:23:16

As an English-minded student stepping into the world of AP Calculus, Mrs. Gilleran's class both challenged and prepared me for the AP exam. I finished the exam 2 hours ago, so my positive attitude might have something to do with that...Kidding of course. The night before the exam I didn't cram or stress because I knew I was prepared. That's what you get with this course. The students at the public school where I took the exam were stressed and "hoping to make a 3." I'm happy to say that I felt extreme confidence in my math abilities, all in part to the excellent design of this course. Because of the extended review period, all the topics felt fresh and came to me naturally during the exam. Confidence is a huge part of doing well on the AP test, and Mrs. Gilleran provides her students with it every day. I highly recommend this course. I'm not going to tell you that it wasn't difficult (it required over an hour of work daily, generally more), and you have to be prepared to work hard. But it all pays off when you take the exam. 


AP Calculus AB posted by Kevin Drew on May 08 2013 at 17:38:31

Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus AB class prepared me very well for the exam. I spent around 2-3 hours a day on the course. While the class didn't enhance my interest in the subject (I'm more of a science student), I still enjoyed participating in the course nonetheless. The assignments that I found especially valuable were the numerous sample exams and FRQ tests we took throughout the final two months, which I felt were great practice for the actual exam. I am glad that Mrs. Gilleran started a Google Group so that we could communicate with other students, conversing about topics and specific problems from our class. While the course load can be heavy at times, it was always manageable. A student who is hard-working and prepared to spend substantial time learning the material would do well in this course. I, myself, am glad to have taken the class.


Perfect level of intensity--a rewarding finish. posted by Justin Yen on May 08 2013 at 17:17:07

First off, I want to say DO NOT fall behind! I fell behind, and it took more than an arm and leg to LEARN the material, then RELEARN the newer material because I had to focus on both. It's really worth keeping up and retaining more than just a good grade, but the facets of calculus. It's important to get a good grade, but LEARNING the material is probably more important. Had I not fallen behind, I would walk out of the class confident I had a 5 on the exam. The amount of material Mrs. Gilleran presents for AP review is tremendous. She gives more than enough to to practice with. Here's a secret that's not a secret anymore: practice, practice, practice, and practice some more. The exam is not difficult if you spend effort learning the material presented in class. The pace is rather rapid, but nothing to strenuous, and if you do it every day, you'll do well on the exam. 

In this class, you don't just learn math, but you learn about yourself. I learned that the degree to which I applied myself in math was not enough, and that I needed to give more time and be patient in learning. I also learned to just keep plugging away and keep doing it. When I was catching up, I hated math, but when I was doing the math in the second quarter, I found myself loving it. I felt like a detective.

To sum it all up, apply yourself. All the resources are more than enough in this course, you get out of it what you put in. 


My lovely calc class... posted by Georgia Murray on May 08 2013 at 16:00:03

I just finished the AP Calc BC exam (literally, just an hour ago), so if this post sounds sickeningly nostalgic, I'm sorry.

Yep!  We took many MANY practice tests, especially toward the end of the year (a month and a half review, with a full AP spread over 4 days each over and over and over again).  The thing about math is you either know it, or you don't, so if you do what Mrs. Gilleran says, you will know it.

Mmm, it varied a lot.  Probably 2 to 2.5 hours a day around the middle of the year (the hardest part), with it sometimes dropping to around an hour for the easier concepts.  However, I think this really depends on you: I think a lot when I do problems - random abstractions and what not - which is very interesting, but not necessarily the most efficient for getting all the problems done quickly.  Also, I started working through the examples as I read par way through the year, so that made the reading take a while, too.  (Also, since we took mock exams for the last month or so, that took lest time because you just finish the timed test, check it, and the go over your mistakes.)

Probably creating a review sheet for the midterm.  This was an optional extra-credit opportunity, but it was also the absolute best way to prepare for the midterm.  Mrs. Gilleran also gave us an "Easter Bunny Problem," which was a lot of fun – did you know that the Easter Bunny ran a major corporation?? He provides an awful lot of jobs to an awful lot of bunnies (according to what we found)…

Yes – this class showed me that math really is a giant puzzle, and everybody loves puzzles.  I doubt I will major in math simply because I have other things I love as well, but this class definitely gave me a much greater appreciation for the awesomeness that is higher math.

Yes.  We used a Google Group for discussion, so basically you could post a question and someone else (Mrs. Gilleran, a TA, or a fellow student) would respond to help you out.

A student who likes to think just for the sake of it will probably enjoy it most, but anyone who works hard will do fine.  If you work hard, you will do well, but you will appreciate it more if you play with the concepts as you go, I think.


Johanna's Review Form posted by Johanna Segura on May 08 2013 at 15:41:40

First and farmost, this course did a great job in preparing me for the AP Calculus exam. The test was a breeze. I had to put 6+ hours into this course a day, sounds like a lot, but I needed it. I'm not the fastest learner. Repitition and a LOT of studying helped.

My favorite assignments were when the class was asked to make up his/her very own word problem. These gave me such a rush of excitement because they were so challenging! I probably wrote lousy problems, but they made my mind really work. . .hard.

Before taking calculus, I had no idea what it was. I decided that since most people claim that calculus is difficult, that I should go for it. Well, I went from not knowing a thing about calculus to loving it to the point of obsession!

It seemed that every student had the same questions I had, and whenever I would post a question, I'd get a response within the hour! This is especially significant because I'd be up at all ungodly hours of the night/morning. Special thanks to my fellow classmates in California (I live in New Jersey). At 4am, I could rely on you guys for a response, haha.

IF you are willing to work hard, and thus feel at home with the test, TAKE THIS CLASS!!! It's invaluable, priceless. I HIGHLY recommend Mrs. Gilleran. She is excellent, and VERY accessible. Don't run away from math. Take this class if you are breathing.


A great course! posted by Michael Thompson on May 25 2012 at 03:39:41

I absolutely loved this course. Although calculus is challenging, it makes a lot of sense. The assignments have a lot of real life applications which are so much fun. The class moves at a very fast pace, which is really nice because it gives you a lot of time in March and April to study for the exam. I think the most useful assignments were all the practice FRQs in April. The best part about these FRQs is that Mrs. Gilleran would go over them in her comments the next day; this allowed us to know exactly what to do for any type of FRQ. This class definitely enhanced my interest in math, and I would recommend it to everyone who enjoys math. 


posted by Benjamin Noble on May 16 2012 at 21:11:02

I really liked Mrs. Gilleran's style of teaching; she always felt open and available if you needed any help.  The one thing I didn't like, and this is inherent with the set-up of this kind of class, was the lack of face-to-face interaction.  I personally feel like I perform better in an actual classroom, but despite that drawback, I enjoyed the class.  She also made math more fun.


AP Calculus BC Cource posted by Jasmine on May 16 2012 at 01:37:23

This was simply an excellent course for learning Calculus BC. It was very well organized and utilized every opportunity to prepare students for the AP exam. I probably put in at least 2 hours of work a day learning the material, but that is to be expected for an online AP class (allowing at least one hour to learn and another to do the assignments). I found the numerous practice tests we did extremely helpful in preparation for the test. I feel like by the end I really knew my stuff, from AB to BC. The communications between the other students was a great tool where you could ask anyone any questions you had and they would be answered usually the same day. Math has always been my favorite subject and I think that you should really be either into higher math or one of those people that likes taking advanced classes to do well in this course. Overall, I really applaud Mrs. Gilleran for organizing the course so well and all the work she put into it, and I think anyone who enters the course will feel very rewarded by the end.


Mrs. Gilleran's Calculus BC posted by Nathan Thomas on May 11 2012 at 22:05:00

Mrs. Gilleran's class is not for the fain of heart...it certainly required time and committment--like 6 to 8 hours of work a week at the minimum.

That being said, the course was both extremely interesting and helpful. I felt very prepared for the AP exam due to the reviews she gave. In addition, I felt as if I learned the material very well.

I would very much recommend it. Overall, A+


AP Calculus BC for the win! posted by Zac Barnett on May 11 2012 at 17:15:05

First off, looking back over the year, I am very glad that I took this course.  Mrs. Gilleran does an excellent job teaching and organizing the assignments.  If you apply yourself and do all of the assignments, this course will be fun to complete everyday, provided that you like math.

I feel pretty confident about the AP exam.  Over this course, we did such a huge amount of Free Response and Multiple Choice Practice Tests that when I did the actual AP exam, it was if I had seen almost every problem in some shape or form already through the practice tests.  The Be Prepared for the AP Calculus Exam book that we studied is extremely useful for studying for the exam. 

