Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

One of the best things about this class was Mrs. Gonzalez’s timely feedback. She always graded assignments quickly, and had great comments. I definitely felt prepared for the AP exam, particularly because of the couple weeks of solid review beforehand.

AP Class Reviews

AP Calculus BC taught by Susan Gilleran

by Students and Parents

Highly Recommend posted by Benjamin Furness on May 29 2019 at 14:28:09

 

I definitely felt well-prepared for the exam by the day of the exam. Mrs. Gilleran did an amazing job of slowly giving us practice tests and tips throughout the year so that by the time the test came around I felt like I had already taken the exam 10 times before. The resources that she constantly gave us to help us with our understanding of concepts on the test or just how to approach the exam really helped me feel absolutely confident about the AP exam. Overall, yes the course definitely prepared me for the exam.

I spent around 1-3 hours per day on calculus (excluding the few days before when I studied basically all day). On average I spent probably around 10-12 hours per week on calculus.

I really appreciated the practice FRQs and practice MCs that Mrs. Gilleran gave us because I felt like they represented real tests and material that could actually appear on the exam. So I really treasured these assignments and made sure to study them a lot.

Definitely. I always have always enjoyed math, and calculus introduced a whole new world of math that I had never seen before which excited me thouroughly. 

My communications with other students were not as valuable as I might have hoped because we didn't really get to know each other over the discussion board. I guess a more active discusstion board would have been nice, so I could have interacted more with classmates and used it more for questions or confusing topics.

If you are willing to push through some failure and some confusion and keep up the perseverance throughout the year, calculus can actually turn out to be an exciting course. With diligent studying you can learn tons about calculus and learn to love the subject as I did!


Solid calc class posted by Stephanie Yates on May 16 2019 at 19:26:28

Yes! There were a few curveballs but those were more about applying the knowledge differently than they were about knowing the material in general. Throughout the year Mrs. Gilleran gave us TONS of resources and a little over a month for review so the amount you get out of it is the amount you put in. 

Around 2-3 per day, and even more when we started doing full practice tests. Mrs. Gilleran has a day by day calendar with assignments that you really want to stay on top of if you want to understand the material (it can build up fast). 

I found her daily comments helpful when she went over tough problems in the homework or tests, breaking it down helped me understand the thought process better.

Yes! Sometimes the textbook exercises would incorporate real life applications, and Mrs. Gilleran would often post of real world use of calculus in her comments. It's surprising how many areas it can be applied in, even ones you don't expect!

Sometimes. This class is mostly self study with provided resources, but there is a discussion board available where you can ask specific questions. Most of the time the TAs would respond within a few days, but sometimes there would be unanswered questions. Some people emailed Mrs. Gilleran directly for a more in depth answer; she won't respond to you directly but she might go over the problem in the upcoming comments. Form a study group if you can. A few other people and I had a video call going over some of the tricky problems at the end of the year and it was much more helpful than going over the answer key alone.

Take this class if you're willing to put in the work everyday to understand the material and are motivated to learn. It's a great experience and if you don't mind studying on your own, I would definitely recommend it.


Great Class posted by David Roth on May 15 2019 at 15:45:34

This year I took AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran and it was great! Typically I put in about between 1-2 hours per day (but it could be more or less depending on the day) and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought coming into the class. Although we primarily were expected to read out of the online textbook and take our own notes, if I was ever uncertain on anything Mrs. Gilleran would respond and explain the topic in depth in the next day's notes. Going off of that, Mrs. Gilleran sends out daily notes that are on her website which outline the material we are learning that day, the homework that we are expected to do along with any other stuff we need to know, and she ends the notes with a daily tidbit about some random math concept that's always pretty interesting. To me, the best thing about the class was the preparation time that we had for the AP test. We finished learning the actual content in late March, which let us have nearly two months to prepare for the test, which was way way more time than I've had in any other AP class. We got to take between probably 5-8 practice AP tests, so on test day, it just felt like any other practice test and I felt completely prepared. All in all, if you're willing to put in the work, I'd recommend this class to nearly anyone, because with Mrs. Gilleran's help, anyone can succeed in it. 


Great Course for People Willing to Work posted by Esther Whitney on May 14 2019 at 20:51:15

I found that this course did an excellent job preparing me for the AP exam and (more importantly) teaching me calculus. There were always more resources I could turn to if I didn't understand something, and the pacing of the class was very consistent. I would recommend this class to anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort necessary to learn calculus well. 


Communication is not a strong suit posted by on May 14 2019 at 15:30:45

This year was a tough class. Calculus isn't easy, but it was not made any easier by the teacher. There were often unanswered questions and if there were answers, they were often unsatisfactory. 

The TA's were great and I probably would have failed had it not been for them. They answered most of the questions in the class. They honestly made better teachers than the actual teacher.

I did not feel very ready for the exam as most of the homework was not close to what the actual exam was. The Webassign homework was fairly simple versions of types of questions, but even when we did actual practice exams, they were very difficult to do because we were just thrown in with little explanation of some concepts that we only scratched the surface of on Webassign.

Unless you can have somebody explain the concepts to you/can teach calculus to yourself, I would suggest looking elsewhere.


Mrs Gilleran's AP Calculus BC Class posted by Joshua T. on May 14 2019 at 04:51:31

Overall, I found this class very challenging and rigourous. Thankfully, the online homework which allowed you to work on other problems that were similar and had videos explaining the concepts were very helpful. I also found the Google Group that was set up to be helpful while I was reviewing. 


Ms. Gilleran's course is for the serious student who wants a 5 on AP Calculus BC posted by Diya Krishnan on July 14 2018 at 18:08:03

 

Yes, the course made me feel very confident and prepared for the AP Calculus BC exam. It was very comprehensive, and the numerous practice problems and tests helped me sharpen my skills. Although this course is considered one of the hardest APs, working on the problems on a daily schedule, and not falling behind on deadlines goes a long way towards being successful. The FRQ questions were the most challenging for me. Ms. Gilleran included FRQ questions from the very beginning of the course, so that by the end of the course I got very comfortable with them.

 

On average I spent 15 hours per week on this course.

 

Ms. Gilleran’s packets of collected College Board questions pertaining to individual topics were especially helpful. I think working these packets is crucial, and can make all the difference. I also liked her daily notes webpage, which addressed problems faced by many students and provided clear explanations. I even liked the cartoon at the end of each document.

 

I have always been interested in Math.  This course not only increased my interest, it also gave many examples that showed how Calculus  can be applied to many other areas such as Physics.

 

Being able to interact with other students who had similar interests was energizing. Among the first things I did every morning was to check messages from other students in the course. I tried to participate as much as I could by offering my answers and asking questions of my own.

 

This course is intended for students who want to score a 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam!  So, the amount of work required is substantial. But the end result is very satisfying. I strongly recommend this course for the serious homeschooling student.

 


An excellent teacher and an excellent class posted by Ishaan Singh on May 22 2018 at 24:39:39

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

Yes, definitely. Mrs Gilleran had us do five practice tests and many, many FRQ's through the year so that when the exam came, I felt like it was just another practice test.

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

About 12-18 hours of work per week. 

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

Yes, the MCQ and FRQ packets and the five practice exams. I also enjoyed watching the videos Mrs Gilleran posted. To illustrate how watchful Mrs Gilleran is, one time I was having trouble with related rates. I asked Mrs Gilleran about what would help me with related rates, and she put up 1.5 hours worth of related rates videos. After watching the videos, I clearly understood relted rates and didn't have any further trouble, at all.

Something else that I really enjoyed was Mrs Gilleran's comments, which was definitely not an assignment. It made me feel like Mrs Gilleran was right there in our house.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, defintiely! I absolutely loved the class, and it has made me seroiusly consider an engineering major. I have loved taking derivatives and integrating (with respect to x!), and the course has allowed me to develop a deep understanding and love for Calculus. 

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

Yes. The communication on Google Groups was extremely valuable. Many times in Calculus, your understanding on a problem is different from someone else's. While both are right, theirs may be faster or may work on another problem that yours may not work on. You should look at the discussion board daily, at least. Answering other students makes you investigate the way you worked the problem more deeply, and it helps on FRQ's.

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!)? 

A student who knows their algebra and precalculus well will do well in this class. If you don't know your algebra well you will flounder all year in this class. It is rightly said that in caluclus, the calculus is not hard. It is the Algebra that throws many students. I would highly reccomned this class to students who are willing to work hard and who are good at their algebra. 

 


Excellent! posted by John Feliz on May 21 2018 at 14:22:03

This class was excellent! It provided plenty of material for review. There was lots of chatter and discussion about assignements, plus there is always help available. This is the type of class for those who like to work everyday for a specific amount of time. The class is very structured and efficient. I would definetly recommend this class.


Great Class posted by Isaac Hanna on May 18 2018 at 13:31:07

I would recommend Mrs. G's AP Calculus BC Course to any homeschooled student who is good with mathematics, is willing to work hard, and wants to get a 5 on the AP exam. I typically spent about an hour or two a day on the class, and felt very confident with the material heading into the exam. I would be very surprised if I did not get a 5. Between the daily comments, the textbook, the exercises, and the practice tests, Mrs. G made sure that we had the resources that we needed to excel in the course. I enjoyed the course, and have found Calculus to be an enjoyable subject. 


Susan Gilleran's AP Calculus BC Class posted by Michael Squire on May 17 2018 at 15:44:44

Of all the teachers I've had through the years, Mrs. Gilleran was definately one of the best, and is likely among the best teachers in PA Homeschoolers. Her dedication to the subject and to her students is remarkable, espacially for being an online teacher. She writes comments on the material being learned every  single school day. Although it sometimes takes a while for Mrs. Gilleran to respond to e-mails and questions, the several helpful TAs are quick to respond to questions on the online forum. Post a question on this site and one is likely to get a response within twenty minutes. Finally, Mrs. Gilleran is an extremly encouraging individual. She always takes the time to littlen the mood on a particularly difficult lesson and knows the right things to say when preping us before a test. Choosing Mrs. Gilleran to be my teacher was a real no-brainer. 

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

When taking a daughting course like calculus, some students can become easily unerved (like many friends I know in public school), but not so when Mrs. Gilleran is your teacher. She prepared us with a abundant work load since the beginning of the course. We also took several practice tests throughout the year. As long as one does all the assignments and takes time to view some of the extra study aids (like videos, reading material, and practice problems) you will definately feel confident on the day of the exam (I know I did).

What sort of student would do well in this course?

Considering the amount of resouces and care provided in this course, I could definately see any student strong in math or determined in general doing well in this course. In keeping the right pace you will surely succeed.


AP Calculus BC with Susan Gilleran posted by Jocelyn Hartley on May 16 2018 at 17:06:28

Did this course prepare your for the AP Exam?

Definitely. From the year end review I learned the types of problems, both MCQ and FRQ, that I would be asked on the exam. However, the questions require a different application of theory each year, and (confession: I really only did the work necessary to make an A, not to really understand all of calculus theory) I sometimes had a difficult time adapting to the different problems.

 

How many hours a day?

Usually 1-1.5 for me. But to learn the material really thoroughly, unless you are a genius, which you may perfectly well be, I would say more like 2 hours.

 

Your favorite assignment?

The review was the most helpful. Since I don't really like math though, I don't have a favorite (except polar coordinates sometimes make pretty graphs;).

 

Did this course enhance your interest in the subject?

It certainly gave me greater understanding of the subject. I won't pretend however that I could ever find math interesting, even with a wonderful teacher.

 

Did you find your communications with other students valuable?

The discussion board was very lively for a small number of students, but I almost never used it. 

 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend the course?

Anyone who is willing to work hard can succeed in this class. As I've mentioned, even though I dislike math and am not particularly gifted at it I still made an A. I definitely recommend this class to anyone who wants to score well on the Calc exam.

 


Mrs. Gillerans Calculus BC class posted by Caleb Godbold on May 15 2018 at 21:12:43

That's all, I guess. I highly recommend this course-- it is excellent. Have a great year!


Fantastic Class posted by James Statton on May 15 2018 at 20:57:08

In contrast to some past experiences with other AP exams, I felt thoroughly prepared going in to take the 2018 AP Calculus BC Exam. Ms. Gilleran's excellent class ensured that I had effectively mastered every topic tested on the BC exam. I would strongly recommend this class to anyone willing to put in the time and effort needed for success in a rigorous calculus course.


A review posted by Bryce C. on May 15 2018 at 19:00:02

First of all, I would definetly reccomend this course for those willing to put in the effort to succeed. Rareley did I have to spend more than 2 hours on a single day's work. Mrs. Gilleran's comments were always informative and covered the subject of the day more than adequately, though these are not the kind of comments that you read in five minutes if you want to do well. What made things even more enjoyable were the tidbits Mrs. Gilleran would sometimes put at the end of her lessons, whetting our appetites for what post-calculus math will be like, or just giving us advice on how to prepare for the exam. The discussion board has been an excelent resource for learning, even if one doesn't have questions, they can always cement their understanding even more by helping others to learn. After I took the AP exam, I kept hearing from the other students taking the test that they couldn't figure out how to do some problems that I had no problem with because of all the practice APs that Mrs. Gilleran had us endure, and this school has one of the best AP Calculus programs in the area!


Fascinating Class posted by Veronica on May 15 2018 at 17:48:35


posted by Cliff Yang on May 15 2018 at 17:16:09

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

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam. I already had a little knowledge of calculus from a previous (unsuccesful) attempt at studying calculus, but this class solidfied what I knew and taught me more. By the time, the AP test came around, I had learned and practiced everything I need to take the exam. 

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

There is a good-sized chunk of homework each day. It generally took me about 1-1.5 hrs a day, but that will vary depending on the student. Mrs. Gilleran does not assign homework on weekends, so you can shift stuff there if you need to. 

What sort of student would do well in this course?

Anyone who is willing to work hard. Calculus may seem intimidating at first, but the more time and effort you put into it, the easier it will get. Mrs. Gilleran provides a lot of materials to help you understand the concepts, and the other students and TA are there to help as well.


AP Calculus BC Review posted by C Peterson on May 29 2017 at 21:36:56

First, some background: I took this class as a high school senior, and at the end of this last year I have taken ten AP classes through PA Homeschoolers throughout high school. Math was never my favorite subject when I was younger, but I absolutely loved Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calc AB class last year and opted to take BC this year so I could have her again as a math teacher. Anyway, now for the questions:

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?–Yes, I do. I already had a very strong background in the first half of the material, having come in with a 5 in Calc AB from the year before, so there was a steep drop-off for me from the first to the second semester as we switched to material I didn't already know. She gave us about five full-length practice tests in the month before the AP exam, though, which were invaluable for prepping for the exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?–It varied a certain amount, but probably about 30-60 minutes during the first semester (when it was all review material) and then up to 2 hours a day, more on test days, in the second semester.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?–As I said before, I loved all the practice tests we did in the weeks leading up to the exam. We also did practice questions from actual College Board tests throughout the year, which got us comfortable with the information we needed.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?–Not really, because I already realized last year in Calc AB that I rather like calculus. I was quite frustrated by a few of the concepts in second semester (especially polar coordinates!), but I figured things out well enough and didn't really despise calculus itself.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?–Calculus isn't the most social of subjects, but I did take advantage of the Google group to get help with problems I couldn't understand. I invariably start getting responses, from both TAs and students, in about five minutes.