A normal day in this course: Read Mrs. G's comments (5-15 minutes), read section in textbook (up to 30 minutes), do the assignment (up to 2 hours).

Per day, it took me approximately 2 hours to complete, but you can expect 3 or more hours in the days leading up to the AP exam.

During the year, there were a few times where we had to write our own Calculus word problem and solution.  I found this helpful because it helped make concepts that we had been learning more concrete.
This course focused more on student-teacher communication.  While there was a online group for the students to talk about the course, the majority of the communication was talking to Mrs. Gilleran through email. 
  • What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they were willing to work hard!)?
I would recommend this course to any student who likes math.  That being said, this course is fast paced and it is easy to get lost if you don't complete the assignents daily.
It's very important to keep trying until you understand the concept in this course, but the reward of understanding a tough Calculus concept is definitely worth the struggle. Mrs. Gilleran is a great Calculus teacher!

 


AP Calculus AB posted by Kathryn Fodale on May 11 2012 at 17:09:52

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam. When I first started calc, I felt totally over-whelmed, but by the end I felt as ready as I could be to take the test. This was definitely my most challenging course ever. Before taking this class, all math was pretty easy for me, but I had a really hard time understanding calculus. The group email was certainly helpful, but I actually needed to get a tutor. I found that I really wasn't a person that could learn calculus through just reading the text or reading other's words, but I needed to be with someone talking it through, drawing it out. If you are a person who understands through reading, you will do excelently in this course. I am not, so I needed a bit of help. You also need to be very motivated to do a little bit of calculus everyday. Calculus isn't something you understand in the first (or even second) reading. You need to read it, say it, do problems over and over again. Like any AP, you need to be commited to the course and commited to working hard. 


Have no fear for Mrs. Gilleran is here! posted by Hannah Huynh on May 11 2012 at 14:23:01

Mrs. Gilleran's Calculus BC class is the best math class I have taken so far.  She adequately prepares you for the AP exam and yet you never feel rushed in the class.  There is daily homework so you will have to be willing to spend a little time on math every day.  But, the daily homework only serves to help you better prepare for the AP exam!  Mrs. Gilleran is super helpful whenever you ask her anything and she often posts explanations to problems that most students in the class have trouble on.

This course definitely affirmed my love for math :)

There was not as much student to student interection as there was teacher to student interaction.  But the interaction with Mrs. Gilleran was great.  Any student who is willing to spend around 20-30 mintues a day on math will do well in this class.  Mrs. Gilleran structures the class so that we get plenty of breaks and yet nearly a month of reviewing before the AP exam.  This is an excellent class!!!

Most people shy away from BC because they think it is too hard, but don't be scared.  If you are good in math, take this class!  As I said many times before, Mrs. Gilleran gets you adequately prepared for the exam!


Great Course! posted by Jeremiah Keenan on May 11 2012 at 04:33:39

Definitely!  By the time I got to the test, I had done so many FRQ’s that I almost thought I had seen one of the test questions before.  Especially in the last month, Mrs. Gilleran seriously preps us to the exam.

I generally put about 10 hours of work per week into the course.

Yes.  Calculus is a great deal more fun than Pre-calculus or Algebra.  I got especially carried away with the foundations of calculus (limits and derivatives) and wrote up pages of desultory explanations about them.  I sent off my ideas to Mrs. Gilleran who showed me how I could present my ideas in a fashion more suitable for a mathematical paper, pointed out where and how I had made a mistake in my logic, and helped me understand the epsilon delta definition of a limit (even though none of these things were required for the AP exam!). 

Somewhat.  However, my communication with Mrs. Gilleran and the TA’s was much more important.

I would definitely recommend this course to other students.  There’s no getting around the fact that Calculus is hard, but if you read the material Mrs. Gilleran provides, do the homework she assigns, and send her a question when you hit a snag, you’re pretty much guaranteed an interesting exploration of Calculus and a good score on the AP exam.

 


Review of AP Calculus AB posted by Gabriel Malarskey on May 10 2012 at 20:58:17

I really enjoyed this class. I feel that it prepared me very well for the AP test. Even though I didn’t end up taking the test, I feel that I would have done well if I had taken it. Mrs. Gilleran provided plenty of practice tests and question sets for review, and I felt comfortable not only with the material, but also with the way I needed to present it in my answers. I typically spent two and a half hours or more every weekday on the class, and sometimes an hour or more each day of the weekend, as well. There weren’t any specific assignments that I enjoyed more than others; I enjoyed pretty much everything. The course didn’t really make me more interested in calculus, because I was already interested, and I know that I want to go into physics, which requires it. I didn’t end up communicating with other students as much as in other AP classes, because I really didn’t find it all that necessary. Most of the time, the teacher was more helpful in answering questions than my fellow students were. A student who is strong in math, or at least likes math, would do best in this course. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like math, because it needs all the effort you can put into it. 


AP Calculus AB Review posted by Kealani Jensen on May 10 2012 at 20:38:48

This course is really hard if you are not motivated to do the work, if you don't have enough time in your schedule, and if you don't learn well without a teacher explaining a concept on the board in front of you. The actual book has really good practice problems and I can't even count how many practice exams I did. So I feel that if I put much more time into it, the product would be much more triumphant than it was. If you are considering this class make sure you have enough time in your schedule because you should really be prepared to do calculus for about two hours every day during the week plus extra studying on the weekend. So if you meet the traits I listed above, then take the class! Just be aware that it is a huge time commitment and you can't slack off!


AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Caleb Wilson on May 10 2012 at 19:26:35

First of all, this class will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. But, as Mrs. Gilleran would say, to earn that reward you're going to have do some serious venturing (aka hard work). The homework is definitely very heavy. Completely understanding the concepts of the textbook and THEN doing up to 50 or so exercises a day can be very exhausting. But, at the end of it, if you really work at the class, you'll look back and know its worth it like I do now. 

The homework, on average, usually takes around an hour and a half to two hours a day. On the heavier days (maybe a few times a month) sometimes up to three hours. But the course is time heavy for a reason--it's also resource heavy. Any concept at all can be completely explained, dissected, and broken down by the study group discussion board, Mrs. Gilleran in the comments, the 5 min video lectures she assigns, or the endless websites and resources she puts at your disposal. Basically, if you're willing to work at it, there is no concept you'll be tearing your hair out about. 

If you consistently work at understanding, completing, and studying the assignments, you will absolutely be completely and totally calculus-literate, more than ready to take on the AP Exam come May. But it wasn't all about the exam. Mrs. Gilleran's daily "Comments" were consistently more than just helpful, but also meaningful. She helped me understand why math is more than just algebra and derivatives. It's a living, breathing science. It was something put together, not be my heartless machines or robots who want us to spend our days indoors doing exercises, but by men like Isaac Newton, Liebniz, and more. She helped me to understand that calculus isn't just a skill necessary for the workforce, but also an astounding, fascinating, brilliant achievement of mankind. And it sure feels that way once you're through with it. I now feel confident, proud, and strangely more interesting moving forward with my high school career. And I have Mrs. Gilleran and her class to thank for it.

Finally, the one thing I think could be improved was the interactivity of the course. Although there are endless resources, they were almost entirely textbook/web based. And for some learners, that can be a very difficult format. Having a more intimate atmosphere or a way to learn math beyond graphs and sentences (which definitely do not explain math well) would have been the one thing to make this course a 10/10 experience. But all withstanding, for a web-based course, Mrs. Gilleran does the absolute best she can with the format provided. All is wonderfully organized on the class website. And questions, comments, tricky problems and more are all given clean, easy places to be taken care of. 

I highly reccomend Mrs. Gilleran's Calculus course for the proficiency in math, the rigorous preparation for the AP Exam, and the excellency of the advice, teaching, and insights into math and, sometimes, even how to live more effectively. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)


What a great course! posted by Matthew Nyhus on May 10 2012 at 11:40:34

This course was really well done.  I've done a couple of online courses and many of them have had really bad organisation, whether it be a bad web layout, confusing calendar or hard-to-find content.  However, this course's material was really easy to find, the calendar was well organised and the web layout was excellent.  It was really clear what I had to do each day and Mrs. Gilleran's comments (or lesson) were easily accessible.

More importantly, though, the course itself was really well done.  It wasn't easy, (there is a lot of content to get through), but Mrs. Gilleran assigned enough homework so that I could master each topic without the homework being onerous.  The lessons were also well done, and I never felt like I couldn't learn anything.  Some of the content was very difficult, but between the lesson, the textbook and the discussion board (where we could as other students and our TAs for help), I always felt like there were plenty of resources available to help me if I had trouble. 

Finally, the actual AP prep was excellent.  Of the three AP courses that I'm taking this year, this course prepped me the most for the AP exam, and consequently I felt most ready for this exam.  When it came time to write the actual AP exam, I felt really confident, and that's mostly due to the course.  I think that feeling ready for the exam and confident that you can get a 5 is probably the most important part of any course, so this course was excellent.

Overall, a fabulous course.


:) posted by Kaitlyn Hahn on May 09 2012 at 21:33:41

Students who are extremely disciplined should take this course. It was a little hard for me to keep up in the homework especially because we didn't have to turn it in. This led to me falling behind and not really feeling super confident the day I took the AP test.  This was pretty much my own fault, but if I had had to send in more required homework to Mrs. Gilleran, that would've helped me keep up.


Mrs Gilleran's AP Calculus AB class posted by Emily Morrison on May 09 2012 at 18:11:25

This class has prepared me very well for the Calc AB exam.  I personally found that all the practice tests and assorted tidbits that we did during the second half of the school year was more interesting and fun than the first half of the year, which was more tightly textbook-oriented.  After all those practice tests, the actual exam seemed easier than I was expecting.  What a pleasant surprise!  I generally put in between fifty and ninety minutes per day for this course.  The workload is very weel apportioned for each day.  For future students, just do your best to stay on schedule and make sure you check the answer keys and graded FRQs so you understand any questions you miss!  Good luck, future math people! :D


posted by Megan Marriott on May 09 2012 at 16:55:26

The course really prepared me for the AP exam.  I've heard that many other courses finish learning the actual  material the same week of the AP test, so they have to cram in studying while finishing the course.  With this course, we finished learning the material in early April and had over a month to simply review and study for the exam.  It's been helpful to ask other students questions online, and I believe they answered all of my questions.  Sometimes though, it would have been beneficial to have a deeper explanation of a concept, and it's kind of hard to do that over email.  However, that was not a handicap - I would definitely recommend this course if you are willing to work hard to understand concepts and if math is generally your strong point.


AP Calculus AB Review posted by Jordan Wright on May 09 2012 at 16:27:06

This class is the hardest high school course I have taken yet.  In the fall and the beginning of the spring semesters, I usually spent 2-3 hours on homework daily.  While this is a lot of time, it did very well prepare me for the AP Calculus test, which I took today.  I woud recommend to a student considering this course to take either pre-calculus or calculus course before taking this class.  I had not taken any calculus before this class, and it wasn't easy to keep up with the courseload, especially in the fall.  I definitely would recommend this course, as it does fully prepare students for the AP Exam, provided they are up for the work. 


Calculus AB was intense but awesome :) posted by Hannah Rears on May 09 2012 at 15:59:55

Less than an hour ago, I finished the AP Calculus AB exam. I can honestly say, I don't think I could have been any more prepared. This course was probably the hardest course I took this year, but it definitely paid off. It took a lot of commitment though. The first two months were the hardest for me--I probably logged about 3 hours alone everyday on calculus. On days before tests, I probably spent a good hour or two more than I usually did. At first, I felt frustrated, and I questioned whether I would ever be able to make sense of things like integration and differentiation and all of the different theorems. Mrs. Gilleran was really understanding and helpful throughout the whole process. I can remember there was one topic I was having a lot of trouble visualizing (related rates) and I emailed her asking for some extra explanations/problems. Instead of just giving me one simple response, she included a whole packet of practice problems, with a step by step process of how to solve them. Having those extra problems and explanations brought me from slightly understanding the problems to actually feeling comfortable solving the problems. 

There wasn't very much interaction with the other students, but I went in to this class knowing that there probably wouldn't be that much interaction. The morning messages that Mrs. Gilleran posted were always really helpful in clarifying particularly confusing topics, but at the same time they made calculus seem fun (I know, calculus fun? Really though, it is pretty cool...). I think that a love for problem-solving is pretty essential for anyone considering taking calculus. It requires a lot of thinking outside the box. If you are willing to put in the effort and are prepared to tackle some difficult (but pretty awesome) concepts, then I recommend this course all the way. 


AP Calculus BC posted by Ethan Johnson on May 13 2011 at 19:22:57

This course was a lot of work, but it was enjoyable and thorough. I thought the homework assignments (particularly the practice tests) were sometimes a tad excessive since I usually understood the material well right out of the textbook; but that said, it doesn't leave any stone unturned for someone who could potentially need more practice to fully absorb the material. I spent approximately four hours per day on this course. I felt I was extremely well-prepared for the exam and though I haven't received my score yet, in comparison to other AP courses that I've taken, I'm somewhat confident that I'll get a 5.

I found Mrs. Gilleran not only an effective instructor but also caring and supportive. She was excellent at responding to emails and answering invididual questions.  I would definitely give Mrs. Gilleran's course and instruction an A+ and would not hesitate to recommend it to any student who is committed to challenging themselves with this advanced work.

There needs to be improvement on the PA Homeschoolers side with regard to the transcript they provide. It does not have any kind of grade interpretation scale, listing only a vague, ambiguous letter grade. Given that students need these transcripts to be interpreted by colleges and scholarship organizations in juxtaposition with those produced by their own homeschools, the PA Homeschoolers transcript comes off as confusing, unprofessional, and meaningless. An A in one school can mean something totally different than an A in another school. The transcript either needs to have a clear grade scale listed on it, or be expressed entirely in numerical percentages (out of a standard 100%) that leave no ambiguity.

PA Homeschoolers could also improve in the area of communications. In communications regarding transcript needs, I found Mr. Richman to be particularly cranky and unhelpful. He seemed put out by my request to use a percentage grade instead of an unscaled letter grade. Even though Mrs. Gilleran had submitted a percentage grade to him per his instructions to me, he then apparently changed his mind and began personally attacking my motive for this request. Working with him was an experience I would not care to repeat.


Take this class! Seriously. posted by Calvin Gross on May 11 2011 at 15:30:36

First off, I HIGHLY recommend this class. Mrs. Gilleran is a fantastic teacher, and she knows how to make the material interesting. I felt very well prepared for the AP Exam: We’d done so much exam preparation that it seemed easy. Of the 55 or so multiple-choice questions, I only had to guess on one. For the last 4 weeks or so of class, we only did exam preparation: Each day, we did either a multiple-choice section or a set of free-response questions, and by the time the exam rolled around, it seemed routine.

 During the year, I generally spent 1-3 or so hours per day on my work. This came out to about 10 or so hours per week. My time spent each day varied, but the schedule was relatively predictable. A normal day’s work usually consisted of reading and taking notes on a section of the textbook and performing problem sets. Mrs. Gilleran posted comments each morning, which essentially were our morning lectures. In them, she would explain the day’s material, go over a few problems, and add in a couple of jokes about infinity and sums. Each day’s comments always ended with a comic poking fun at math in general, and they always made smile. Of all the assignments, I particularly enjoyed having to write story problems. It definitely made me appreciate how hard writing a textbook must be! I took Calculus AB with Mrs. Gilleran last year (which was superb too), and I really enjoyed learning new material this year. I probably won’t be a math major in college, but I’ll certainly take more math courses; Mrs. Gilleran has helped revive my interest in it.

 There wasn’t a great deal of required interaction between students except for responding to each other’s story problems, which were quite entertaining. There was, however, a good amount of interaction with Mrs. Gilleran. She was always available for questions, and I asked a lot of them. Her responses were, without fail, prompt and easy to understand. She is the best math teacher I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some good ones. Even though this is an online class, she still finds effective ways to communicate.. Last year, I took Calculus AB, and I recommend taking it before BC. The first semester of BC covers the material from AB, and this made my fall semester much easier: I was able to spend less time studying and more time on my college applications and other classes. Overall, I definitely recommend this class to any student who’s willing to work hard. I know I’ll miss waking up every day to Mrs. Gilleran’s humor and encouragement.  


AP Calculus BC posted by Brad Strylowski on May 06 2011 at 20:46:43


Class Review posted by Nicholas Ward on May 06 2011 at 16:14:53

I enjoyed taking AP Calculus from Pennsylvania Homeschoolers. The pace was good, and the assignments helpful. When the time came to take the exam, I felt confident and prepared. I also felt I had a good understanding of the concepts behind Calculus.