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!)?–Honestly, I'm glad I took Calc AB first. BC is very fast-paced and I'm not sure I would have liked calc nearly as much if I'd had to absorb all that info from both semesters in a single year. If you're a little tepid about the whole AP Calculus thing, do Calc AB. If you know that you love math, and you're not afraid of the fast pace, then you could try jumping straight into BC. Either way, if you plan to take AP Calculus at any point during your high school years, Mrs. Gilleran's classes are definitely the way to go!


Calculus BC posted by Jay Burnett on May 22 2017 at 11:22:14

I do feel like this course prepared me for the AP Exam because we practiced on real AP tests and went over tips and tricks on the test. This course did not enhance my interest on the subject of calculus, but, then again, maybe nothing would. I think i spent on average 2 hours a day on this course


Great AP Class posted by Bethany Furness on May 19 2017 at 18:23:29

I really enjoyed this Calculus class. I felt very well prepared going into the Exam. I felt like I knew the AP curriculum very well and many of the test questions were very similar to some of the practice questions we had gone over .  

Mrs. Gilleran is a very good teacher and quick on email, however she leaves the discussion board and ask your teacher mainly to the TA's. Mrs. Gilleran was very encouraging all year long and she was very clear with what we would and wouldn't need to know for the exam. She made a point to go through lots of problems in the comments each day and also gave us some really helpful videos to aid our studying.  I enjoyed her teaching a lot.

The discussion board was a great resource and always a good place to turn when in need of help. There was always somebody with an answer whether it was a TA or a fellow classmate.

This course is definitely difficult.  The work was assigned on a daily basis which usually consisted of reading from the textbook, reading Mrs. Gilleran's comments, and completing the assignment on Webassign. Altogether this probably took me 1-2 hours every day, sometimes more depending on the assignment. Much of the material is difficult, but most of the tricky concepts that you need to know for the test showed up in many, many assignments and by the time the test came around they were familiar and easy.

I would recomend this course to anyone who likes math but is willing to put in the time and work to get a good grade and do well on the AP Exam.  


Perfectly Fine posted by Jonah Dominguez on May 19 2017 at 11:59:46

I don't really have much to say. I learned, I got stuff done, I think I did well. The class moves at a reasonable pace, the material has mutltiple ways for you to understand it- while reading a book doesn't always do it for me, the website does offer you the ability to do practice versions of questions before completely the homework. So, in all, the class is pretty good overall. 


Every coin has 2 sides posted by Eric Eaton on May 19 2017 at 11:53:06

While the course prepared me for the AP exam it actually decreased my interest in the subject. I put in roughly 2.5 hours/ day and math comes fairly easy to me.  Basic Limits was the most foundational and interesting; however, the course did not enhance my interest in the subject in any regard.  The student chat board was useful, though the lack of ready access to teachers hindered the effectiveness of the course's format. I would only recommend this course to people who already had a foundational understanding of basic calculus or who understand limits, and polar coordinates. 


Calculus Review Form posted by Alex Istrate on May 13 2017 at 13:10:31

I feel that this course prepared me very well for the exam. I knew how to do nearly all of the problems thrown at me. On average I spent between 15 and 20 hours per week on Calculus, although there were a few days when I spent at least 8 hours. I found that the daily assignments were very valuable for me to retain the information because of the high amount of exercises we did, so that when we came to exam review I didn't have to go back and memorize large amounts of information. This course definitely enhanced my interest in mathematics. I found that it was helpful to see how other students understood different concepts.

I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in math and wants a difficult course that will stretch them, so that they will be knowledgeable in the area and able to apply mathematical concepts to real world examples (that's what the Free Response Section is all about). If you will be taking Calculus in college for the major you are going for (like engineering or mathematics), it will be extremely valuable to have Calculus 1 and 2 under your belt. Even if you aren't able to skip the courses in college, you will be a step ahead of the game in your freshman year if you already have a concrete understanding of the material.


Difficult posted by Andrew Kaeppel on May 13 2017 at 12:01:21

     This class can be rewarding to the select group of people who love higher mathematics and comprehend the subject easily.  At the end of the course, I felt well prepared for the AP Exam, but at the cost of nearly 6 hours or more per day at 5 days a week.  If I had had more time to go over each subject in depth, then perhaps it would not have seemed so overwhelming, but as it was, we as a class were only given extra time on a few subjects, and some of those because the teacher had medical emergencies.
     On the subject of the teacher, I could tell that she was prepared for each set of comments she posted, but the comments only contained an overview of a concept or two, some example problems to show how they work, and then encouragement to read the textbook chapter containing the material we just overviewed.  It is helpful, when working with calculus, to have a subject explained to you more than once, but to have it briefly touched upon, and then be told to read the textbook was discouraging to say the least.
     The disscusion board was more helpful than the comments, as the many different viewpoints afforded me with an easier understanding of the subject material, even when the viewpoints were not all accurate or correct.
     In conclusion, this course is not for the faint of heart. It WILL prepare you for the AP Calc BC Exam, but if you are not fluent in Algebra and higher math subjects, you will end up spending at least four hours a day on the assignments alone.  I took this course to be more challenged this year, and I believe I have been thoroughly challenged.  I only reccomend this class to those who are willing to spend massive amounts of their time for a mild payoff, or to those who love calculus as their favorite subject.  


AP Calc BC is a great learning experience... posted by Megan K. on May 13 2017 at 10:17:54

Any student who is willing to dedicate 1.5-2 hours per day to learning the material and practicing the concepts can excel in this course.  Mrs. Gilleran provides a wide variety of studying resources to help any type of learner, so the class is somewhat individualized.  I was prepared for every assessment, and anything I did not immediately understand was resolved by Mrs. Gilleran and/or my classmates on our discussion board.  Aside from the awesome quality of teh academic material in this course, Mrs. Gilleran is a wonderful teacher whose ultimate goal is to help her students understand the math in a way it makes sense to them.  Because of this and the prerequisite Calc AB course, I have decided to minor in math next year in college.


My adventure with BC posted by Sean Moushegian on May 13 2017 at 03:05:57

I entered this class after doing relatively well in an AB class offered by another provider (earning a 5 on the exam).  As such, most of the semester one material was content with which I was familiar.  The second semester came as a surprise: the material was new and presented a real challenge.  I found myself spending 12+ hours per week on calculus during the most intense weeks of the year.

Mrs. Gilleran was very helpful with my BC adventure.  She helped me out when I was struggling and provided multiple generous extensions to accomodate my competition schedule.  When the class performed not-so-well on a chapter exam, she allowed the class to take some time off, review the material, and to re-take the exam.  These and other scenarios made me feel that Mrs. Gilleran and I were on the same team working to overcome the material together.

Mrs. Gilleran keeps the AP exam at the forefront, even when it's a long way off.  Every couple of weeks she prepares a real free-response question that can be completed with the material learned up to that point in the year.  At the end of the year, she preared several topical free-response "packets".  Each of these packets contained a compilation of ~5-15 free response and ~15-30 multiple choice questions from prior years' exams, all centered around a calculus concept.  Furthermore, she provides full-length tests from prior years.  Mrs. Gilleran is extremely competent with regards to the College Board's policies and procedures and she works to share her knowledge of these issues with the class.  I feel like I did fabulous on the exam, but (unexpectedly) I had fun doing it.


AP Calculus BC Review posted by Philip Huang on May 12 2017 at 24:18:43

Absolutely yes! Mrs. Gilleran provided an abundance of review resources and practice exams that kept me quite busy throughout the school year but ensured that I knew exactly what was going on when I took the AP exam.

On average, I devoted 1-2 hours per day to calculus.

While virtually all of the assignments were challenging in one way or another, I particularly enjoyed reviewing short answer responses that others posted onto the class discussion board.

Not really, I already had an intense interest in mathematics prior to taking this course and still do, but at least this course did not by any means discourage me from pursuing further education in the field of math.

Most definitely. Although I did not participate on the class discussion board as frequently as some other students did, I found my interactions with the TA's, fellow classmates, and Mrs. Gilleran extremely helpful and encouraging. Almost any question I had was answered within a couple hours, and being able to assist others helped me review and reinforce calculus concepts.

Calculus BC covers a hefty amount of material over the year, and many of the concepts taught in the course require constant review and practice. Due to the advanced nature of the course content, one who is relatively math-proficient and has a firm understanding of precalculus will certainly have an advantage in learning and mastering calculus concepts. Anyone who ventures to take AP Calculus BC should be prepared to encounter difficult challenges, but they can be overcome with diligent, consistent work and the assistance that Mrs. Gilleran and her TA's provide.


The work will pay off posted by Kenneth Harland on May 12 2017 at 20:27:10

Calculus can seem impossible at first because it seems like a whole new language of math, but you quickly learn, and the course is set up so that you incrementally get into tougher material. I really found the WebAssign work helpful, and I wish we had done it all the way through. I learn by doing problems, and the way WebAssign is set up makes sure you answer questions of all different kinds that are on the exam. I generally spent 2-3 hours on Calculus, but I did spend a little bit more during the time Mrs. Gilleran was not well. 

If any of you guys were wondering, YES, you can use things you learn from Calculus. I actually used it on the SAT, and there are some real life examples in the book.


AP Calculus BC posted by D. Carter on May 12 2017 at 20:22:49

If you are looking for a great, challenging course that will prepare you for the AP Calculs BC exam, this is the way to go.  I felt extremely well prepared going into the exam.  The course does require hard work (I probably spent a solid hour and a half per day), but it pays off in the end.  Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments really help to explain the material, and there is always a bit of humor in them to keep everything interesting.  Another great part about the course is how students can post questions through the discussion board.  Other students can help to answer the questions, and this is a great way to make sure you know the material inside and out.  Overall, for any student who loves math and is willing to work hard, I would highly recommend this class.


Calc BC Review posted by Andrew Plaza on May 11 2017 at 16:18:44

Through all the rigorous coursework I've done in Mrs. Gilleran's class, I felt well-prepared for the AP Exam. I spent anywhere between 2-3 hours per day working through the assignments, depending on the difficulty of the topic at hand. Throughout the year, we had many opportunities to practice for the AP Exam, and I would say that this was perhaps the most valuable part of the course. Though I found the material to be challenging at times, Mrs. Gilleran did a very good job at explaining the material to us in a way that I could understand. Right off the bat, I could tell that Mrs. Gilleran genuinely cared about her students, and wanted to see us succeed. Along with Mrs. Gilleran, the TA's and the other students also provided great help and moral support throughout the year. Overall, I had a lot of fun learning calculus in this course. I would recommend this course for hard-working students who enjoy math, and aren't afraid of a challenge.


Class Review posted by Samson on May 11 2017 at 14:03:52

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

Yes, I did feel that the course did well in preparing us for the AP exam, whether that be managing to get through the content or having alot of practice for the AP exam.

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

About 10 to 12 hours per week or 2-3 hours per day.

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

I found the FRQ's most helpful, because there were many FRQ's on the exam that were similar to the ones we had practiced in class.

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

Yes, it did, because it caused me to become more interested in how math can apply to the real world.

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

In all honesty, I did not really communicate with my classmates. I did fine, so I don't really know how much it helps.

6. 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 other students, although I would suggest that there be someone able to teach the course in case if the teacher becomes ill. I believe that those who are motivated and hard-working should be able to do well in the course. If you procrastinate, beware that you could easily fall behind and find it hard to catch up.


Calc BC review posted by Caeden Smith on May 09 2017 at 20:57:40

I had everything I needed coming into exam day. Mrs. Gilleran does a very nice job of explaining even the most complex calculus. There were a few unfortunate circumstances this year that arose with Mrs. Gilleran’s health. I could see that the class was struggling a bit but the TAs were great with keeping everyone up to speed. Being self-motivated, I was able to self-teach myself and be confident for the exam. For anybody thinking about taking BC, you must be self-motivated and detail oriented in order to succeeded, not just in this course but in any Calc BC level course.


Nothing ventured, nothing gained posted by Emily Lamb on May 09 2017 at 18:50:10

I loved Mrs. Gilleran as my calculus teacher this year.  She was very helpful and encouraging; she definitely helped me prepare for the exam, and I feel like I got a five.  I was working all day almost every day on assignments, but I feel all the hard work paid off.  It would've probably been easier to complete the homework in a shorter amount of time if the course had been structured differently.  I'm an auditory learner, so I would've learned more easily if I had a video or a live instructor; the assignment submission website was not great either.  For those who are willing to work hard and learn best by reading material, this is definitely the best option.  My favorite assignment was creating a calculus problem of my own in a subject I was weak in.  It was a great learning experience, for I learned so much about the subject about which I was creating my problem.  I've been interested in math, especially calculus, for as long as I can remember, and Mrs. Gilleran definitely helped fuel my interest in it.  I'm going on to major in engineering and maybe mathematics.  I would totally recommend Mrs. Gilleran as a math teacher.  She understands calculus very throroughly and she always wants the best for her students.  Her idea to have a discussion board to converse about difficult problems with other students and teaching assistants was phenomenal; I even knew two of the kids on the discussion board in real life.  For anyone who is taking this class, I wish them the best because they are learning from the best.  Thank you so much, Mrs. Gilleran!  =D


Nothing ventured, nothing gained posted by Emily Lamb on May 09 2017 at 18:50:10

I loved Mrs. Gilleran as my calculus teacher this year.  She was very helpful and encouraging; she definitely helped me prepare for the exam, and I feel like I got a five.  I was working all day almost every day on assignments, but I feel all the hard work paid off.  It would've probably been easier to complete the homework in a shorter amount of time if the course had been structured differently.  I'm an auditory learner, so I would've learned more easily if I had a video or a live instructor; the assignment submission website was not great either.  For those who are willing to work hard and learn best by reading material, this is definitely the best option.  My favorite assignment was creating a calculus problem of my own in a subject I was weak in.  It was a great learning experience, for I learned so much about the subject about which I was creating my problem.  I've been interested in math, especially calculus, for as long as I can remember, and Mrs. Gilleran definitely helped fuel my interest in it.  I'm going on to major in engineering and maybe mathematics.  I would totally recommend Mrs. Gilleran as a math teacher.  She understands calculus very throroughly and she always wants the best for her students.  Her idea to have a discussion board to converse about difficult problems with other students and teaching assistants was phenomenal; I even knew two of the kids on the discussion board in real life.  For anyone who is taking this class, I wish them the best because they are learning from the best.  Thank you so much, Mrs. Gilleran!  =D


Class of the Year posted by Caleb Miller on May 21 2016 at 21:21:46

This class was awesome.  I have always loved math, and BC Calc seemed to be the best option.  I took this class as a Junior and it was definitely my favorite class.  Although there were no video chats and lectures from Mrs. Gilleran to watch, I felt that Mrs. Gilleran did a much better job than my three other online teachers.  Now you may think that you need teacher / student video if you want the information to really "sink in."  Not the case...  During the year, we had a bunch of super helpful / fun videos on Youtube to watch about new topics.  We also used Google Groups as our messaging board.  The TAs / fellow classmates would answer your questions usually within an hour or two.  If your question would stump everyone, then Mrs. Gilleran would step in and reply.

My favorite part of the day was reading the daily "comments."  Each day, Mrs. Gilleran would write a 3 - 15 page pdf of everything that we needed to be aware of for the day.  It would include everything... (General information / problems that people struggled with / Inspiration to keep on going :) / Math comic strips..

 

Ok, on to the questions - I felt totally prepared for my exam.  I currently don't know what I got (I took the AP exam this morning, but I think I did ok).  Unlike my other AP class, we did tons of practice starting in September.  We went through our normal textbook and also worked in the book Be Prepared for the AP Calculus Exams.  Our midterm was a shortned AP exam and our final was an AP exam.  We also did endless (in a good way) frq's (Free Response Questions).  During April, all we did was study.  Mrs. Gilleran had a bunch of stuff to download so we could quiz ourselves and cement information we had learned way back in the fall.

 

I guess I spent about 1 - 1.5 hours per day.  There was a lot of work, but I enjoyed just about all of it.  I will put that I have always excelled in and loved math.  Every day there was a decent amount of work, but it cooled down a little in April when we were just studying.  A common day could look like...  {Read the daily comments --> read a section in your e-book textbook -->  Complete the daily assignment on WebAssign --> watch this one youtube video}

 

I particularly enjoyed two assignments...  Finding the instantaneous slope of a line and finding the area under a graph  :)  You will find that those are the two main problems covered in the entire class.

 

My interest in math was already enhanced, but if it was possible, this course enhanced my interest even more.  I decided that I want to major in something with math (probably mechanical engineering) and hopefully get a career that deals with numbers.  Calculus totally brings in a new element of math.

 

As I said above, communication was excellent.  Unlike some courses, where you use one slow, old webpage for everything, we used multiple, universal websites for different stuff.  Being a tech guru, I was glad about this.  We used Google Group for discussion, dropbox for handing in assignments, WebAssign for doing our homework (this website rocks... first website I've seen where it's easy to type in equations, etc...), and Youtube for watching occasional videos from some experts.

 

A student that had a strong desire to succeed would do well in this class.  Math doesn't have to be your favorite subject, but that was what sparked my interest.  You need to be willing to work hard / study and hopefully you will do great!

If you made it this far I am impressed!  Hope this information has helped and thanks for reading!

 


AP Calculus BC posted by Madelaine Griesel on May 16 2016 at 17:45:37

This course is well worth all the hard work and time it takes to complete it. Mrs. Gilleran is a knowledgable teacher and takes the time to help her students really learn the material. Her daily comments addressing certain problems and questions from students helped my understanding of that topic and enhanced whatever we were learning from the textbook also. I spent about 2-4 hours a day reading the lesson and doing the assignments that came with it. As with any AP courses, be careful about what other work-heavy classes you take on while taking this course. I felt very prepared for the AP exam with all the review and practice material we went over in class, Mrs. Gilleran takes a lot of time to make sure her students feel ready for the actual AP exam at the end of the year. While a challenging course, I enjoyed the class and definitely recommend it to motivated students who are ready to put in the time to thoroughly learn Calculus.


AP Caluclus BC posted by Sarah Davis on May 10 2016 at 14:44:16

Although math is not my favorite course, I found calculus to be very interesting and practical particularly as I studied physics. This class requires a lot of hard work and time and I would suggest only taking it if you are willing to invest in really learning and understanging the material.


Good Class posted by Daniel Beckmann on May 09 2016 at 22:36:17

Mrs. Gilleran provides a lot of study material. Great class


Review posted by Natalie Sampsell on May 09 2016 at 20:23:07

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

Definitely. Mrs. Gilleran knows her stuff, so we knew exactly what to study. Also, she provided a ton of websites and other materials to learn and review information. At times I felt the workload was a bit excessive - especially during the review month - but there's no doubt that I was prepared for the exam. 

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

It varied a lot by day and how well I understood the material, but I'd say it was generally under 2 hours a day? I had a schedule that made it hard for me to do daily assignments, so a lot of the time I would do more than one day's worth of assignments at a time to work ahead/catch up. But yeah, one day's worth of assignments would generally take less than 2 hours for me to complete.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

No, I wouldn't say it did. I liked math going into the class, and I like it about the same now. I'd say this course did help me appreciate math a bit more, as Mrs. Gilleran made sure we understood the concepts behind the math instead of just teaching us how to do the problems.

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

Not particularly. We had a class discussion board so we could ask questions and interact, but generally it took too long to get answers there, so any problems I had I had to figure out myself with the provided resources.

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're looking to get a 5 on the AP Exam, I doubt there's a better class you could take to do it. But like everyone's saying, this class is a lot of work - Mrs. Gilleran even told us that we did more to review than any other calculus class she was following - so just be aware of that! But yes, this class made calculus surprisingly understandable - I learned a ton from it.


AP Calculus BC Review posted by Daniel Kim on May 06 2016 at 20:23:22

I spent about 2 - 2.5 hours a day working on the material.  The resources Mrs. Gilleran recommends are helpful in understanding the material and preparing for the AP Exam.  Mrs. Gilleran is a talented teacher and goes over several examples in her notes every morning.  One negative is that I found the discussion board and overall communications with the other students/teacher to be inefficient – this made finding answers to specific questions and topics challenging at times.  Overall, this is a great Calculus course.  


AP Calc BC Review posted by Ethan Hoffman on May 06 2016 at 16:06:30

I greatly enjoyed the PA Homeschoolers Calc BC course. The work throughout the year was challenging but not overwhelming, and Mrs. Gilleran made a great effort to make sure that each student was able to understand the topics we were studying. We had plenty of material available to use for reviewing at the end of the year, so our preparation for the AP exam was very good. Great class for those willing to work hard!


Great Class for Hardworking Students posted by Hannah Bettendorf on May 06 2016 at 12:46:59

   If you are looking for a course that will challenge and prepare you, this is it!  Not for the faint of heart, this class requires motivation and dedication.  These characteristics, however, are required for AP level courses.  Mrs. Gilleran does an outstanding job of explaining the material and preparing you for success on the exam.  I spent an average of 2-3 hours per day on this class, and the assignments were larger at the beginning of the year.  Don't get discouraged if the first few days are pretty rough- you will become more efficient, the assignments will become more predictable, and you can do it!  This was the first online class that I have taken that didn't have live meetings, and I was curious to see how the level of interaction with the teacher and students differed from my previous classes.  The online discussion board was a great resource for the TAs and other students to help each other work out problems, and Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments were a wonderful outline of the daily assignments, topics to understand, and problems to review.  In summary, I would highly recommend this course to the student who is willing to work diligently to earn a solid understanding of BC calculus for the AP exam.  


If Hope All Classes I Learn Are Like This Class posted by Jace Jin on May 06 2016 at 12:41:12

If my friends ask me for a place to learn AP Calculus BC, I am going to tell them about this class. I only needed to spend around 1 hour or 2 everyday to read and do homeworks.

I say with only textbook, I would not be able to understand so thoroughly. What I consider the most important about this class is Mrs. Gilleran's comments, which she posts everyday. Sometimes she would send links, usually on youtube, where we can learn by watching a guy solving a problem step by step. These sourses and her sharing in experiences worth more than textbooks.

I really enjoyed having this class. :)    I want to rate 10 stars                                          out of 9. :P


Holistic Calculus posted by Grace McDonough on May 05 2016 at 23:30:30

I took the AP Exam the morning before I wrote this, and I guess since I'm done with the class I can officially say it was my favorite out of the five I took this year. To be honest, this morning's exam was easier than the final, which I guess says something about how well this class prepared me. Mrs. Gilleran demands a lot of you, but she makes it so much fun and so easy to stay motivated. Reading her comments has been one of the best parts of my day this year. I've always loved math and this class has only made me love it more. I love how not only is there so much difficult and rigorous mathematics in this class (apparently I'm one of those people who loves pain), but there is also constant motivation, whether on the class pages or in Mrs. G's comments, to make excellence a habit, to love and take care of yourself. That said, you do have to have a real committment to learning and loving math if you want to succeed, but if you're willing to make that committment, this class will be incredibly rewarding.


AP Calculus BC Review posted by Nathan Emery on May 16 2015 at 24:39:10

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

Certainly! The course covered all of the material on the exam, and Mrs. Gilleran did an excellent job of explaining how to apply the material to different situations. The assignments were often more challenging than the question on the exam. Also, we spent the last few weeks of the year taking and evaluating practice tests, which helped me gain familiarity with the types of questions I would see on the exam. When I was taking the exam, I felt prepared for nearly every question I encountered.

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

I would estimate that I spent about an hour and a half per day on the course, so about 8-10 hours per week.

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

I can't pick out any assignments in particular, as all of the problem sets and practice tests were helpful. Mrs. Gilleran in her daily Comments and the students, TAs, and Mrs. Gilleran in the Discussion Board all do an excellent job of discussing and explaining questions and concepts, and often those explanations helped me gain a deeper understanding of the material. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I would not say that it enhanced my interest, but that is because AP Calc AB did that last year! :) I have always been interested in math, but I particularly enjoyed AB last year and this year I continued to be interested in the subject. I did find the class enjoyable and interesting to learn more about calculus. If you have not taken a Calculus course before, I can say that BC will likely enhance your interest in the subject. Mrs. Gilleran, and the assignments, do a great job of challenging students to really understand the material and how concepts work, which is valuable and much more interesting than just learning to apply formulas and the like.

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

Yes! I have a bit of a unique perspective, as I was asked to be a Teaching Assistant after taking AB last year as well as a student. Being a TA gave me more responsibility to answer questions and to answer them more deeply. These interactions with other students were often the most valuable way to learn and apply concepts, to make sure I truly understood concepts as I communicated them in writing. The discussion board is optional and can be used only as a student needs it, but I find answering the discussions and asking questions is one of the most valuable parts of the class. Even if I wasn't a TA, I know I would gain a lot from the discussion board–just as I did in AB last year.

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!)?

Working hard is certainly necessary, as this is an AP course and a high level of math. However, Mrs. Gilleran does an excellent job of explaining the material and the discussion board is a great help in learning it, so a student does not have to be extraordinarily smart or good at math–just willing to put in the effort and work hard. Additionally, some level of interest helps. Like I mentioned previously, I generally like math, but even if a student doesn't like math, approaching the class and the concepts with an open mind will likely make them interesting. Self-motivation, too, is necessary–Mrs. Gilleran gives us the tools to succeed, but ultimately it is up to the students to complete assignments on time, study, and add to the discussion board.

I would certainly recommend this class to anyone looking for a challenging, rewarding course at a high level of math.


Macroecons 2014/15 Review posted by Matthew Tan on May 16 2015 at 12:28:20

Macroeconomics was a fantabulous class! Dr Richman is a really good teacher that helped me keep reviewing the key concepts so I didn't even have to memorise much for the exam. He clearly taught us all the graphs and gave us great material to help us like the ACDC econs videos. Dr Richman's method of getting us to write essays twice a week in the second semester really helps in gearing us up for the exam and I felt fully prepared for my macroecons exam long before May. The econs games are a great way to learn concepts that are taught in class and competition between classmates can be really fierce and fun! Of course, the best feeling is if you can beat Dr Richman at the econs games!


Mom's perspective posted by Andrea Soja on May 15 2015 at 13:36:17

When enrolling in Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calc BC class, I was concerned there was not a regular meeting time since we had only taken online classes that met live once/twice a week. However, this class has been the best online class for us and had the most teacher interaction then any before it. Instead of twice a week input, each day my son logged on for a document with instruction,feedback,tidbits,and some fun comics that would start his day. Not meeting live, also gave us the flexibility to work longer on specific areas he needed and not have the weekly deadline of a class. There were due dates and your child will work hard, especially in the beginning, but it was so worth it! 

The class matured my son and helped him establish routine in his week.  You must work on it each day to build the knowledge, but if you stay with it and use the resources available, you will walk into the exam with confidence and wallk out with even more. My son did not need to take Calculus but wanted to be challenged. He is now planning to take Calculus 3 at the local college (which uses the same book!) and is hoping to minor in Math.

Your most challenging months will be the first two until you establish a routine and then March where you start heavy practice for the AP while finishing up the class work. It was especially difficult for us because my son participated in Speech/Debate and we had to travel each month. Mrs. Gilleran worked with his schedule and granted an extension if needed. 

In addition to the online book help,videos,links and Web Assign (used in many colleges), my son was part of a Google group where Mrs. Gilleran had arranged for 5 Teaching Assitants to be available to assist with homework questions and allow the students to co-miserate together on a problem. You could participate in this as much or as little as you wanted. This class offered a real community to help you through the work. It was encouraging to know you were taking classes with students within your own state and as far away as China.

If your child is willing to work hard, perserve, do their own work, and stay on top of the assignments, you will not find a better Calculus class to teach the subject and prepare you for the exam! Looking forward to the scores in July. Thank you for such a high quality class and setting the bar so high!


AP Calculus BC posted by Jozef Soja on May 14 2015 at 14:06:12

If there was an AP Teaching, Mrs. Gilleran would easily get a five. She has to be the best in the business. The class was well organized, ran flawlessly, and I always felt that there was plenty of available help, instruction, and practice. Going into this class, I had serious doubts as to whether I could pass an AP Calculus exam. I’m not terrible at math, but it’s certainly not my forte. Not only did I feel confident and prepared by the end of the year, but I actually came to enjoy the subject. It’s a tough class, so expect it to take work and discipline. But if you stick with it, you will be as prepared as you could be on the day of the Exam. I’m (hopefully) going to take Calculus 3 next year at a local college. It’s a shame it’s not taught by Mrs. Gilleran!


Review posted by Timothy Wynia on May 07 2015 at 01:24:05

1. I felt fairly well prepared

2. Approximately 1 hour/day

3. The self-designed story problems were interesting.

4. I was already greately interested in the subject

5. I didn't really communicate with the other students that much.

6. A student who studies well independently and doesn't get overwhelmed. I would recommend this class.


Fantastic class!!!! posted by Lindsey Furness on May 05 2015 at 16:59:35

Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus BC class was a challenging, motivating, and exhilarating experience!  I LOVED it!!  I've always loved math, so the content, of course, thrilled me.  However, not only did I enjoy it, but it was a very well taught class.  Topics were presented clearly and completely.  We spent enough time on each topic to cement it into my brain.  