AP Calculus AB posted by Evelina Sweitzer on May 05 2011 at 20:36:44

This year I took AP Calc AB with Mrs. Gilleran, and I'd recommend the course! I took my exam yesterday and felt  well-prepared for it. I put in about two hours of work per day, or 11 a week. We took tons of actual practice exams, which made me very comfortable taking the actual test  (as opposed to the class that prepares for the material only, not the format). The class didn't inter-communicate very much, but I was fine with that, because I had several other classes to keep up with. Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments and lectures were very thorough, and her explanations and examples helped me understand the material. I had never had a class where the grade was based mainly on test scores, without factoring in the daily homework. It was a stretch at first, because I don't test as well as I would like, but I got through, and I think I did well on the exam!  I would recommend the class to someone interested in learning the ins and outs of Calc AB, who is willing to stay on top of the work every day (I got behind a bit mid-winter, but Mrs. Gilleran was very gracious), and who can hold themselves accountable to do the homework even though it's not graded. I'm glad I took this course! I think it prepared me for not only the exam, but also for college courses in the future. Thanks, Mrs. Gilleran!


Excellent Teacher, Challenging Course posted by Gwendolyn Cardiff on May 05 2011 at 16:36:52

Mrs. Gilleran is enthusiastic and really cares about her students. Mrs. Gilleran is organized, and was willing to go above and beyond for me. I sometimes had schedule conflicts and she was flexible in letting me get the work done around other commitments. Her daily Comments were encouraging and ended with an amusing, nerdy math comic. I would definitely recommend her, because she is an excellent teacher.

AP Calc is not for the faint of heart. AP Calc AB with Mrs. Gilleran is the hardest class I have ever taken, but it taught me what I need to know for the AP exam and for what lies beyond. The first semester I spent 2-4 hours a day on it. The second semester was easier, but we took many practice tests that are key in getting a good score. The AP test does not just test Calculus, it looks for an understanding of the concepts. Mrs. Gilleran can help you reach that deeper understanding.


Calculus BC posted by Hannah on May 05 2011 at 11:48:59

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam.  Back in March, when we finished covering all the material, I felt so unprepared.  I probably would have gotten a 2 on the exam if I took it then.  But that's why Mrs. Gilleran let us spend OVER A MONTH just reviewing, taking practice tests, going over hard topics, and preparing for the exam.  I have never felt so prepared for a test in my life.  Though I don't know my score yet, I am confident that Mrs. Gilleran helped me so that I could be as prepared as possible.

 

I averaged 2 and a half hours of time spent doing calculus each day throughout the year.  This would change if there was a test coming up, but usually it took me between 2 and 3 hours.  Towards the end, when I was taking lots of practice tests and reviewing for the final, I spent more like 3-4 hours every day.  This is not an easy class.  It requires a lot of time.  But it's worth it if you want to take the BC Calc exam 'cause Mrs. Gilleran really prepares you for it.

 

I have never LOVED math, though to some extent I have enjoyed doing some problems.  Mrs. Gilleran cultivated that love, and I was actually excited about taking the exam!  I felt that I was prepared and ready, and wanted to solve those impossible problems.

 

I definitely would recommend this class.  You need to be ready to work hard, put a lot of time in, and not give up when you've spent the last hour trying to figure out a problem.  This isn't an easy class, but I definitely feel like I learned a lot and was extremely prepared for the exam. 


AP Calculus AB posted by Andrew Min on May 05 2011 at 02:21:38

I came into this class kicking and screaming. My parents basically made me take the class; I promised them that I would fail. Pre-calculus was tough for me, and calculus was supposed to be even tougher. Plus, I hated math.

Now, looking back, I'm very grateful that my parents made me take it. I won't lie and say that calculus was easy; it wasn't. I won't lie and say that I love calculus now; let's just say that I certainly don't intend to be a math major next fall. On the other hand, Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calc AB calss was challenging, rewarding, and incredibly useful in preparing for the AP exam.

Like I noted before, I did end up needing a lot of help. I ended up using a tutor about six or seven times, mainly during the first semester. I'm not a math person, and Riemann sums just didn't come naturally to me. I spent at least an hour a day on calculus; during the first semester (when we were learning the foundatgional concepts), usually more. But Mrs. Gilleran proved to be a wonderful resource; she always answered any of my questions very simply and easily. Going into the final exam, I was as confident as I could reasonably be - far more so than I would have expected at the beginning of the year.

Mrs. Gilleran is also very flexible. I'm a senior who visted a lot of colleges, I do NCFCA debate, and I went with a touring choir in the spring; between the three, I traveled about nine weeks during the school year. Mrs. Gilleran always worked with me to plan my schedule around college visits to Nashua and debate tournaments in western Pennsylvania. Obviously, she won't let you get behind, but she's very flexible if you're willing to plan ahead.

The one change you might notice from other AP courses is that Calculus, unlike many of the other courses I've taken through PA Homeschoolers, isn't very interactive with the other students. I didn't really get a chance to meet my fellow students or to interact with them. I think this is more of a shortcoming of calculus than of Mrs. Gilleran's class, though; math is much more individualistic than most social science classes (and really, who wants to discuss integrals of f(x) on the interval [0,6]?). It certainly shouldn't deter you from taking this class.

So, if you're considering taking AP Calculus, what should you be prepared to do? You should be prepared to work hard, especially if (like me) you're not a math type. First semester was painful at times, but once you learn the basic material, it gets much easier. If you're willing to put the effort in, the work pays off.

~Andrew Min


Great Class posted by Stefan Zimmerman on May 04 2011 at 20:30:36

This class was very helpful to me when it came to preparing for the AP exam. I learned more in three months than I did in my actual high school class. The teacher was so helpful even though we never actually saw each other. I was able to work at my own pas and still get all the work done. I would strongly recommend this class to anyone looking to get a five on the AP test.


Mrs. Gillerans AP Calculus BC course posted by on May 04 2011 at 18:47:01

This course did a great job of preparing me for the AP exam; whatever my AP exam grade is (hopefully it's a five) is more a product of my time and effort in the course than the course itself. In other words, if you apply yourself throughout, you will be completely prepared for the exam--it will be easy even. As I've found all online (and even not) courses to be, it is what you put into it. Mrs. Gilleran does a great job with telling everyone what to expect, what they need to know, and need to be able to do, and hints and tips. Her daily comments show a fabulous understanding of the topics she teaches, and she always adds an inspirational quote and great comics. When questions arise, she is always available to help, and very good about quickly responding and returning work. The course took about 1-3 hrs/day 5 days per week, without distractions. Needless to say, it is a LOT of work, and not an easy course, but what BC Calc course is (that prepares you well for the exam)?


Calculus BC with Ms. Gilleran posted by Ellen on May 04 2011 at 17:46:43

I didn't actually end up taking the exam because by the time May rolled around, I knew where I was going to college and I knew I Calculus BC credit wouldn't transfer. I would say I probably put in 5-10 hours of class work a week. I came from 11 years of public schooling where I spent all day in school and then spent all evening on homework so my online classes definitely seemed more efficient. The first semester was easier for me because I took Calculus AB last year. The assignments are almost completely textbook questions (it's hard to do anything else when you're taking/teaching an online class). However, Mrs. Gilleran did include videos and other websites when relavant. I absolutely love calculus so I often enjoyed the textbook assignments. I would definitely reccommend this class. In addition, I took AP Music Theory from PA Homeschoolers (I'll call it PAH to save time from here on forward) but I also took AP Psychology and AP English Language from the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Distance Education program (CTY). My PAH classes were VASTLY superior. My PAH teachers communicated with me on a daily or weekly basis and I often felt like I was one of their top priorities. Meanwhile, at CTY I often would go MONTHS without hearing from my teachers, which was incredibly frustrating because the CTY classes cost twice as much as the PAH classes. I would definitely recommend this class because Mrs. Gilleran is really personable and definitely manages to spruce up a sometimes dry subject, and I would reccomend PAH in general because I think it's a top-notch educational organization!


AP Calculus AB with Mrs. Gilleran: an excellent introduction to a complicated subject posted by Thomas Nath on May 04 2011 at 17:37:35

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely.  I just took the exam this morning and despite knowing nothing about integrals, derivatives, curve sketching, and separable equations eight months ago, I feel confident that I learned the material well and did well on the AP exam.  Throughout the course, there are many, many, many practice exams and mini-tests that familiarize you with the exam format, which is very helpful.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I would usually spend about 30-45 minutes a day learning the new material (reading the textbook and Daily Comments, taking notes, watching any related videos Mrs. Gilleran had posted, etc.) and then an additional 45 minutes doing the homework or assignments.  This varied greatly; on test weeks I would spend an additional hour a day (or so) studying, and before the exam I also spent extra time.  It's not overwhelming, but the student does have to be prepared to put time and effort into the work; this is not a course one can just waltz through.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I found that Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments were the most helpful/valuable part of the course--the course doesn't deviate much from reading the textbook and completing the assignments, but the daily comments are always incredibly detailed and interesting to read.   