It also prepared me so well for the AP exam!  I knew exactly what to expect and the exam actually felt easy!!  Mrs. Gilleran gave us review sheets and practice tests that made the exam a breeze!  I would highly recommend this class as preparation for the AP exam.

It was a very challenging class however, and I would only recommend it for students who like math and who are ready to work really hard.  Calculus is a fascinating subject for those who embrace it, but it could be frustrating and difficult for students who don't love math.  As for the time commitment, I spent anywhere from one and a half to four hours studying each day for this class and missing even just one day is a lot of work to catch up.

But, my love of Calculus has grown immensely through this class and it is for sure my favorite subject!  If you are a math lover, this class is for you!!  You will learn a TON!!


Review of Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus BC Class posted by Daniel G. on June 12 2014 at 24:36:28

Overall Rating: 5/5

This class comes highly recommended! It was a great foundation for the physics research I did the following summer. Because of the class's rigor, I was able to jump into advanced topics (gradients, Fourier transforms, partial differential equations to name a few) and learn them on the fly. That alone should speak to Mrs. Gilleran's skill as a teacher.


Awesome. posted by Jonathan on May 14 2014 at 03:26:47

1. I think the course prepared me very well for the AP exam. We took a large battery of practice tests, and towards the end the tests became somewhat predictable (always one parametric question with cartesian slope etc.

2. I often spent many hours on calculus. I am a slow worker. I've had this issue for a very long time, and it is not specific to math. I just work slower than the average student. Times per day ranged from 2 to 8+ hours. I know at least one other kid who also worked long hours on occasion, though not as long as me.

3. I had no specific favorite assignment. I absolutely loved Calculus, though. The ideas (many of which have been floating around in my mind previously) have suddenly been encoded into mathematical theorems. I now see everything in terms of calculus and have used calculus in some amazingly elegant proofs.

4. As to the course enhancing my views of math, see above. Calculus has completely redone the way I approach everything in math. It's amazing and awesome.

5. I participated on the Google Group, and an occasional discussion. I'm not a very sociable person myself, so I didn't feel the need for more student interaction. Many students completely ignored the discussions, which I think should be taken into consideration. I.e. don't ignore them! A lot of cool ideas float around in the discussions.

6. I would recommend this only to someone who really loves math and is willing to lose hair over it and enjoy the process along the way. For other people, I would recommend the AB variant since it covers less and gives you time to breath. Either way, you get treated to the magical ideas behind calculus.

In short, this class is wonderful. I has really changed the way I think about math and, as a person who loves math, I enjoyed it immensely.

In addition [most importantly], Mrs. Gilleran is an amazing teacher. She knows the test well and did an excellent job preparing us for the exam. She was flexible and really cared about how well we were doing and coping with the concepts and assignments. I would highly recommend her as a teacher, and her classes in general.


AP Calculus with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Julia Owens on May 13 2014 at 20:00:20

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

Absolutely! We spent about a month before the exam preparing, taking several Multiple Choice Exams and dozens of Free Response Questions. When I took the exam, I went in feeling confident, and left pleased with my performance.

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

I spent about 4 hours on Calculus a day, give or take a few. It was challenging, but definitely worth it.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes; I actually wasn’t sure what Calculus encompassed before this class. Now, I have a much better understanding of the subject. I enjoyed the challenge of Calculus, and Mrs. Gilleran’s  approach to math made me really love the subject.

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

There was a message board set up for student communication. My fellow students were always friendly and 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!)?

I would definitely recommend this course to any student willing to put a large amount of time and energy into the work.

 

I was so happy with how this course went. Mrs. Gilleran did a wonderful job teaching the class, I learned so much, and the exam felt familiar.


Hard Work, But Worth It posted by Henry Pawelczyk on May 12 2014 at 19:21:56

Compared to my friends who attend a "regular" highschool, I felt extremely prepared for the AP Calculus BC Exam.  The immemse amount of review that was assigned during the last five weeks of class made me feel confident going into the AP exam.  Although this is the hardest class I have ever taken and required a great deal of work, in the end, it was all worth it.  The subjects covered in the class can be dificult to master, but Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments always cleared up any confusion.  It truly is important to keep up with the class schedule since it is tough to catch up once you fall behind.  Mrs. Gilleran is a very understanding teacher.  I defintely recommend this class to anyone who is ready to tackle a challenging math course.


AP Calculus BC posted by Sarah Caballero on May 12 2014 at 16:29:03

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

Definitely.  Review material, both a review book and released practice exams, were structured into the course.  I found the review book exercises significantly more challenging than actual AP questions, which made the AP test seem relatively easy. 

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

It depended on the assignments for that day.  On days when we were learning a new concept, I'd probably put a good 1-2 hrs into reading Mrs. Gilleran's notes, reading the textbook, going over examples, etc.  The actual exercises could take 1-2 hrs, depending on how fast you are with math.  I probably spent ~15 hrs/wk, not including wknds, as assignments were due daily. 

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

I found creating our own word problems helpful in understanding the applications of concepts.  Word problems have never been my strength, but I've always just understood them enough to "do them".  However, to write my own I needed to entirely understand what I was doing and how to apply the concept. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I was already a mathy person when I started the class, and I still am, which is a good sign :) 

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

We had a Google group for posting/answering questions.  The TA's and other students's responses were always very helpful.  Also, Mrs. Gilleran went over our questions every day in her comments.

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

I would recommend this class to anyone who likes to be challenged with math and is a motivated, independent student.  I would also definitely recommend a solid foundation in algebra/trig.  We did get a summer review assignment, but the first day of calculus started with...calculus.  You have to be willing to put a good amount of time into understanding concepts, doing the exercises, and making sure you understand them.  The pacing can be very challenging at times, but I felt fully prepared for the AP exam by the end of the year. 


Overall, I would definitely recommend this class if you like math.  Mrs. Gilleran is an enthusiastic teacher and makes the concepts exciting and understandable. 


Good class, even for someone who doesn't like math ;) posted by Priya Stepp on May 10 2014 at 15:54:03

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

Yes, it did! I know I didn't get the score that I wanted, but this is due to 1) the 2014 exam being "harder" (happening to test on the areas I was weak in) than the released exams we'd taken, and 2) me not reviewing as intensively as I had for APs in previous years. Mrs Gilleran certainly did her part in preparing us for the exam. We did about 30 sets of practice FRQ's (so probably about 90 individual questions total) plus several MCQ sections, and as the exam got closer, she'd dedicate entire daily comments to working through the tricky ones. She makes LOTS (I really mean LOTS **more on this at the bottom) of resources available, but with my other course load, I had absolutely no time to read pages and pages of comments, her daily homework, studying my own way for the AP exam, studying for other AP exams and other finals...yeah. But she makes TONS of stuff available if you don't have lots of other classes and have time to go through it all.

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

It really varied based on the day/week/topic. Math is not my forte, though I found I liked Calc infinitely more than Precalculus for some inexplicable reason. There was a period in first semester when I was overwhelmed by personal matters, a too-heavy course load, and college applications and unfortunately dropped the ball on Calculus. So of course after that I had to dedicate a lot more time to the course to catch up (by the way, Mrs Gilleran was very helpful and understanding through that whole process). But on average I spent probably 10 hours a week on math.

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

For the most part, the assignments are similar from week to week. But occasionally she'd assign videos for us to watch and I enjoyed having topics presented through different mediums.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I'd say it did...I really don't like math, but Calc BC wasn't so bad. It's still my least favorite subject, but the ability to actually understand it removes some of my dislike. It doesn't puzzle me anymore, so I'd say it was a success. ;)

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

This course doesn't use the typical wwwboard setup that the other PAH classes do...so that took a little while to get used to. We had our course website, which was one-way interaction (teacher to student), and a Calc BC google group, which was for us to ask questions to fellow students and TAs (and Mrs Gilleran too). We didn't consistently use it often, which is something I'd definitely change if I could go back and take this course again.

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, I'd recommend this class. It's not my favorite PAH class, but Mrs. Gilleran is a good teacher. At times I wished she'd explain topics a little more in her daily comments (sometiems she'd explain it wonderfully and other days she'd tell us to just read the textbook). Other than that, the only issue I had was that I didn't like that the review was intense during the last few weeks of class. It would have been great if it was optional, but as it was, I HAD to do all the review that Mrs Gilleran was assigning daily, and with studying for all my other exams, I had little time left over to study what I was actually weak in for Calc. She wanted us to go to a website for AP Calc AB review and do exercises there, where she could track our activity, but that's not the way I review/learn best at all. I didn't create an account because I knew I wouldn't use it anyway. I have my own way of studying...but she was pretty upset when (apparently) a lot of us had a similar idea and didn't sign up or weren't active. Maybe it's just the inner homeschooler in me coming out (I'm used to having flexibility, and this was my 10th AP and all my other PAH teachers have suggested what we do to review, but never assigned weekly, much less daily, review work). I realize that math is a totally different subject, but at the same time I feel like I would have scored better on the exam if I had been allowed to more freely pursue my own way of reviewing. 

Overall, I'd recommend this class...it's easy to get very behind (as I did) if you don't keep up with the daily assignments, but this class is definitely "AP" - Mrs Gilleran prepares her students very well for the topics and layout of the exam. As a sidenote, she also grades very fairly - I've never felt that she's out to penalize us, while still of course keeping expectations healthily high. :)


"Accumulation" of Calculus Knowledge posted by Ben Barnett on May 09 2014 at 23:11:27

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

Yes, I felt quite well prepared for the AP exam. As another review mentioned, Mrs. Gilleran planned the syllabus very well. During the year we would take occasional practice AP free-response questions, and towards the end of the school year for more than the last month we were working exclusively on practice tests. By the time the AP Calculus exam day came, the exam felt like just another test - albeit with more stress.


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

I would be lying to say I spent only 2 hours a day on this class. Granted, I can be a slacker, but even for the times I put my nose to the figurative grindstone, I still ended up spending on average a little over 3 hours a day on this class. Perhaps it took me longer than some other people due to my learning style, I am not sure.


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

Towards the beginning of the year, two different times, we had to write our own calculus problem for our classmates to solve. I really enjoyed trying to splice humor and some tricks into mine, and I enjoyed solving everyone else's problems as well. We did not have to solve all of our classmates problems, just 3-4 that we were assigned by last name. So it was manageable.


δ. Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I was already interested in math; I am a very mathy, logical person, and this course helped to confirm that interest. It very quite difficult at times, but all-in-all, I enjoyed it.


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

The class had a google group discussion board where the class could post questions that they were having trouble with. I will admit at times I was underwhelmed with the participation on the board. I wondered why it seemed to be only me having a problem - I suppose this a common worry - but nonetheless I felt that in the time I could ask a question and have someone answer it, I could just struggle through it myself and solve it. A few times I needed help I just decided to try and figure it out, because I doubted I would get help from the discussion board. Toward the end of the year it really picked up, but I just would have liked to see more consistent participation. 

Communication with Mrs. Gilleran directly via email seemed to be the primariy way most students asked questions. Mrs. Gilleran would then in detail break down the problems students were having trouble with in her daily comments, showing us how to do it. This was very helpful. I personally just prefered asking questions on the discussion board, so if others had the same issue, they could see and post as well.

 

ζ. 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 think if you are willing to work hard, and are persistent, this class is for you. I have learned much over the year, I have grown a lot, and I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure even though I hit a few figurative waves at times.

An issue I did have was how the assignments were laid out. The assignments were posted daily, and therefore it was hard to work ahead. Assignments were laid out for the month, but due to schedule changes you could really only count on the daily assignments to be accurate. This meant you had to check in daily to keep up with your work. Depending on your situation, this could be a good thing or a bad thing. Personally, I never had too much of an issue with this, but I can see it being a problem if you have a busy week and need to work ahead, or just need flexibility in general. 

Another issue was with the grading. Sometimes we would get our test grades back late, and this could be an inconvenience because we wouldn't know what general areas we were weak on and needed to study until a few days before the next test. I think Mrs. Gilleran was just so busy trying to grade both the AB and the BC calculus classes' tests that it was hard to get them back in time. After a busy year, I can completely relate. But I do think some sort of automated grading system, for either homework or tests, would be helpful to lighten the amount of work Mrs. Gilleran has to keep up with.

All in all, it was a wonderful class. It was challenging, difficult and at times quite stressful. But Mrs. Gilleran is a great teacher, and I enjoyed reading her comments that she posted for the daily assignments. She doesn't just teach you the material, she embarks on the adventure with you. Even though it was hard, I am sad it is over. 

If you are up for a challenge, and you like math, this class is for you.


Good class but very hard if you are a procrastinator or not well motivated posted by Jeremy Bost on May 08 2014 at 12:46:46

The online format of this class was difficult for me, especially the way homework piled up. With some online classes it is a little more flexible, but with this one work would often be assigned the same day it is due. And it is kind of hard to keep track of what you've done when you are behind. I really wished they used the Haiku Learning platform for this online class...I've had classes that use it and it is so much easier to track things you need to do.

 

Plus the teacher can set up some things to be auto graded, instead of us waiting weeks for a graded file to appear in Dropbox.

 

I tried to keep up, but after some medical stuff and a vacation, things started to pile up and catching up was almost impossible. And then important info was sometimes lost in some daily comment PDF file that I might have missed because there are so many.

 

This class is fine for those willing or able to work an hour or two each day, but if you can't...it's much harder. And it might really throw you off if the teacher changes the way she makes the total grade halfway during the course again.


Solid AP Calc Class - Prepare for Work, but You'll be Prepared! posted by Maia Paddock on May 08 2014 at 10:17:44

I was a little daunted going into this class at the beginning of the year. I knew I needed to take calc to prepare for college, but the class looked like it would be a ton of work. And it was, but not in a bad way. I spent about two hours each morning on this class. Some days it was significantly more, other days it was slightly less. The thing that made this class great was that I always understood what I was working on, even if I couldn't do it well. The morning notes from tthe teacher were fantastic. She would go over the homework assignments and explain any new concepts that we were learning that day. Between those, my textbook, the google group, and the test prep book, there wasn't a concept that I couldn't figure out before starting my homework. The other thing I really liked was that we started doing practice free response questions from the first few weeks of the class. This really helped make me confortable with the AP format and what was going to be covered on the free response section from very early in the class. Overall, it was a great class. I highly recommend it for anyone who knows they need calc for college or anyone who wants a good (but not stressful and overwhelming) challenge!


Calculus BC- Take it! posted by Alexander Deatrick on May 07 2014 at 17:37:07

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

Definitely. Mrs. Gilleran plans her syllabus excellently, and as a result there is a full month and a half to prepare for the AP exam. We also went through a review book throughout the year to keep topics fresh.

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

This is a pretty intensive course, but that being said it's very doable. On weekdays I spent about 2 hours a day (~30 minutes of reading and ~90 minutes doing problem sets). If it's close to a test, the midterm, or the final that might creep up to 3 hours a day once you factor in extra studying. There's no homework assigned over the weekends, which is relaxing, but it can be helpful to put in an hour or so of studying to keep the topics fresh.

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

This might sound crazy, but I enjoyed the problem sets the most. Doing problems and getting better at something just by doing it over and over is something I find very satisfying.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? 

Definitely! Although this is probably a pretty common answer to this question in other PA Homeschoolers reviews, I really did come to enjoy calculus by the end of the year. The thrill of solving a tricky problem or mastering a difficult concept is really satisfying.

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

The discussion board is very active and useful. I probably didn't use it as much I could/should have, but if you're having problems with anything there will always be a TA or a classmate ready with 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!)?

Being able to work hard is definitely a plus! Another factor to consider is whether to do Calc AB or BC. This was a tough choice for me last year, but I'm glad I chose BC. If you enjoy math a lot then BC will likely be a fun opportunity to challenge yourself. There's also some neat stuff in BC that you won't learn in AB. However, if you don't like math as much, then the problem sets may start to feel like chores, and it might be worth considering AB instead of BC. Either way, in Mrs. Gilleran you will have a superb teacher who will prepare you well and give you a great year of calculus!


A Very Solid Class posted by Justus Hibshman on May 07 2014 at 16:51:06

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

Yes - very much so. I just took the exam today, and there wasn't a question I didn't feel capable of answering. (The last few weeks of class are almost entirely preparation for the exam.)

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

It varied, but I would say 1-2 hours a day -- rarely 3.

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

Most of the assignments were similar in nature: read the material, maybe watch a video, and do the exercises. However, sometime we had to make our own word problems and I thought that was enjoyable.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Well, I was already interested in math, but I think calculus added to that interest. Some of the things we learned to do were cool. Also, I've become very fascinated with the existence of e.

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

I didn't have much communication with other students. Only a few people really used the discussion group, and that was mostly in communication with TAs. Occasionally though, we analyzed each-others' answers.

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!)?

It would definitely help to be someone who can learn by reading. Every day, Mrs. Gilleran would write something for us to read, and we'd generally read something from the textbook as well. That was how most of the teaching was done. (If you had questions though, there were definitely ways to ask them.)

I would recommend this class. Mrs. Gilleran is a very enthusiastic and fair teacher. While I can't compare this class to others, I think she did a great job. One nice thing is that in the case you wish to know a little more about a related topic that BC doesn't really go into, Mrs. Gilleran will give you optional materials to read. Some of the stuff that math gets into is pretty cool. Also, at the end of her daily post, she would attach a quote and a comic; the comic was often an enjoyable pause before digging into the task at hand. Some days, I felt like I was doing more exercises of the same kind than I really needed to, but at the same time, the work definitely reinforced what I was learning. I'm happy I took the class.


AP Calculus BC Review posted by Abigail H. on May 24 2013 at 03:36:19

 

 

I put about 2-3 hours per day into this course.

 

 

 

 




AP Calculus BC posted by Brooke Wade on May 15 2013 at 12:18:59

This class is a MUST! Mrs. Gilleran is absolutely amazing with her explanations of the most difficult calculus topics. That coupled with her sense of humor made this class a blast.

Absolutely. Unlike many of the other students in the class, math isn't my strongest subject, but Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments and slew of practice tests and review work made me feel quite confident about my chances on the exam. She is very thorough and extremely helpful.

I probably spent more hours per day working on assignments than others in the class. Somewhere around 3-4 hrs a day, I believe. It was a lot of dedication and commitment on my part, but I felt that spending that much time definitely paid off.

There wasn't a particular assignment since each lesson essentially consists of reading the chapter, working out problems, and solving a practice test (if there is one). I really loved Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments though. Each day, first thing in the morning, I'd log onto our course website and download her thoughts and explanations on the concept we were covering that day. These comments ranged anywhere from 5-15 pages. I really enjoyed reading them because they summarized the core concepts so well and brought in a range of additional examples to supplement the core reading. It helped me a lot, in particular, because Mrs. Gilleran would always put her explanations into everyday terms, so we didn't get lost in all the deltas and epsilons. It definitely helped prepare me to read the actual lesson.

Definitely. To be completely honest, algebra and pre-calc weren't my favorite classes, but I can say without hesitation that I absolutely loved AP Calc BC with Mrs. Gilleran. Though others had told me to dread derivatives and integrals, I came to enjoy them. Though the derivative application problems looked scary at first, Mrs. Gilleran's teaching helped me tame those problems

As part of the class, we had a Google discussion group to go over any problems and difficulties we had. It was always interesting for me to read the other students' comments, just as a way to see how someone else had solved the problem. It was nice to have that sort of collaboration.

I would definitely recommend this course to anyone! Whether you plan on going into a math or science field or not, I would highly suggest taking this class. It introduces you to a complex yet intriguing world and really hones your problem-solving and analytical  skills. You will have to put in a good amount of time, but the investment is completely worth it!


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.


Highly Recommend posted by Benjamin Furness on May 29 2019 at 14:28:09

 

I definitely felt well-prepared for the exam by the day of the exam. Mrs. Gilleran did an amazing job of slowly giving us practice tests and tips throughout the year so that by the time the test came around I felt like I had already taken the exam 10 times before. The resources that she constantly gave us to help us with our understanding of concepts on the test or just how to approach the exam really helped me feel absolutely confident about the AP exam. Overall, yes the course definitely prepared me for the exam.

I spent around 1-3 hours per day on calculus (excluding the few days before when I studied basically all day). On average I spent probably around 10-12 hours per week on calculus.

I really appreciated the practice FRQs and practice MCs that Mrs. Gilleran gave us because I felt like they represented real tests and material that could actually appear on the exam. So I really treasured these assignments and made sure to study them a lot.

Definitely. I always have always enjoyed math, and calculus introduced a whole new world of math that I had never seen before which excited me thouroughly. 

My communications with other students were not as valuable as I might have hoped because we didn't really get to know each other over the discussion board. I guess a more active discusstion board would have been nice, so I could have interacted more with classmates and used it more for questions or confusing topics.

If you are willing to push through some failure and some confusion and keep up the perseverance throughout the year, calculus can actually turn out to be an exciting course. With diligent studying you can learn tons about calculus and learn to love the subject as I did!


Solid calc class posted by Stephanie Yates on May 16 2019 at 19:26:28

Yes! There were a few curveballs but those were more about applying the knowledge differently than they were about knowing the material in general. Throughout the year Mrs. Gilleran gave us TONS of resources and a little over a month for review so the amount you get out of it is the amount you put in. 

Around 2-3 per day, and even more when we started doing full practice tests. Mrs. Gilleran has a day by day calendar with assignments that you really want to stay on top of if you want to understand the material (it can build up fast). 

I found her daily comments helpful when she went over tough problems in the homework or tests, breaking it down helped me understand the thought process better.

Yes! Sometimes the textbook exercises would incorporate real life applications, and Mrs. Gilleran would often post of real world use of calculus in her comments. It's surprising how many areas it can be applied in, even ones you don't expect!

Sometimes. This class is mostly self study with provided resources, but there is a discussion board available where you can ask specific questions. Most of the time the TAs would respond within a few days, but sometimes there would be unanswered questions. Some people emailed Mrs. Gilleran directly for a more in depth answer; she won't respond to you directly but she might go over the problem in the upcoming comments. Form a study group if you can. A few other people and I had a video call going over some of the tricky problems at the end of the year and it was much more helpful than going over the answer key alone.

Take this class if you're willing to put in the work everyday to understand the material and are motivated to learn. It's a great experience and if you don't mind studying on your own, I would definitely recommend it.


Great Class posted by David Roth on May 15 2019 at 15:45:34

This year I took AP Calculus BC with Mrs. Gilleran and it was great! Typically I put in about between 1-2 hours per day (but it could be more or less depending on the day) and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought coming into the class. Although we primarily were expected to read out of the online textbook and take our own notes, if I was ever uncertain on anything Mrs. Gilleran would respond and explain the topic in depth in the next day's notes. Going off of that, Mrs. Gilleran sends out daily notes that are on her website which outline the material we are learning that day, the homework that we are expected to do along with any other stuff we need to know, and she ends the notes with a daily tidbit about some random math concept that's always pretty interesting. To me, the best thing about the class was the preparation time that we had for the AP test. We finished learning the actual content in late March, which let us have nearly two months to prepare for the test, which was way way more time than I've had in any other AP class. We got to take between probably 5-8 practice AP tests, so on test day, it just felt like any other practice test and I felt completely prepared. All in all, if you're willing to put in the work, I'd recommend this class to nearly anyone, because with Mrs. Gilleran's help, anyone can succeed in it. 


Great Course for People Willing to Work posted by Esther Whitney on May 14 2019 at 20:51:15

I found that this course did an excellent job preparing me for the AP exam and (more importantly) teaching me calculus. There were always more resources I could turn to if I didn't understand something, and the pacing of the class was very consistent. I would recommend this class to anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort necessary to learn calculus well. 


Communication is not a strong suit posted by on May 14 2019 at 15:30:45

This year was a tough class. Calculus isn't easy, but it was not made any easier by the teacher. There were often unanswered questions and if there were answers, they were often unsatisfactory. 

The TA's were great and I probably would have failed had it not been for them. They answered most of the questions in the class. They honestly made better teachers than the actual teacher.

I did not feel very ready for the exam as most of the homework was not close to what the actual exam was. The Webassign homework was fairly simple versions of types of questions, but even when we did actual practice exams, they were very difficult to do because we were just thrown in with little explanation of some concepts that we only scratched the surface of on Webassign.

Unless you can have somebody explain the concepts to you/can teach calculus to yourself, I would suggest looking elsewhere.


Mrs Gilleran's AP Calculus BC Class posted by Joshua T. on May 14 2019 at 04:51:31

Overall, I found this class very challenging and rigourous. Thankfully, the online homework which allowed you to work on other problems that were similar and had videos explaining the concepts were very helpful. I also found the Google Group that was set up to be helpful while I was reviewing. 


Ms. Gilleran's course is for the serious student who wants a 5 on AP Calculus BC posted by Diya Krishnan on July 14 2018 at 18:08:03

 

Yes, the course made me feel very confident and prepared for the AP Calculus BC exam. It was very comprehensive, and the numerous practice problems and tests helped me sharpen my skills. Although this course is considered one of the hardest APs, working on the problems on a daily schedule, and not falling behind on deadlines goes a long way towards being successful. The FRQ questions were the most challenging for me. Ms. Gilleran included FRQ questions from the very beginning of the course, so that by the end of the course I got very comfortable with them.

 

On average I spent 15 hours per week on this course.

 

Ms. Gilleran’s packets of collected College Board questions pertaining to individual topics were especially helpful. I think working these packets is crucial, and can make all the difference. I also liked her daily notes webpage, which addressed problems faced by many students and provided clear explanations. I even liked the cartoon at the end of each document.

 

I have always been interested in Math.  This course not only increased my interest, it also gave many examples that showed how Calculus  can be applied to many other areas such as Physics.

 

Being able to interact with other students who had similar interests was energizing. Among the first things I did every morning was to check messages from other students in the course. I tried to participate as much as I could by offering my answers and asking questions of my own.

 

This course is intended for students who want to score a 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam!  So, the amount of work required is substantial. But the end result is very satisfying. I strongly recommend this course for the serious homeschooling student.

 


An excellent teacher and an excellent class posted by Ishaan Singh on May 22 2018 at 24:39:39

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

Yes, definitely. Mrs Gilleran had us do five practice tests and many, many FRQ's through the year so that when the exam came, I felt like it was just another practice test.

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

About 12-18 hours of work per week. 

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

Yes, the MCQ and FRQ packets and the five practice exams. I also enjoyed watching the videos Mrs Gilleran posted. To illustrate how watchful Mrs Gilleran is, one time I was having trouble with related rates. I asked Mrs Gilleran about what would help me with related rates, and she put up 1.5 hours worth of related rates videos. After watching the videos, I clearly understood relted rates and didn't have any further trouble, at all.

Something else that I really enjoyed was Mrs Gilleran's comments, which was definitely not an assignment. It made me feel like Mrs Gilleran was right there in our house.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, defintiely! I absolutely loved the class, and it has made me seroiusly consider an engineering major. I have loved taking derivatives and integrating (with respect to x!), and the course has allowed me to develop a deep understanding and love for Calculus. 

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

Yes. The communication on Google Groups was extremely valuable. Many times in Calculus, your understanding on a problem is different from someone else's. While both are right, theirs may be faster or may work on another problem that yours may not work on. You should look at the discussion board daily, at least. Answering other students makes you investigate the way you worked the problem more deeply, and it helps on FRQ's.

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!)? 

A student who knows their algebra and precalculus well will do well in this class. If you don't know your algebra well you will flounder all year in this class. It is rightly said that in caluclus, the calculus is not hard. It is the Algebra that throws many students. I would highly reccomned this class to students who are willing to work hard and who are good at their algebra. 

 


Excellent! posted by John Feliz on May 21 2018 at 14:22:03

This class was excellent! It provided plenty of material for review. There was lots of chatter and discussion about assignements, plus there is always help available. This is the type of class for those who like to work everyday for a specific amount of time. The class is very structured and efficient. I would definetly recommend this class.


Great Class posted by Isaac Hanna on May 18 2018 at 13:31:07

I would recommend Mrs. G's AP Calculus BC Course to any homeschooled student who is good with mathematics, is willing to work hard, and wants to get a 5 on the AP exam. I typically spent about an hour or two a day on the class, and felt very confident with the material heading into the exam. I would be very surprised if I did not get a 5. Between the daily comments, the textbook, the exercises, and the practice tests, Mrs. G made sure that we had the resources that we needed to excel in the course. I enjoyed the course, and have found Calculus to be an enjoyable subject. 


Susan Gilleran's AP Calculus BC Class posted by Michael Squire on May 17 2018 at 15:44:44

Of all the teachers I've had through the years, Mrs. Gilleran was definately one of the best, and is likely among the best teachers in PA Homeschoolers. Her dedication to the subject and to her students is remarkable, espacially for being an online teacher. She writes comments on the material being learned every  single school day. Although it sometimes takes a while for Mrs. Gilleran to respond to e-mails and questions, the several helpful TAs are quick to respond to questions on the online forum. Post a question on this site and one is likely to get a response within twenty minutes. Finally, Mrs. Gilleran is an extremly encouraging individual. She always takes the time to littlen the mood on a particularly difficult lesson and knows the right things to say when preping us before a test. Choosing Mrs. Gilleran to be my teacher was a real no-brainer. 