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Definitely.  I've never been much of a math person before but this course really interested me in calculus and gave me greater perspective on the math classes I've taken in the past.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

There isn't much student-to-student interaction--however, I would recommend to any prospective students that they use the discussion board as much as possible, as it is helpful when students use it.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I would recommend this course to students who have a very firm grip on trigonometry: the unit circle, trig functions, graphs of trig functions, etc., and those who are willing to work hard.  Calculus is a difficult subject, and the first month or so required me putting in extra hours to really grasp the mindset of the material.  It's an incredibly rewarding class with a great teacher and well worth the time you put in. 


Calculus BC posted by Andrew Patterson on May 04 2011 at 16:21:29

I would definitely recommend this class to anyone who is willing to take the time to learn a very useful skill. Math is not my best subject, but Mrs. Gilleran's class prepared me well for the AP Calculus BC test. At the beginning of the year, I went from knowing nothing about derivatives, integrals, and limits, to being able to solve any derivative problem, large differential equations, improper integrals, and many other interesting, useful tools. This class is not for the casual mathemetician, as it is the equivalent of a year's worth of college calculus, but it is very rewarding for those who want to gain a powerful tool that can be used in many fields, from business to science to engineering. While I was taking the class, I studied for slightly less than two hours a day. I would encourage anyone who did well in trigonometry and who is motivated to learn calculus to take this course, because, though it is very hard, the rewards last far beyond the grade you receive on the AP Test. Thank you Mrs. Gilleran!


Mrs. Gilleran's Calc BC: fun and valuable, but not easy! posted by Jonny Woodbury on May 14 2010 at 14:54:33

First of all, I'd like to say that I loved this class, and that it was probably one of my favorite of the year; however, this class is not for everyone. The pace is pretty fast (though not extreme) and it requires a very firm grip on precalculus (I guess that would sort of be Algebra-2-and-Trigonometry-type material) coming into the class. This said, if you are a hard enough worker, you obviously don't need to be perfect in every regard (mathematically) before entering the class--just don't expect it to be easy!

One of my favorite parts of the class is the daily comments posted by Mrs. Gilleran, which are always fun to read and immensely helpful (and they have a comic strip at the end!). The assignments are also daily (with a few exceptions), which turns out to be a very nice situation (and maybe not as regimented as it might sound).

One downside of the course was that there was not much student interaction (partly my fault), but a big part of this was technological, so it may not be like this in future years.

Aside from that, this class was a blast: I felt like I came out of it with a very strong grasp on all of the topics covered, as well as very prepared for the AP test. So, in one sentence, this class is fun and you'll learn a lot, providing that you work hard!


AP Calculus AB (Great Class!) posted by Nathan Huynh on May 10 2010 at 21:48:51

This is a great class! 

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Of course! I felt very confident!

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I put in 2-3 hours a day

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I wouldn't say I had a favorite assignment, but all of them were extremely helpful. Also Mrs. Gilleran has these really awesome comics at the end of her messages every day. These are a blast.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

These really isn't that much communication.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I would definitely recommend this course to other students. Those students must be dedicated and willing to work hard. If they do. they will definitely do well on the exam.


Calc BC revieww posted by Tiffany Yen on May 08 2010 at 23:54:32

1.) Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

-I think course did a lot to prepare me for the exam. Of course it is expected that the student has to put in his or her own effort in reviewing. I think that a not so ideal grade (hopefully I do get a 5) on the actual exam reflects my slacking off and not Mrs. Gilleran's teaching.

2.) How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Around one and a half to two and a half hours per day (sometimes more, and sometimes less although near the end I had to spend more time).

3.) Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

-Something I found very helpful was how we had to create our own problems for other students to solve. Then we had to actually solve the other students' problems. Getting frustrated over how to create a problem that actually works really drills the material into your head...

4.) Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

-I've always been more of a math person, so I can't say that this course has made me more interested in math. But it still amazes me when I see a problem that works. I know this sounds weird, but if you think about it, the universe is governed by all these laws that humans did not start out knowing. Just the fact that someone came up with Calculus (and physics for that matter) that every time, is amazing.

5.) Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

-For the most part, we did not have many discussions (of course math isn't something that starts and keeps discussions going unless one is a total math geek). We had a discussion board and sometimes it was very helpful to read the questions and answers that the other students asked and came up with.

-What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Yes! Take it! If you're going to seek a degree that has a Calculus requirement, then you're going to have to take a calc class anyways. And there's no better person to take it from than Mrs. Gilleran.


AP Calculus BC Course posted by Lynne Pťrez-Blanco on May 07 2010 at 15:37:41

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam. Mrs. Gilleran did a great job keeping us on track with the material, especially considering that it is all online. I think the course really improved my math skills quite a bit. By the end of the year, I started to make more connections; I felt like my vision was getting clearer, I was having an easier time choosing the right path to take in order to solve a problem. I think it came from the thorough practice we got every day, and Mrs Gilleran always had a lot of insight to share with us. She is very optimistic and encouraging, which showed in her daily comments.

Depending on the topic being studied, I spent from 10 to 15 hours a week. Before chapter tests, the midterm and the final I would spend a little extra time studying and reviewing. I still had enough time to focus on my other subjects and activities, and to study for and take the AP French exam.

A few times, Mrs. Gilleran had us make up our own problems. It was harder than you might think to make everything work out, but at the same time it was very instructional. It was like cutting a problem open and getting to see what was inside.

I’d recommend this course to students who want to improve their math abilities and learn calculus. You have to apply yourself on a daily basis but by the end of the year you’ll feel ready to take on the AP exam.


Take this class. No really, take it! posted by Calvin Gross on May 07 2010 at 14:42:54

Well you're probably wondering whether or not to take Mrs. Gilleran's Calculus class. And here's my response: TAKE IT. I was so incredibly well-prepared for the AP Calculus AB Test, and this wasn't just from the end of year review we did for the test. The entire course prepared me, so there was little left to study when it came time for review. In general, I spent between 1 and 2 hours per day on my work, for an average of 5-10 hours per week. Occasionally I spent 30 minutes and a few times I spent 3-4 hours on my work in one day. Atypical day's work consisted of reading Mrs. Gilleran's morning comments, reading and taking notes on a chapter in the textbook, and doing 10-30 problems. Several times, Mrs. Gilleran would have us write our own problems, and we would all solve each other's problems, and these were my favorite assignments. After taking Precalculus, I was somewhat bored with math; I started to find it boring. Then I started this class. Two weeks later it was my favorite subject. The only minus for me in this class is that there was very little interaction between students within the class. So take this class if you want to have fun and are willing to work hard. Do your problem sets, keep up with the work, study for the tests, and you'll be incredibly well prepared for the AP Test. 


Great AP Calculus BC Class posted by Mary Brewbaker on May 07 2010 at 11:57:56

I would highly recommend this course for anyone who is interested in taking AP Calculus BC. Mrs. Gilleran is very clear and goes over every subject on the AP Exam. I was completely prepared to take the AP exam. I spent an average of 10 hours a week on the class, but I had taken AP Calculus AB from Mrs. Gilleran the year before and it would have taken me much longer had I not had the prior math. Mrs. Gilleran gives the student a lot of experience with practice AP Tests, which I think is one of the most valuable aspects of this particular course. She also obviously enjoys teaching and calculus itself, so her Comments are very interesting and motivating to read. I didn't really communicate with other students unless it was assigned. A student who is willing to work hard and has a gift for math should definitely take this course. I would highly recommend this to other students.


Excellent preparation for APs. posted by David Wright on May 06 2010 at 10:42:33

This course was really solid preparation for the AP Calculus test. This means that it is also a large amount of work. I spend between 45 minutes and an hour and a half in tests and homework every day.   I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to take the AP Calculus test.  It will be difficult, but did you think it would be easy?  


Mrs. Gilleran's Exceptional AP Calculus BC Course posted by Philip Bonneville on May 06 2010 at 08:03:43

This excellent course will completely prepare you for the AP exam and probably enhance your interest in mathematics as well.  Mrs. Gilleran genuinely coached the class throughout the year despite the limitations of an online course.  Her daily comments − in which she discussed applicable subject material, reviewed practice problems, included “tidbits” of extra information, and displayed comics − contributed to the academic, yet personal and lively, attributes of the course.

 

During the majority of the year, Mrs. Gilleran assigned reading in a Larson Eighth Edition calculus text.  (I do not know whether she will use the same version next year.)  The information contained within the textbook was, for the most part, very clear and thorough.  Furthermore, when a section was even slightly lacking (or simply difficult), Mrs. Gilleran elaborated on it.  She also assigned approximately ten to twenty relatively simple review problems most days, for which she provided straightforward solutions.