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

When taking a daughting course like calculus, some students can become easily unerved (like many friends I know in public school), but not so when Mrs. Gilleran is your teacher. She prepared us with a abundant work load since the beginning of the course. We also took several practice tests throughout the year. As long as one does all the assignments and takes time to view some of the extra study aids (like videos, reading material, and practice problems) you will definately feel confident on the day of the exam (I know I did).

What sort of student would do well in this course?

Considering the amount of resouces and care provided in this course, I could definately see any student strong in math or determined in general doing well in this course. In keeping the right pace you will surely succeed.


AP Calculus BC with Susan Gilleran posted by Jocelyn Hartley on May 16 2018 at 17:06:28

Did this course prepare your for the AP Exam?

Definitely. From the year end review I learned the types of problems, both MCQ and FRQ, that I would be asked on the exam. However, the questions require a different application of theory each year, and (confession: I really only did the work necessary to make an A, not to really understand all of calculus theory) I sometimes had a difficult time adapting to the different problems.

 

How many hours a day?

Usually 1-1.5 for me. But to learn the material really thoroughly, unless you are a genius, which you may perfectly well be, I would say more like 2 hours.

 

Your favorite assignment?

The review was the most helpful. Since I don't really like math though, I don't have a favorite (except polar coordinates sometimes make pretty graphs;).

 

Did this course enhance your interest in the subject?

It certainly gave me greater understanding of the subject. I won't pretend however that I could ever find math interesting, even with a wonderful teacher.

 

Did you find your communications with other students valuable?

The discussion board was very lively for a small number of students, but I almost never used it. 

 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend the course?

Anyone who is willing to work hard can succeed in this class. As I've mentioned, even though I dislike math and am not particularly gifted at it I still made an A. I definitely recommend this class to anyone who wants to score well on the Calc exam.

 


Mrs. Gillerans Calculus BC class posted by Caleb Godbold on May 15 2018 at 21:12:43

That's all, I guess. I highly recommend this course-- it is excellent. Have a great year!


Fantastic Class posted by James Statton on May 15 2018 at 20:57:08

In contrast to some past experiences with other AP exams, I felt thoroughly prepared going in to take the 2018 AP Calculus BC Exam. Ms. Gilleran's excellent class ensured that I had effectively mastered every topic tested on the BC exam. I would strongly recommend this class to anyone willing to put in the time and effort needed for success in a rigorous calculus course.


A review posted by Bryce C. on May 15 2018 at 19:00:02

First of all, I would definetly reccomend this course for those willing to put in the effort to succeed. Rareley did I have to spend more than 2 hours on a single day's work. Mrs. Gilleran's comments were always informative and covered the subject of the day more than adequately, though these are not the kind of comments that you read in five minutes if you want to do well. What made things even more enjoyable were the tidbits Mrs. Gilleran would sometimes put at the end of her lessons, whetting our appetites for what post-calculus math will be like, or just giving us advice on how to prepare for the exam. The discussion board has been an excelent resource for learning, even if one doesn't have questions, they can always cement their understanding even more by helping others to learn. After I took the AP exam, I kept hearing from the other students taking the test that they couldn't figure out how to do some problems that I had no problem with because of all the practice APs that Mrs. Gilleran had us endure, and this school has one of the best AP Calculus programs in the area!


Fascinating Class posted by Veronica on May 15 2018 at 17:48:35


posted by Cliff Yang on May 15 2018 at 17:16:09

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

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam. I already had a little knowledge of calculus from a previous (unsuccesful) attempt at studying calculus, but this class solidfied what I knew and taught me more. By the time, the AP test came around, I had learned and practiced everything I need to take the exam. 

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

There is a good-sized chunk of homework each day. It generally took me about 1-1.5 hrs a day, but that will vary depending on the student. Mrs. Gilleran does not assign homework on weekends, so you can shift stuff there if you need to. 

What sort of student would do well in this course?

Anyone who is willing to work hard. Calculus may seem intimidating at first, but the more time and effort you put into it, the easier it will get. Mrs. Gilleran provides a lot of materials to help you understand the concepts, and the other students and TA are there to help as well.


AP Calculus BC Review posted by C Peterson on May 29 2017 at 21:36:56

First, some background: I took this class as a high school senior, and at the end of this last year I have taken ten AP classes through PA Homeschoolers throughout high school. Math was never my favorite subject when I was younger, but I absolutely loved Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calc AB class last year and opted to take BC this year so I could have her again as a math teacher. Anyway, now for the questions:

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?–Yes, I do. I already had a very strong background in the first half of the material, having come in with a 5 in Calc AB from the year before, so there was a steep drop-off for me from the first to the second semester as we switched to material I didn't already know. She gave us about five full-length practice tests in the month before the AP exam, though, which were invaluable for prepping for the exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?–It varied a certain amount, but probably about 30-60 minutes during the first semester (when it was all review material) and then up to 2 hours a day, more on test days, in the second semester.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?–As I said before, I loved all the practice tests we did in the weeks leading up to the exam. We also did practice questions from actual College Board tests throughout the year, which got us comfortable with the information we needed.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?–Not really, because I already realized last year in Calc AB that I rather like calculus. I was quite frustrated by a few of the concepts in second semester (especially polar coordinates!), but I figured things out well enough and didn't really despise calculus itself.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?–Calculus isn't the most social of subjects, but I did take advantage of the Google group to get help with problems I couldn't understand. I invariably start getting responses, from both TAs and students, in about five minutes.

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!)?–Honestly, I'm glad I took Calc AB first. BC is very fast-paced and I'm not sure I would have liked calc nearly as much if I'd had to absorb all that info from both semesters in a single year. If you're a little tepid about the whole AP Calculus thing, do Calc AB. If you know that you love math, and you're not afraid of the fast pace, then you could try jumping straight into BC. Either way, if you plan to take AP Calculus at any point during your high school years, Mrs. Gilleran's classes are definitely the way to go!


Calculus BC posted by Jay Burnett on May 22 2017 at 11:22:14

I do feel like this course prepared me for the AP Exam because we practiced on real AP tests and went over tips and tricks on the test. This course did not enhance my interest on the subject of calculus, but, then again, maybe nothing would. I think i spent on average 2 hours a day on this course


Great AP Class posted by Bethany Furness on May 19 2017 at 18:23:29

I really enjoyed this Calculus class. I felt very well prepared going into the Exam. I felt like I knew the AP curriculum very well and many of the test questions were very similar to some of the practice questions we had gone over .  

Mrs. Gilleran is a very good teacher and quick on email, however she leaves the discussion board and ask your teacher mainly to the TA's. Mrs. Gilleran was very encouraging all year long and she was very clear with what we would and wouldn't need to know for the exam. She made a point to go through lots of problems in the comments each day and also gave us some really helpful videos to aid our studying.  I enjoyed her teaching a lot.

The discussion board was a great resource and always a good place to turn when in need of help. There was always somebody with an answer whether it was a TA or a fellow classmate.

This course is definitely difficult.  The work was assigned on a daily basis which usually consisted of reading from the textbook, reading Mrs. Gilleran's comments, and completing the assignment on Webassign. Altogether this probably took me 1-2 hours every day, sometimes more depending on the assignment. Much of the material is difficult, but most of the tricky concepts that you need to know for the test showed up in many, many assignments and by the time the test came around they were familiar and easy.

I would recomend this course to anyone who likes math but is willing to put in the time and work to get a good grade and do well on the AP Exam.  


Perfectly Fine posted by Jonah Dominguez on May 19 2017 at 11:59:46

I don't really have much to say. I learned, I got stuff done, I think I did well. The class moves at a reasonable pace, the material has mutltiple ways for you to understand it- while reading a book doesn't always do it for me, the website does offer you the ability to do practice versions of questions before completely the homework. So, in all, the class is pretty good overall. 


Every coin has 2 sides posted by Eric Eaton on May 19 2017 at 11:53:06

While the course prepared me for the AP exam it actually decreased my interest in the subject. I put in roughly 2.5 hours/ day and math comes fairly easy to me.  Basic Limits was the most foundational and interesting; however, the course did not enhance my interest in the subject in any regard.  The student chat board was useful, though the lack of ready access to teachers hindered the effectiveness of the course's format. I would only recommend this course to people who already had a foundational understanding of basic calculus or who understand limits, and polar coordinates. 


Calculus Review Form posted by Alex Istrate on May 13 2017 at 13:10:31

I feel that this course prepared me very well for the exam. I knew how to do nearly all of the problems thrown at me. On average I spent between 15 and 20 hours per week on Calculus, although there were a few days when I spent at least 8 hours. I found that the daily assignments were very valuable for me to retain the information because of the high amount of exercises we did, so that when we came to exam review I didn't have to go back and memorize large amounts of information. This course definitely enhanced my interest in mathematics. I found that it was helpful to see how other students understood different concepts.

I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in math and wants a difficult course that will stretch them, so that they will be knowledgeable in the area and able to apply mathematical concepts to real world examples (that's what the Free Response Section is all about). If you will be taking Calculus in college for the major you are going for (like engineering or mathematics), it will be extremely valuable to have Calculus 1 and 2 under your belt. Even if you aren't able to skip the courses in college, you will be a step ahead of the game in your freshman year if you already have a concrete understanding of the material.


Difficult posted by Andrew Kaeppel on May 13 2017 at 12:01:21

     This class can be rewarding to the select group of people who love higher mathematics and comprehend the subject easily.  At the end of the course, I felt well prepared for the AP Exam, but at the cost of nearly 6 hours or more per day at 5 days a week.  If I had had more time to go over each subject in depth, then perhaps it would not have seemed so overwhelming, but as it was, we as a class were only given extra time on a few subjects, and some of those because the teacher had medical emergencies.
     On the subject of the teacher, I could tell that she was prepared for each set of comments she posted, but the comments only contained an overview of a concept or two, some example problems to show how they work, and then encouragement to read the textbook chapter containing the material we just overviewed.  It is helpful, when working with calculus, to have a subject explained to you more than once, but to have it briefly touched upon, and then be told to read the textbook was discouraging to say the least.
     The disscusion board was more helpful than the comments, as the many different viewpoints afforded me with an easier understanding of the subject material, even when the viewpoints were not all accurate or correct.
     In conclusion, this course is not for the faint of heart. It WILL prepare you for the AP Calc BC Exam, but if you are not fluent in Algebra and higher math subjects, you will end up spending at least four hours a day on the assignments alone.  I took this course to be more challenged this year, and I believe I have been thoroughly challenged.  I only reccomend this class to those who are willing to spend massive amounts of their time for a mild payoff, or to those who love calculus as their favorite subject.  


AP Calc BC is a great learning experience... posted by Megan K. on May 13 2017 at 10:17:54

Any student who is willing to dedicate 1.5-2 hours per day to learning the material and practicing the concepts can excel in this course.  Mrs. Gilleran provides a wide variety of studying resources to help any type of learner, so the class is somewhat individualized.  I was prepared for every assessment, and anything I did not immediately understand was resolved by Mrs. Gilleran and/or my classmates on our discussion board.  Aside from the awesome quality of teh academic material in this course, Mrs. Gilleran is a wonderful teacher whose ultimate goal is to help her students understand the math in a way it makes sense to them.  Because of this and the prerequisite Calc AB course, I have decided to minor in math next year in college.


My adventure with BC posted by Sean Moushegian on May 13 2017 at 03:05:57

I entered this class after doing relatively well in an AB class offered by another provider (earning a 5 on the exam).  As such, most of the semester one material was content with which I was familiar.  The second semester came as a surprise: the material was new and presented a real challenge.  I found myself spending 12+ hours per week on calculus during the most intense weeks of the year.

Mrs. Gilleran was very helpful with my BC adventure.  She helped me out when I was struggling and provided multiple generous extensions to accomodate my competition schedule.  When the class performed not-so-well on a chapter exam, she allowed the class to take some time off, review the material, and to re-take the exam.  These and other scenarios made me feel that Mrs. Gilleran and I were on the same team working to overcome the material together.

Mrs. Gilleran keeps the AP exam at the forefront, even when it's a long way off.  Every couple of weeks she prepares a real free-response question that can be completed with the material learned up to that point in the year.  At the end of the year, she preared several topical free-response "packets".  Each of these packets contained a compilation of ~5-15 free response and ~15-30 multiple choice questions from prior years' exams, all centered around a calculus concept.  Furthermore, she provides full-length tests from prior years.  Mrs. Gilleran is extremely competent with regards to the College Board's policies and procedures and she works to share her knowledge of these issues with the class.  I feel like I did fabulous on the exam, but (unexpectedly) I had fun doing it.


AP Calculus BC Review posted by Philip Huang on May 12 2017 at 24:18:43

Absolutely yes! Mrs. Gilleran provided an abundance of review resources and practice exams that kept me quite busy throughout the school year but ensured that I knew exactly what was going on when I took the AP exam.

On average, I devoted 1-2 hours per day to calculus.

While virtually all of the assignments were challenging in one way or another, I particularly enjoyed reviewing short answer responses that others posted onto the class discussion board.

Not really, I already had an intense interest in mathematics prior to taking this course and still do, but at least this course did not by any means discourage me from pursuing further education in the field of math.

Most definitely. Although I did not participate on the class discussion board as frequently as some other students did, I found my interactions with the TA's, fellow classmates, and Mrs. Gilleran extremely helpful and encouraging. Almost any question I had was answered within a couple hours, and being able to assist others helped me review and reinforce calculus concepts.

Calculus BC covers a hefty amount of material over the year, and many of the concepts taught in the course require constant review and practice. Due to the advanced nature of the course content, one who is relatively math-proficient and has a firm understanding of precalculus will certainly have an advantage in learning and mastering calculus concepts. Anyone who ventures to take AP Calculus BC should be prepared to encounter difficult challenges, but they can be overcome with diligent, consistent work and the assistance that Mrs. Gilleran and her TA's provide.


The work will pay off posted by Kenneth Harland on May 12 2017 at 20:27:10

Calculus can seem impossible at first because it seems like a whole new language of math, but you quickly learn, and the course is set up so that you incrementally get into tougher material. I really found the WebAssign work helpful, and I wish we had done it all the way through. I learn by doing problems, and the way WebAssign is set up makes sure you answer questions of all different kinds that are on the exam. I generally spent 2-3 hours on Calculus, but I did spend a little bit more during the time Mrs. Gilleran was not well. 

If any of you guys were wondering, YES, you can use things you learn from Calculus. I actually used it on the SAT, and there are some real life examples in the book.


AP Calculus BC posted by D. Carter on May 12 2017 at 20:22:49

If you are looking for a great, challenging course that will prepare you for the AP Calculs BC exam, this is the way to go.  I felt extremely well prepared going into the exam.  The course does require hard work (I probably spent a solid hour and a half per day), but it pays off in the end.  Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments really help to explain the material, and there is always a bit of humor in them to keep everything interesting.  Another great part about the course is how students can post questions through the discussion board.  Other students can help to answer the questions, and this is a great way to make sure you know the material inside and out.  Overall, for any student who loves math and is willing to work hard, I would highly recommend this class.


Calc BC Review posted by Andrew Plaza on May 11 2017 at 16:18:44

Through all the rigorous coursework I've done in Mrs. Gilleran's class, I felt well-prepared for the AP Exam. I spent anywhere between 2-3 hours per day working through the assignments, depending on the difficulty of the topic at hand. Throughout the year, we had many opportunities to practice for the AP Exam, and I would say that this was perhaps the most valuable part of the course. Though I found the material to be challenging at times, Mrs. Gilleran did a very good job at explaining the material to us in a way that I could understand. Right off the bat, I could tell that Mrs. Gilleran genuinely cared about her students, and wanted to see us succeed. Along with Mrs. Gilleran, the TA's and the other students also provided great help and moral support throughout the year. Overall, I had a lot of fun learning calculus in this course. I would recommend this course for hard-working students who enjoy math, and aren't afraid of a challenge.


Class Review posted by Samson on May 11 2017 at 14:03:52

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

Yes, I did feel that the course did well in preparing us for the AP exam, whether that be managing to get through the content or having alot of practice for the AP exam.

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

About 10 to 12 hours per week or 2-3 hours per day.

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

I found the FRQ's most helpful, because there were many FRQ's on the exam that were similar to the ones we had practiced in class.

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

Yes, it did, because it caused me to become more interested in how math can apply to the real world.

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

In all honesty, I did not really communicate with my classmates. I did fine, so I don't really know how much it helps.

6. 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 other students, although I would suggest that there be someone able to teach the course in case if the teacher becomes ill. I believe that those who are motivated and hard-working should be able to do well in the course. If you procrastinate, beware that you could easily fall behind and find it hard to catch up.


Calc BC review posted by Caeden Smith on May 09 2017 at 20:57:40

I had everything I needed coming into exam day. Mrs. Gilleran does a very nice job of explaining even the most complex calculus. There were a few unfortunate circumstances this year that arose with Mrs. Gilleran’s health. I could see that the class was struggling a bit but the TAs were great with keeping everyone up to speed. Being self-motivated, I was able to self-teach myself and be confident for the exam. For anybody thinking about taking BC, you must be self-motivated and detail oriented in order to succeeded, not just in this course but in any Calc BC level course.


Nothing ventured, nothing gained posted by Emily Lamb on May 09 2017 at 18:50:10

I loved Mrs. Gilleran as my calculus teacher this year.  She was very helpful and encouraging; she definitely helped me prepare for the exam, and I feel like I got a five.  I was working all day almost every day on assignments, but I feel all the hard work paid off.  It would've probably been easier to complete the homework in a shorter amount of time if the course had been structured differently.  I'm an auditory learner, so I would've learned more easily if I had a video or a live instructor; the assignment submission website was not great either.  For those who are willing to work hard and learn best by reading material, this is definitely the best option.  My favorite assignment was creating a calculus problem of my own in a subject I was weak in.  It was a great learning experience, for I learned so much about the subject about which I was creating my problem.  I've been interested in math, especially calculus, for as long as I can remember, and Mrs. Gilleran definitely helped fuel my interest in it.  I'm going on to major in engineering and maybe mathematics.  I would totally recommend Mrs. Gilleran as a math teacher.  She understands calculus very throroughly and she always wants the best for her students.  Her idea to have a discussion board to converse about difficult problems with other students and teaching assistants was phenomenal; I even knew two of the kids on the discussion board in real life.  For anyone who is taking this class, I wish them the best because they are learning from the best.  Thank you so much, Mrs. Gilleran!  =D


Nothing ventured, nothing gained posted by Emily Lamb on May 09 2017 at 18:50:10

I loved Mrs. Gilleran as my calculus teacher this year.  She was very helpful and encouraging; she definitely helped me prepare for the exam, and I feel like I got a five.  I was working all day almost every day on assignments, but I feel all the hard work paid off.  It would've probably been easier to complete the homework in a shorter amount of time if the course had been structured differently.  I'm an auditory learner, so I would've learned more easily if I had a video or a live instructor; the assignment submission website was not great either.  For those who are willing to work hard and learn best by reading material, this is definitely the best option.  My favorite assignment was creating a calculus problem of my own in a subject I was weak in.  It was a great learning experience, for I learned so much about the subject about which I was creating my problem.  I've been interested in math, especially calculus, for as long as I can remember, and Mrs. Gilleran definitely helped fuel my interest in it.  I'm going on to major in engineering and maybe mathematics.  I would totally recommend Mrs. Gilleran as a math teacher.  She understands calculus very throroughly and she always wants the best for her students.  Her idea to have a discussion board to converse about difficult problems with other students and teaching assistants was phenomenal; I even knew two of the kids on the discussion board in real life.  For anyone who is taking this class, I wish them the best because they are learning from the best.  Thank you so much, Mrs. Gilleran!  =D


Class of the Year posted by Caleb Miller on May 21 2016 at 21:21:46

This class was awesome.  I have always loved math, and BC Calc seemed to be the best option.  I took this class as a Junior and it was definitely my favorite class.  Although there were no video chats and lectures from Mrs. Gilleran to watch, I felt that Mrs. Gilleran did a much better job than my three other online teachers.  Now you may think that you need teacher / student video if you want the information to really "sink in."  Not the case...  During the year, we had a bunch of super helpful / fun videos on Youtube to watch about new topics.  We also used Google Groups as our messaging board.  The TAs / fellow classmates would answer your questions usually within an hour or two.  If your question would stump everyone, then Mrs. Gilleran would step in and reply.

My favorite part of the day was reading the daily "comments."  Each day, Mrs. Gilleran would write a 3 - 15 page pdf of everything that we needed to be aware of for the day.  It would include everything... (General information / problems that people struggled with / Inspiration to keep on going :) / Math comic strips..

 

Ok, on to the questions - I felt totally prepared for my exam.  I currently don't know what I got (I took the AP exam this morning, but I think I did ok).  Unlike my other AP class, we did tons of practice starting in September.  We went through our normal textbook and also worked in the book Be Prepared for the AP Calculus Exams.  Our midterm was a shortned AP exam and our final was an AP exam.  We also did endless (in a good way) frq's (Free Response Questions).  During April, all we did was study.  Mrs. Gilleran had a bunch of stuff to download so we could quiz ourselves and cement information we had learned way back in the fall.

 

I guess I spent about 1 - 1.5 hours per day.  There was a lot of work, but I enjoyed just about all of it.  I will put that I have always excelled in and loved math.  Every day there was a decent amount of work, but it cooled down a little in April when we were just studying.  A common day could look like...  {Read the daily comments --> read a section in your e-book textbook -->  Complete the daily assignment on WebAssign --> watch this one youtube video}

 

I particularly enjoyed two assignments...  Finding the instantaneous slope of a line and finding the area under a graph  :)  You will find that those are the two main problems covered in the entire class.

 

My interest in math was already enhanced, but if it was possible, this course enhanced my interest even more.  I decided that I want to major in something with math (probably mechanical engineering) and hopefully get a career that deals with numbers.  Calculus totally brings in a new element of math.

 

As I said above, communication was excellent.  Unlike some courses, where you use one slow, old webpage for everything, we used multiple, universal websites for different stuff.  Being a tech guru, I was glad about this.  We used Google Group for discussion, dropbox for handing in assignments, WebAssign for doing our homework (this website rocks... first website I've seen where it's easy to type in equations, etc...), and Youtube for watching occasional videos from some experts.

 

A student that had a strong desire to succeed would do well in this class.  Math doesn't have to be your favorite subject, but that was what sparked my interest.  You need to be willing to work hard / study and hopefully you will do great!

If you made it this far I am impressed!  Hope this information has helped and thanks for reading!

 


AP Calculus BC posted by Madelaine Griesel on May 16 2016 at 17:45:37

This course is well worth all the hard work and time it takes to complete it. Mrs. Gilleran is a knowledgable teacher and takes the time to help her students really learn the material. Her daily comments addressing certain problems and questions from students helped my understanding of that topic and enhanced whatever we were learning from the textbook also. I spent about 2-4 hours a day reading the lesson and doing the assignments that came with it. As with any AP courses, be careful about what other work-heavy classes you take on while taking this course. I felt very prepared for the AP exam with all the review and practice material we went over in class, Mrs. Gilleran takes a lot of time to make sure her students feel ready for the actual AP exam at the end of the year. While a challenging course, I enjoyed the class and definitely recommend it to motivated students who are ready to put in the time to thoroughly learn Calculus.


AP Caluclus BC posted by Sarah Davis on May 10 2016 at 14:44:16

Although math is not my favorite course, I found calculus to be very interesting and practical particularly as I studied physics. This class requires a lot of hard work and time and I would suggest only taking it if you are willing to invest in really learning and understanging the material.


Good Class posted by Daniel Beckmann on May 09 2016 at 22:36:17

Mrs. Gilleran provides a lot of study material. Great class


Review posted by Natalie Sampsell on May 09 2016 at 20:23:07

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

Definitely. Mrs. Gilleran knows her stuff, so we knew exactly what to study. Also, she provided a ton of websites and other materials to learn and review information. At times I felt the workload was a bit excessive - especially during the review month - but there's no doubt that I was prepared for the exam. 

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

It varied a lot by day and how well I understood the material, but I'd say it was generally under 2 hours a day? I had a schedule that made it hard for me to do daily assignments, so a lot of the time I would do more than one day's worth of assignments at a time to work ahead/catch up. But yeah, one day's worth of assignments would generally take less than 2 hours for me to complete.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

No, I wouldn't say it did. I liked math going into the class, and I like it about the same now. I'd say this course did help me appreciate math a bit more, as Mrs. Gilleran made sure we understood the concepts behind the math instead of just teaching us how to do the problems.

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

Not particularly. We had a class discussion board so we could ask questions and interact, but generally it took too long to get answers there, so any problems I had I had to figure out myself with the provided resources.

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're looking to get a 5 on the AP Exam, I doubt there's a better class you could take to do it. But like everyone's saying, this class is a lot of work - Mrs. Gilleran even told us that we did more to review than any other calculus class she was following - so just be aware of that! But yes, this class made calculus surprisingly understandable - I learned a ton from it.


AP Calculus BC Review posted by Daniel Kim on May 06 2016 at 20:23:22

I spent about 2 - 2.5 hours a day working on the material.  The resources Mrs. Gilleran recommends are helpful in understanding the material and preparing for the AP Exam.  Mrs. Gilleran is a talented teacher and goes over several examples in her notes every morning.  One negative is that I found the discussion board and overall communications with the other students/teacher to be inefficient – this made finding answers to specific questions and topics challenging at times.  Overall, this is a great Calculus course.  


AP Calc BC Review posted by Ethan Hoffman on May 06 2016 at 16:06:30

I greatly enjoyed the PA Homeschoolers Calc BC course. The work throughout the year was challenging but not overwhelming, and Mrs. Gilleran made a great effort to make sure that each student was able to understand the topics we were studying. We had plenty of material available to use for reviewing at the end of the year, so our preparation for the AP exam was very good. Great class for those willing to work hard!


Great Class for Hardworking Students posted by Hannah Bettendorf on May 06 2016 at 12:46:59

   If you are looking for a course that will challenge and prepare you, this is it!  Not for the faint of heart, this class requires motivation and dedication.  These characteristics, however, are required for AP level courses.  Mrs. Gilleran does an outstanding job of explaining the material and preparing you for success on the exam.  I spent an average of 2-3 hours per day on this class, and the assignments were larger at the beginning of the year.  Don't get discouraged if the first few days are pretty rough- you will become more efficient, the assignments will become more predictable, and you can do it!  This was the first online class that I have taken that didn't have live meetings, and I was curious to see how the level of interaction with the teacher and students differed from my previous classes.  The online discussion board was a great resource for the TAs and other students to help each other work out problems, and Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments were a wonderful outline of the daily assignments, topics to understand, and problems to review.  In summary, I would highly recommend this course to the student who is willing to work diligently to earn a solid understanding of BC calculus for the AP exam.  


If Hope All Classes I Learn Are Like This Class posted by Jace Jin on May 06 2016 at 12:41:12

If my friends ask me for a place to learn AP Calculus BC, I am going to tell them about this class. I only needed to spend around 1 hour or 2 everyday to read and do homeworks.

I say with only textbook, I would not be able to understand so thoroughly. What I consider the most important about this class is Mrs. Gilleran's comments, which she posts everyday. Sometimes she would send links, usually on youtube, where we can learn by watching a guy solving a problem step by step. These sourses and her sharing in experiences worth more than textbooks.

I really enjoyed having this class. :)    I want to rate 10 stars                                          out of 9. :P


Holistic Calculus posted by Grace McDonough on May 05 2016 at 23:30:30

I took the AP Exam the morning before I wrote this, and I guess since I'm done with the class I can officially say it was my favorite out of the five I took this year. To be honest, this morning's exam was easier than the final, which I guess says something about how well this class prepared me. Mrs. Gilleran demands a lot of you, but she makes it so much fun and so easy to stay motivated. Reading her comments has been one of the best parts of my day this year. I've always loved math and this class has only made me love it more. I love how not only is there so much difficult and rigorous mathematics in this class (apparently I'm one of those people who loves pain), but there is also constant motivation, whether on the class pages or in Mrs. G's comments, to make excellence a habit, to love and take care of yourself. That said, you do have to have a real committment to learning and loving math if you want to succeed, but if you're willing to make that committment, this class will be incredibly rewarding.


AP Calculus BC Review posted by Nathan Emery on May 16 2015 at 24:39:10

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

Certainly! The course covered all of the material on the exam, and Mrs. Gilleran did an excellent job of explaining how to apply the material to different situations. The assignments were often more challenging than the question on the exam. Also, we spent the last few weeks of the year taking and evaluating practice tests, which helped me gain familiarity with the types of questions I would see on the exam. When I was taking the exam, I felt prepared for nearly every question I encountered.

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

I would estimate that I spent about an hour and a half per day on the course, so about 8-10 hours per week.

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

I can't pick out any assignments in particular, as all of the problem sets and practice tests were helpful. Mrs. Gilleran in her daily Comments and the students, TAs, and Mrs. Gilleran in the Discussion Board all do an excellent job of discussing and explaining questions and concepts, and often those explanations helped me gain a deeper understanding of the material. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I would not say that it enhanced my interest, but that is because AP Calc AB did that last year! :) I have always been interested in math, but I particularly enjoyed AB last year and this year I continued to be interested in the subject. I did find the class enjoyable and interesting to learn more about calculus. If you have not taken a Calculus course before, I can say that BC will likely enhance your interest in the subject. Mrs. Gilleran, and the assignments, do a great job of challenging students to really understand the material and how concepts work, which is valuable and much more interesting than just learning to apply formulas and the like.