 

For the last six weeks, having mastered the material related to the AP Calculus BC exam, the class studied a book containing several complete practice tests.  Mrs. Gilleran assigned reasonable amounts of work, typically spread one practice test over three or four days.

 

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

 

Definitely!  Mrs. Gilleran thoroughly covered all the topics on the exam.  Further, she assigned a total of six, complete practice tests, in addition to numerous free response questions throughout the year.  I finished the actual exam with complete confidence.  I cannot imagine a course which could prepare students better.

 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

 

I typically spent 7-10 hours a week on this course.  For me, the days varied extensively, with reading days as short as one hour and testing days as long as two and a half hours.  I spent about the same amount of time each day during the review period as during the earlier portions of the year.  I am sure that the time required for this course varies based upon processing speed, experience, and other factors.  Thus, it may take you more or less time to complete assignments and study for tests.

 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

 

I particularly liked the activities Mrs. Gilleran assigned where students developed problems for others to solve.  They allowed the class to study and understand mathematical concepts more deeply in an enjoyable way.  I also enjoyed studying some of the purely Calculus BC topics, such as integration by parts and series.  These areas enhanced my interest – and therefore aptitude – in the calculus.  With the variety of subject areas covered, nearly every student could find something enjoyable.

 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

 

The unique topics – as well as Mrs. Gilleran’s successful methods of introducing them – augmented my mathematical interests.  In fact, this course played a role in my decision to plan on majoring in mathematics.

 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

 

For the most part, there was little interaction between the students this year, largely because mathematics does not typically trigger debates and other self-perpetuating forms of communication.  However, the interactions that did exist (such as the one I mentioned earlier, relating to students developing problems) were valuable.

 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

 

I would recommend this course only to students who have some interest in mathematics and have completed a strong pre-calculus program or to students who have an extensive interest in mathematics and are willing to work hard to fill any gaps in the pre-calculus training.  (I am an example of the latter category: I received a low grade on the summer assignment Mrs. Gilleran assigned − due to my poor pre-calculus curriculum − yet excelled throughout the rest of the course through her excellent instruction and selection of resources coupled with my desire to improve.)  Besides that condition, I would definitely recommend this course to any prospective student.  Mrs. Gilleran’s teaching, explanations, coaching, and humor are exceptional!


AP Calculus AB with Mrs. Gilleran. :] posted by Payton on May 05 2010 at 24:54:32

I have to admit that in the beginning I was slacking and had a C in the class. I would recommend doing at the MINIMUM! 6 hours a week for the first semister. Once you start getting into Second semister(closer to the AP Exam) you need 3 hours a day. I did 4 Mon-Fri, and almost every other Sat. Calculus is a difficult subject, so you do need a good base/knowledge of math before you take the course. Mrs. Gilleran was a great teacher and goes over the material that is on the AP Exam. After we went through the AP Calc book we went to a practice test book that I have really enjoyed. It helps with studying a lot! Mrs. Gilleran really knows what to give you when you are preparing for the Exam. It is not too easy, but not too difficult. You have to be ready to work and be focused when taking this class. I enjoy math and was not looking forward to taking Calc, but now love the subject and all the ways you can view graphs and their limits and everything else so unique about math. :] Hope I helped in answering some questions.


AP Calculus BC posted by Christina Zhang on May 05 2010 at 22:16:14

The course definitely prepared me for the AP exam, because of the review books that we used in class, as well as the practice FRQs that were incorporated into each chapter. 

I spent, on average, about 1 hour a day. Some days would take longer, and some days would take less time. Because I only took this class for the second semester of the year, I can say that it didn't take any longer than it would in a public school. I actually got more out of the time I spent studying calculus online because I could work at my own pace and focus more on the areas that I didn't understand as well. 

I definitely found that communicating with other students was valuable. It allowed everyone to work through difficult problems together and gave the course a bit of a classroom feel. I wasn't afraid to ask questions because I knew that there would be many people willing to help. Additionally, Mrs. Gilleran did a great job of communicating with students through her comments for every day. She made the class feel a lot more personal; I felt less like I was reading a screen and more like she was actually talking to me.

This course was my first online learning/homeschooling experience and I really enjoyed it. I liked the flexibility and I liked working mostly independently with the opportunity to communicate with other students. I'm the type of person who likes working alone, but also likes working with other people. When I took calculus last semester at a public school, I often had review sessions with friends. However, this course was easy to adjust to, and I still was able to review with friends via Skype.

Mrs. Gilleran did a wonderful job, and I think that everyone who takes this course will enjoy it.  


Course not for the faint at heart posted by on May 05 2010 at 19:58:21

AP Calculus is a very challenging course and I would recommend it to students who are prepared to work hard all year.  Most importantly you MUST have a very strong math background to take this course.  Make sure you have a strong understanding of key concepts taught in your previous courses.  I am fairly slow at math but regardless you need to be prepared to spend about 2 hours a day on this course...depending on how fast you are. 

Mrs. Gilleran was very good at responding to questions via email and her comments really helped me understand the material because to me the textbook didn't do a very good job a lot of the time.  Online math courses are tough, I think it is a challenge to have it taught this way but the course did a good job in spite of that issue. 


Great Class posted by Will Duncan on May 05 2010 at 17:05:10

I really enjoyed this class. Calculus is hard, there's no way around it, but this class has made it a lot easier and even fun. Mrs. Gilleran is great.


Best Calculus BC Course You Will Ever Take!!!!!!! posted by Nathaniel Pawelczyk on May 05 2010 at 15:35:49

It prepared me totally!  There were no subjects Mrs. Gilleran skipped at all--we went into each subject in-depth.
About 2 hours per day on average.
Definitley the Lederman BC Exam review book.  Those were extremely helpful in preparing me for the exam.  I knew exactly how to pace myself and what to expect.
The problems that we made up in the beginning of the year were actually pretty fun.
Definitely.  This course has opened up a whole new interesting world of mathematics to me.
Yes, I became friends with a few students and other students were always available to post their responses to any of your questions.
I would 1000000% recommend this course!!! You learn a ton about calculus and this course, I think, will greatly prepare you for college.  Of course, you have to work hard, but, when you finish the AP Exam, it is completely worth it!


AP Calculus BC posted by Elizabeth Ten-Hove on May 05 2010 at 15:33:28

I've had a wonderful year taking calculus with Mrs. Gilleran. I felt very well-prepared for the exam, with plenty of practice and individual feedback. Mrs. Gilleran was always ready to answer questions, provide pointers, and go through problems in her daily comments. The year-end review was probably the most rigorous I've had for an AP course.

I spent one to two hours a day on the material, with a few long days and a few very short ones. My favorite assignments for the year were at those two extremes. I spent almost half a day designing an optimization word problem. On Friday of last week, the Friday before the exam, our assignment for the day was to visualize success.

This course definitely enhanced my interest in the subject. I'm not naturally math or science oriented (I'm planning on majoring in classics next year), but Mrs. Gilleran's clear explanations, helpful comments, and sense of humor made calculus a pleasure.

I believe any student willing to put in a good effort would do well and enjoy this course. I would encourage both those who love math and those who aren't so sure to try it--all will emerge with a greater appreciation for the subject.


A challenging course with a great instructor posted by Daniel Wingert on May 05 2010 at 14:28:33

--I definitely felt prepared for the AP exam.  Mrs. Gilleran is a fantastic teacher, and she does do a great job of covering all the subjects that are tested.  In addition to the regular course work, Mrs. Gilleran did a great job of assisting and directing the year-end review process, which is a very important part of the preparation.

--I generally spent between 7 and 12 hours per week on this course.  The workload can vary from day to day.  Some days I may have spent three hours on class assignments, but the next day, only 40 minutes.  Mrs. Gilleran does a great job of balancing the tougher days with lighter ones so that you don't get too burnt out.

--Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments, where she breaks down the most important concepts, are always very helpful, positive, and inspiring.  In terms of real graded assignments, I feel like the many, many practice FRQs were helpful because they helped me figure out exactly what kind of questions would be on the test and how quickly I needed to work to succeed.

--This course does not require very much communication with other students.  While there is a forum for discussing assignments and asking questions for your classmates to answer, there is not a lot of required communication, which I found to be a time saver, as I wasn't being distracted by a chat forum.  If you are the kind of person that needs classmate interaction in all of your classes, though, this class may not satisfy your social urges like some other PA Homeschoolers classes do.

--Obviously, to do well in this class, a student needs to be hard-working and self-motivated.  Because of the challenging nature of the subject matter, I would only recommend the BC class to someone who is "math-oriented."  Other than those prerequisites, I would recommend this Calc BC class to anyone who is interested!  Mrs. Gilleran is a wonderful instructor who is great at encouraging her students.  She is obviously concerned with helping her students' math skills develop, but she is also interested in helping her students develop personal character.


AP Calculus BC with mrs. Gilleran posted by Noemi Hormann on May 05 2010 at 14:25:43

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, it certainly did. The class itself is completely geared toward the AP exam with frequent practice for both major parts of the exam. We covered a lot of material, but Mrs. Gilleran gave us a lot of material and explanations to help us through the entire process.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I generally put in an average of 1 - 2 hours a day, but I regret not spending longer on my homework

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Out of all the different types of assignments, the most valuable/helpful ones for me both as a student, and on the AP exam were the practice free response questions.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Unfortunately, not really. I feel neither particularly negative or positive about the subject. This course did, however, give me a greater appreciation for the subject (different from interest) and an understanding of why someone else might love it.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Again, I regret not doing more of that. There were opportunities to communicate with other students, but I did not avail myself of them as I ought. I would suspect, though, that if I had paid more attention, they would have been very helpful.

I would certainly recommend this course. Mrs. Gilleran has found an effective and thorough way to teach math through the internet.


Review Of Mrs. Gillerans AP Calc Class posted by Andrew Johnson on May 05 2010 at 13:03:41

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

   Yes, I felt very well prepared

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

    About 10-15hrs

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

  I enjoyed reading the daily comments.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

  Yes, I see that calulus can be applied to so many real world problems . 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

   There was not that much communication with other students

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

  People with  good fundamental math skills will do well in this class, and I would recomend it to other students.

 

I have to say I really enjoyed this class, and would recomend it to other homeschoolers. It challenged me and opened up a wealth of new knowldge. While you never meet the teacher she manages to come through the computer with her daily comment section which was inciteful and provided a laugh everyday. Mad Props to Mrs. G.

 


Susan Gilleran Calc BC Review posted by Nathan Chai on May 05 2010 at 12:58:51

- This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam. There's definitely a lot of work you are going to be doing though, but it will prepare you for the test that much more. Usually, I put in around 1 to 2 hours per day into the course. That changes a bit depending on how hard or easy the material is at the time, though.

- I think that this course is great because you get to see some really practical applications of mathematics. With a lot of the things that you learn, it's easy to see how they apply to the real world (Except maybe infinite series :p).

- Mrs. Gilleran's daily morning messages are great! She really takes the time to communicate with the students, and her comments are always very thorough.

- Obviously, a hard-working student would do best in this course, but I think that's the case for just about any class you take. This is my personal opinion, but I would say it's easier than say AP Chem, but harder than say the Government classes. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is looking to take AP Calc BC. If you put in the time and effort, you will most definitely be prepared for the test.


Good Class posted by Zachary Miller on May 05 2010 at 12:58:39

The course prepared me very well for the AP exam. Although I haven't received my grade yet, I am confident that I did well. I put in about 5 hrs/week for this class in a normal week. I can't think of any assignments that really stand out or helped me more than others. Prior to the class I was already interested in math and this class did increase my interest in it even more. I would highly recomend this class.


An Excellent Class! posted by Elliot Taylor on May 27 2009 at 19:08:13

Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran is an excellent class. Prior to the class I had not taken Calculus AB and only had an introduction to Calculus. Despite that, I could still keep up with the work and do well in the course. The class won't be easy but it can definitely be taken as a first Calculus class. Just be prepared to spend plenty of time studying. Often in her daily comments Mrs. Gilleran will provide notes on the days lesson. These are extremely useful in helping me understand because the textbook is not always as student friendly as Mrs. Gilleran's notes are. Occasionally, Mrs. Gilleran also included videos of the subject to make understanding easier. Last, Mrs. Gilleran was always there to answer questions that I had. There was never a question I didn't get an answer back for. Even for small things like confirmations of a fact, I would get a response back from my teacher. I highly recommend this class. Whether it be your first Calculus class or not, it is very much worth the time and effort.


Class of the year posted by Mike Muir on May 18 2009 at 17:46:35

Susan Gilleran's calculus class was not only one of the best classes I had all year, but it was also one of my most favorite classes as well. Now I've always loved math, but this class was fun even for the students who didn't like math. Not to say it was easy, on the contrary, it was one of the hardest classes I had all year. Mrs. G pushed us hard, and for that I am very grateful. Being a good teacher is teaching with love and care as well as with a firm hand that aims for perfection, which are exactly the traits of Mrs G. I looked forward to her comments every morning and having a simple "Good morning Class" or a "Have a fabulous day" really made a difference in my mornings. Mrs G's constant positive attitude and firmness in teaching made my learning experience enjoyable and very productive.


posted by Mary Brewbaker on May 18 2009 at 15:11:18

I was really well prepared for the AP Calculus AB Exam by the end of the class. Mrs. Gilleran is an awesome teacher, but doing anything through the internet is more difficult than in person.


Great AP Calc course! posted by Samantha Bilko on May 16 2009 at 24:57:18

Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus course was both fun and interesting. I was learning math and enjoying it at the same time, something I never thought possible. =)

Generally, I put in 12 hours of work a week into this class, but it was well worth it. All the practice tests and problems really prepared me for the exam in May. Originally I thought this would be the hardest exam, but it turns out I am actually the most confident about this one! If you are willing to work hard and do all the assignments, Mrs. Gilleran's course is definitely for you.


Worth It! posted by Jack Stein on May 16 2009 at 20:01:45

The course I took with PA Homeschoolers was AP Calculus BC. It was very well put together and the course taught me what I needed to know. However, what set this course apart from others was the amazing teacher I had. Although the course was online, I felt that I got to know her through her comments and emails; she was an understanding and extremely helpful teacher. Had I taken Calc AB with her, I would have definitely chosen her for BC as well. I definitely recommend her for students looking for a tough, but interesting course.

The course was challenging; I put approximately 1-2 hours a day into the course, so I would learn the material well. The course is quite rigorous, but it prepared me well for the AP exam.


posted by Noemi Hormann on May 16 2009 at 17:45:35

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I did one to two hours of work a day - much of this class is simply practice, practice, practice, as it should be. This practice, however, takes time.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

We did a great deal of practice free response problems. Free response problems are (for me, at least) much harder than multiple choice problems. Since we got so much practice, I learned how to think about the problems in the proper way. The most helpful part, however, is that afterwards Mrs. G would explain step by step what we had to do, and we also saw the answer sheets that told us how to grade our problems.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, certainly. I have always understood that there is a lot you can do with math, but this course showed me many more things than I knew existed in terms of practical applications of mathematics.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

The interactions that I did have with them were valuable, but we could have done a better job in that aspect. If we had questions, we could post them for the other students to help us with. The responses were quite helpful, but we rarely posted questions to discuss - we preferred emailing directly with the teacher.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

One who is self-disciplined. This course requires a student to do a great bulk of problems. It is possible to do a sloppy job on the math, but then a student would not be getting the most out of the course that they can.


AP Calculus BC posted by Ethan Green on May 15 2009 at 24:00:31

This year I took AP Calculus with Mrs. Gilleran. It was a tough year for me. I was remarkably busy, I had to learn it long distance (online obviously), and it is probably the toughest class I've ever taken. Despite this fact, and the many hardships and downfalls I had (and rebounded from) throughout the year, I did enjoy the class. I felt that the course work prepared me well for the AP exam and this is because Mrs. Gilleran gave us enough work per week to be proficient with calculus. I spent around 1 to 2 hours a day, and probably 10 or more hours a week (especially when we had tests or quizzes and such). There aren't any assignments that stick out to me, I guess besides the chapters I did comparatively well on ;)

Yes and no. I certainly was given a better insight of what calculus is and gained a better mastery of it, but I don't know if I'm more interested in it. I'd actually say less... I realize this isn't what I should be pursuing in the long run in college or as my career. However, this is in no way a reflection on PA Homeschoolers or Mrs. Gilleran. She has been wonderfully flexible and endlessly helpful! It's just a subject I am not exceptionally gifted in and shouldn't pursue above other things.

It was fun to chat a little on the forum and know that there were other kids in my class going through the same tough work I was =)

It would take a student who had a fairly successful history in math and was willing to be diligent and studious. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to just any student, but I certainly know people who would excel in this class and enjoy learning more about calculus.

All in all, a tough, long, and difficult year, but challenging in the best way, and ultimately rewarding and enjoyable.

-Ethan Green


An Awesome Class! posted by Hannah Pawelczyk on May 15 2009 at 23:33:13

Hi Prospective AP Calc BC student,

I feel that this course definitely prepared me very well for the AP exam. We finished with the textbook about a month before the exam, and during the last month of class we practiced for the AP Exam a lot and took a previous year's AP Calc BC exam as our final. I would say that I spent about 10 or more hours a week on this class. AP Calculus BC is definitely a challenging class, but if you put enough effort into the class and do all the homework, you will find that it is also a very rewarding class. Mrs. Gilleran is a great teacher. Her daily comments and explanations of the topics were always very amusing and helpful. I loved this class. I would definitely recommend this course to other students who are ready for a challenge.


AP Calc BC in 2008-9 posted by Ellie on May 15 2009 at 18:45:05

This is a challenging class, but if you work hard and do all the assigned problems, you should do well.

Typical daily assignments included reading the textbook (with notes) and doing the indicated problems. Every chapter was followed by a test, which we scanned in, and after every few chapters, there was a cumulative quiz on WebAssign. We also had to read from our calculator instruction guides and do practice FRQs. Towards the end of the year, we started doing more full practice tests. These practice tests gave a very authentic sense of the types of problems that would appear on the real test.

I would definitely recommend this class to anyone planning to take the AP exam, or to anyone with an interest in math.


posted by Jesse Baggenstos on May 15 2009 at 14:34:30

After completing a year of AP Calculus with Susan Gilleran, I felt confidant and well prepared to tackle the challenging AP Calculus Exam in May. Mrs. Gilleran's instruction was thorough yet never redundant. She was upbeat and encouraging from day one up through test day, and always was ready with a thoughtful answer to my many questions. Mrs. Gilleran enhanced my interest in Calculus with here careful explanations and engaging style. I generally spent 9 hours per week studying and completing assignments, but rarely felt swamped with work, especially in the second half of the year when one would expect to be burnt out. I would especially recommend this class to students not particularly excited to study calculus. Mrs. Gilleran has a passion for mathematics that is contagious.


To those thinking of taking AP Calculus AB... posted by Elizabeth Deatrick on May 15 2009 at 12:24:12

First, a confession: over the years, I have consistently struggled with math. Pre-calc was hard for me, and I had some serious doubts going into Calculus. However, once I got going on Mrs. Gilleranís AP Calculus AB, I started having more fun with math than I ever had before in my entire life. And it is fun, learning all these neat things you can do with numbers that you didnít know you could do. By the end of the course, youíll have no problem making up word problems about the areas of enclosed alien colonies, finding the volumes of weird shapes, calculating velocities from accelerations, and integrating and deriving.

A warning to future students: This course truly is what you make of it. If you faithfully keep good notes and do every last one of the problem sets and practice tests, and if you e-mail Mrs. Gilleran your questions instead of stewing in frustration, and if you also post your problems on the forums for other students to review, then you will feel pretty well prepared for the exam. I spent about 1-2.5 hours a day on Calculus coursework (less at the beginning, more at the end), which meant usually 8-13 hours of work a week. That might seem like a lot, but if you can get your work on a regular schedule (i.e. always do your Calc. work first thing in the morning) itís really not bad at all. I highly recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in pushing themselves to master the next level of mathematics. Itís hard work, particularly if math hasnít traditionally been your strong suit *cough cough,* but I have found it well worth the effort. Regardless of how I score on the AP exam, I feel that Mrs. Gilleran has given me a truly excellent start, should I decide to take a Calculus course in college.

Elizabeth Deatrick


One of the Best Classes I have Ever Taken! posted by Amanda Bilko on May 21 2008 at 17:34:32

My Fellow Students,

Either youíve just made Ė or about to make Ė a momentous decision: to take PA Homsechoolers AP Calculus AB (henceforth to be known simply as Calc) or not. So, I assume now you want to know what youíre up against (otherwise, you wouldnít be here, would you? )

Now for the first (and most pressing) question: Is it a ton of work?! Now, while the workload wonít turn you into one of the living-dead, itís definitely enough to keep you on your toes. I always had enough work to keep me busy, but it was rarely overwhelming (just on some random days right before exams and one or two days when the load was REALLY HEAVY). But after a heavy load of homework, Mrs. Gilleran always made sure to give us a much lighter load the next day; so everything always worked out in the end. In general, I probably put in around 8-10 hours a week. My only recommendation is that you canít fall behind in class. While probably not the most fast-paced course around, itís still fast enough where if you fall behind itís VERY hard to catch back up. So, the most important thing to say about the workload is that it is reasonable. You know that by definition any AP course is going to be more work, but it isnít absurdly so.

I really donít think that any course could prepare you better for the AP Calculus exam. Everything is designed with that one goal in mind; by the end of class youíve done so many FRQs that the FRQs on the exam actually seem easy! (That was my experience, at any rate). We also spent a decent amount of time doing problems without a calculator, and also doing problems specifically designed to help you learn how to use your Ti-89. By the time the exam comes rolling along, youíll have become a wiz at calculator shortcuts and at completing all necessary functions by hand quickly Ė both invaluable skills for the AP exam. In truth, everything that Mrs. Gilleran had us do was essential in order to learn how to take the AP Calculus exam well: we learned what to say and what not to say on the FRQs, how to use calculators efficiently, how to survive when we werenít aloud to use a calculator.

Of course, one of the reasons this course is so great is because Mrs. Gilleran is always brimming with passion and positive energy, so you canít help but enjoy yourself and get energized too! Her comments are usually sprinkled with a funny joke, and there is always a wonderful comic to read at the end (yep, I really loved those comics!) and she always managed to make the math fun. So, I would recommend this course to almost anyone: even if you hate math I think that by the end youíll have at least developed an appreciation for the subject. In fact, I donít think that anyone could ever regret taking this class. It is, without a doubt, one of the best classes Iíve ever taken.


Raves for Mrs. Gilleran posted by Natalie on May 21 2008 at 12:57:33

Mrs. Gilleran is a teacher who gives personal attention and encouragement to her students. She carefully answers any questions and responds to posts. Mrs. Gilleran prepared me well for the AP exam. Her comics and calculus jokes livened up her daily posts. I highly recommend Mrs. Gilleran's class. Now that the AP is over, I think I just might miss Calculus a little bit! :)


Awesome Way to Learn Calculus posted by Jessie Koehn on May 20 2008 at 12:18:04

I came into this class a little worried because it was my first AP class and an AP test sounded really scary. However, when I sat down and actually took it in May, I found that Mrs. Gilleran had prepared me excellently. I'm not sure yet what my grade is but I think I did well.

Mrs. Gilleran is an exceptional teacher. She explains concepts so that they are easy to understand and is always open to questions, promptly responding to emails. While challenging students to do their best, she is also very encouraging. Mrs. Gilleran made Calculus interesting and fun. She was actually my favorite teacher this year. :)

However, like any worthwhile class, this class requires hard work and dedication. It is not impossible, just challenging. If you are willing to work hard, I would definitely reccommend this class.


AP Calc With Mrs. Gilleran... posted by Nathan Albright on May 19 2008 at 16:47:57

Mrs. Gilleranís AP Calc course will be difficult but rewarding. During the year, I noticed that our class started working on and getting comfortable with AP practice tests long before friends of mine who had taken AP Calc in public schools. Unlike some other online courses Iíve taken, Mrs. Gilleran made sure to give daily updates and in-depth discussions of the subjects being studied. It is also apparent that Mrs. Gilleran does not simply save the exact comments from the year before and reuse them. Instead, she will give personal insight into the material and post any answers to questions she might have received. She works very hard to make sure her students have everything they need to succeed. Her passion for the subject is apparent from the first week of class.

Before signing up for the class though you should be aware that the course requires a lot of time and work. Math doesnít always come naturally to me, especially with some of the more abstract concepts covered in this course, so sometimes I had a difficult time comprehending and keeping up with the work. However, Mrs. Gilleran was extremely patient and understanding when it came to deadlines as well as helpful when it came to catching up.

I would not recommend this course to someone who is simply looking for a score high enough to exempt them from taking more math courses in college. I would recommend this course to someone who wants to do their personal best on the AP Test. Basically, this course is not for someone who is looking to get done with their last required math course, but it is for someone who is looking to form a strong foundation for further mathematical studies.


AP Calc with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Carla Atwi on May 19 2008 at 15:51:54

Dear Prospective Students,

Mrs. Gilleran's class is an excellent online AP Calculus prep course! I especially enjoyed the fact that Mrs. Gilleran took the time to write up often several pages of comments every morning, explaining concepts and problems in DETAIL and ending with a famous quote and a math comic. Take this course at the risk of being infected with a love of higher mathematics. :-) I highly recommend this course!

Carla Atwi


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