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

Yes! I have a bit of a unique perspective, as I was asked to be a Teaching Assistant after taking AB last year as well as a student. Being a TA gave me more responsibility to answer questions and to answer them more deeply. These interactions with other students were often the most valuable way to learn and apply concepts, to make sure I truly understood concepts as I communicated them in writing. The discussion board is optional and can be used only as a student needs it, but I find answering the discussions and asking questions is one of the most valuable parts of the class. Even if I wasn't a TA, I know I would gain a lot from the discussion board–just as I did in AB last year.

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!)?

Working hard is certainly necessary, as this is an AP course and a high level of math. However, Mrs. Gilleran does an excellent job of explaining the material and the discussion board is a great help in learning it, so a student does not have to be extraordinarily smart or good at math–just willing to put in the effort and work hard. Additionally, some level of interest helps. Like I mentioned previously, I generally like math, but even if a student doesn't like math, approaching the class and the concepts with an open mind will likely make them interesting. Self-motivation, too, is necessary–Mrs. Gilleran gives us the tools to succeed, but ultimately it is up to the students to complete assignments on time, study, and add to the discussion board.

I would certainly recommend this class to anyone looking for a challenging, rewarding course at a high level of math.


Macroecons 2014/15 Review posted by Matthew Tan on May 16 2015 at 12:28:20

Macroeconomics was a fantabulous class! Dr Richman is a really good teacher that helped me keep reviewing the key concepts so I didn't even have to memorise much for the exam. He clearly taught us all the graphs and gave us great material to help us like the ACDC econs videos. Dr Richman's method of getting us to write essays twice a week in the second semester really helps in gearing us up for the exam and I felt fully prepared for my macroecons exam long before May. The econs games are a great way to learn concepts that are taught in class and competition between classmates can be really fierce and fun! Of course, the best feeling is if you can beat Dr Richman at the econs games!


Mom's perspective posted by Andrea Soja on May 15 2015 at 13:36:17

When enrolling in Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calc BC class, I was concerned there was not a regular meeting time since we had only taken online classes that met live once/twice a week. However, this class has been the best online class for us and had the most teacher interaction then any before it. Instead of twice a week input, each day my son logged on for a document with instruction,feedback,tidbits,and some fun comics that would start his day. Not meeting live, also gave us the flexibility to work longer on specific areas he needed and not have the weekly deadline of a class. There were due dates and your child will work hard, especially in the beginning, but it was so worth it! 

The class matured my son and helped him establish routine in his week.  You must work on it each day to build the knowledge, but if you stay with it and use the resources available, you will walk into the exam with confidence and wallk out with even more. My son did not need to take Calculus but wanted to be challenged. He is now planning to take Calculus 3 at the local college (which uses the same book!) and is hoping to minor in Math.

Your most challenging months will be the first two until you establish a routine and then March where you start heavy practice for the AP while finishing up the class work. It was especially difficult for us because my son participated in Speech/Debate and we had to travel each month. Mrs. Gilleran worked with his schedule and granted an extension if needed. 

In addition to the online book help,videos,links and Web Assign (used in many colleges), my son was part of a Google group where Mrs. Gilleran had arranged for 5 Teaching Assitants to be available to assist with homework questions and allow the students to co-miserate together on a problem. You could participate in this as much or as little as you wanted. This class offered a real community to help you through the work. It was encouraging to know you were taking classes with students within your own state and as far away as China.

If your child is willing to work hard, perserve, do their own work, and stay on top of the assignments, you will not find a better Calculus class to teach the subject and prepare you for the exam! Looking forward to the scores in July. Thank you for such a high quality class and setting the bar so high!


AP Calculus BC posted by Jozef Soja on May 14 2015 at 14:06:12

If there was an AP Teaching, Mrs. Gilleran would easily get a five. She has to be the best in the business. The class was well organized, ran flawlessly, and I always felt that there was plenty of available help, instruction, and practice. Going into this class, I had serious doubts as to whether I could pass an AP Calculus exam. I’m not terrible at math, but it’s certainly not my forte. Not only did I feel confident and prepared by the end of the year, but I actually came to enjoy the subject. It’s a tough class, so expect it to take work and discipline. But if you stick with it, you will be as prepared as you could be on the day of the Exam. I’m (hopefully) going to take Calculus 3 next year at a local college. It’s a shame it’s not taught by Mrs. Gilleran!


Review posted by Timothy Wynia on May 07 2015 at 01:24:05

1. I felt fairly well prepared

2. Approximately 1 hour/day

3. The self-designed story problems were interesting.

4. I was already greately interested in the subject

5. I didn't really communicate with the other students that much.

6. A student who studies well independently and doesn't get overwhelmed. I would recommend this class.


Fantastic class!!!! posted by Lindsey Furness on May 05 2015 at 16:59:35

Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus BC class was a challenging, motivating, and exhilarating experience!  I LOVED it!!  I've always loved math, so the content, of course, thrilled me.  However, not only did I enjoy it, but it was a very well taught class.  Topics were presented clearly and completely.  We spent enough time on each topic to cement it into my brain.  

It also prepared me so well for the AP exam!  I knew exactly what to expect and the exam actually felt easy!!  Mrs. Gilleran gave us review sheets and practice tests that made the exam a breeze!  I would highly recommend this class as preparation for the AP exam.

It was a very challenging class however, and I would only recommend it for students who like math and who are ready to work really hard.  Calculus is a fascinating subject for those who embrace it, but it could be frustrating and difficult for students who don't love math.  As for the time commitment, I spent anywhere from one and a half to four hours studying each day for this class and missing even just one day is a lot of work to catch up.

But, my love of Calculus has grown immensely through this class and it is for sure my favorite subject!  If you are a math lover, this class is for you!!  You will learn a TON!!


Review of Mrs. Gilleran's AP Calculus BC Class posted by Daniel G. on June 12 2014 at 24:36:28

Overall Rating: 5/5

This class comes highly recommended! It was a great foundation for the physics research I did the following summer. Because of the class's rigor, I was able to jump into advanced topics (gradients, Fourier transforms, partial differential equations to name a few) and learn them on the fly. That alone should speak to Mrs. Gilleran's skill as a teacher.


Awesome. posted by Jonathan on May 14 2014 at 03:26:47

1. I think the course prepared me very well for the AP exam. We took a large battery of practice tests, and towards the end the tests became somewhat predictable (always one parametric question with cartesian slope etc.

2. I often spent many hours on calculus. I am a slow worker. I've had this issue for a very long time, and it is not specific to math. I just work slower than the average student. Times per day ranged from 2 to 8+ hours. I know at least one other kid who also worked long hours on occasion, though not as long as me.

3. I had no specific favorite assignment. I absolutely loved Calculus, though. The ideas (many of which have been floating around in my mind previously) have suddenly been encoded into mathematical theorems. I now see everything in terms of calculus and have used calculus in some amazingly elegant proofs.

4. As to the course enhancing my views of math, see above. Calculus has completely redone the way I approach everything in math. It's amazing and awesome.

5. I participated on the Google Group, and an occasional discussion. I'm not a very sociable person myself, so I didn't feel the need for more student interaction. Many students completely ignored the discussions, which I think should be taken into consideration. I.e. don't ignore them! A lot of cool ideas float around in the discussions.

6. I would recommend this only to someone who really loves math and is willing to lose hair over it and enjoy the process along the way. For other people, I would recommend the AB variant since it covers less and gives you time to breath. Either way, you get treated to the magical ideas behind calculus.

In short, this class is wonderful. I has really changed the way I think about math and, as a person who loves math, I enjoyed it immensely.

In addition [most importantly], Mrs. Gilleran is an amazing teacher. She knows the test well and did an excellent job preparing us for the exam. She was flexible and really cared about how well we were doing and coping with the concepts and assignments. I would highly recommend her as a teacher, and her classes in general.


AP Calculus with Mrs. Gilleran posted by Julia Owens on May 13 2014 at 20:00:20

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

Absolutely! We spent about a month before the exam preparing, taking several Multiple Choice Exams and dozens of Free Response Questions. When I took the exam, I went in feeling confident, and left pleased with my performance.

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

I spent about 4 hours on Calculus a day, give or take a few. It was challenging, but definitely worth it.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes; I actually wasn’t sure what Calculus encompassed before this class. Now, I have a much better understanding of the subject. I enjoyed the challenge of Calculus, and Mrs. Gilleran’s  approach to math made me really love the subject.

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

There was a message board set up for student communication. My fellow students were always friendly and 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!)?

I would definitely recommend this course to any student willing to put a large amount of time and energy into the work.

 

I was so happy with how this course went. Mrs. Gilleran did a wonderful job teaching the class, I learned so much, and the exam felt familiar.


Hard Work, But Worth It posted by Henry Pawelczyk on May 12 2014 at 19:21:56

Compared to my friends who attend a "regular" highschool, I felt extremely prepared for the AP Calculus BC Exam.  The immemse amount of review that was assigned during the last five weeks of class made me feel confident going into the AP exam.  Although this is the hardest class I have ever taken and required a great deal of work, in the end, it was all worth it.  The subjects covered in the class can be dificult to master, but Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments always cleared up any confusion.  It truly is important to keep up with the class schedule since it is tough to catch up once you fall behind.  Mrs. Gilleran is a very understanding teacher.  I defintely recommend this class to anyone who is ready to tackle a challenging math course.


AP Calculus BC posted by Sarah Caballero on May 12 2014 at 16:29:03

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

Definitely.  Review material, both a review book and released practice exams, were structured into the course.  I found the review book exercises significantly more challenging than actual AP questions, which made the AP test seem relatively easy. 

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

It depended on the assignments for that day.  On days when we were learning a new concept, I'd probably put a good 1-2 hrs into reading Mrs. Gilleran's notes, reading the textbook, going over examples, etc.  The actual exercises could take 1-2 hrs, depending on how fast you are with math.  I probably spent ~15 hrs/wk, not including wknds, as assignments were due daily. 

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

I found creating our own word problems helpful in understanding the applications of concepts.  Word problems have never been my strength, but I've always just understood them enough to "do them".  However, to write my own I needed to entirely understand what I was doing and how to apply the concept. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I was already a mathy person when I started the class, and I still am, which is a good sign :) 

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

We had a Google group for posting/answering questions.  The TA's and other students's responses were always very helpful.  Also, Mrs. Gilleran went over our questions every day in her comments.

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

I would recommend this class to anyone who likes to be challenged with math and is a motivated, independent student.  I would also definitely recommend a solid foundation in algebra/trig.  We did get a summer review assignment, but the first day of calculus started with...calculus.  You have to be willing to put a good amount of time into understanding concepts, doing the exercises, and making sure you understand them.  The pacing can be very challenging at times, but I felt fully prepared for the AP exam by the end of the year. 


Overall, I would definitely recommend this class if you like math.  Mrs. Gilleran is an enthusiastic teacher and makes the concepts exciting and understandable. 


Good class, even for someone who doesn't like math ;) posted by Priya Stepp on May 10 2014 at 15:54:03

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

Yes, it did! I know I didn't get the score that I wanted, but this is due to 1) the 2014 exam being "harder" (happening to test on the areas I was weak in) than the released exams we'd taken, and 2) me not reviewing as intensively as I had for APs in previous years. Mrs Gilleran certainly did her part in preparing us for the exam. We did about 30 sets of practice FRQ's (so probably about 90 individual questions total) plus several MCQ sections, and as the exam got closer, she'd dedicate entire daily comments to working through the tricky ones. She makes LOTS (I really mean LOTS **more on this at the bottom) of resources available, but with my other course load, I had absolutely no time to read pages and pages of comments, her daily homework, studying my own way for the AP exam, studying for other AP exams and other finals...yeah. But she makes TONS of stuff available if you don't have lots of other classes and have time to go through it all.

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

It really varied based on the day/week/topic. Math is not my forte, though I found I liked Calc infinitely more than Precalculus for some inexplicable reason. There was a period in first semester when I was overwhelmed by personal matters, a too-heavy course load, and college applications and unfortunately dropped the ball on Calculus. So of course after that I had to dedicate a lot more time to the course to catch up (by the way, Mrs Gilleran was very helpful and understanding through that whole process). But on average I spent probably 10 hours a week on math.

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

For the most part, the assignments are similar from week to week. But occasionally she'd assign videos for us to watch and I enjoyed having topics presented through different mediums.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I'd say it did...I really don't like math, but Calc BC wasn't so bad. It's still my least favorite subject, but the ability to actually understand it removes some of my dislike. It doesn't puzzle me anymore, so I'd say it was a success. ;)

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

This course doesn't use the typical wwwboard setup that the other PAH classes do...so that took a little while to get used to. We had our course website, which was one-way interaction (teacher to student), and a Calc BC google group, which was for us to ask questions to fellow students and TAs (and Mrs Gilleran too). We didn't consistently use it often, which is something I'd definitely change if I could go back and take this course again.

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, I'd recommend this class. It's not my favorite PAH class, but Mrs. Gilleran is a good teacher. At times I wished she'd explain topics a little more in her daily comments (sometiems she'd explain it wonderfully and other days she'd tell us to just read the textbook). Other than that, the only issue I had was that I didn't like that the review was intense during the last few weeks of class. It would have been great if it was optional, but as it was, I HAD to do all the review that Mrs Gilleran was assigning daily, and with studying for all my other exams, I had little time left over to study what I was actually weak in for Calc. She wanted us to go to a website for AP Calc AB review and do exercises there, where she could track our activity, but that's not the way I review/learn best at all. I didn't create an account because I knew I wouldn't use it anyway. I have my own way of studying...but she was pretty upset when (apparently) a lot of us had a similar idea and didn't sign up or weren't active. Maybe it's just the inner homeschooler in me coming out (I'm used to having flexibility, and this was my 10th AP and all my other PAH teachers have suggested what we do to review, but never assigned weekly, much less daily, review work). I realize that math is a totally different subject, but at the same time I feel like I would have scored better on the exam if I had been allowed to more freely pursue my own way of reviewing. 

Overall, I'd recommend this class...it's easy to get very behind (as I did) if you don't keep up with the daily assignments, but this class is definitely "AP" - Mrs Gilleran prepares her students very well for the topics and layout of the exam. As a sidenote, she also grades very fairly - I've never felt that she's out to penalize us, while still of course keeping expectations healthily high. :)


"Accumulation" of Calculus Knowledge posted by Ben Barnett on May 09 2014 at 23:11:27

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

Yes, I felt quite well prepared for the AP exam. As another review mentioned, Mrs. Gilleran planned the syllabus very well. During the year we would take occasional practice AP free-response questions, and towards the end of the school year for more than the last month we were working exclusively on practice tests. By the time the AP Calculus exam day came, the exam felt like just another test - albeit with more stress.


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

I would be lying to say I spent only 2 hours a day on this class. Granted, I can be a slacker, but even for the times I put my nose to the figurative grindstone, I still ended up spending on average a little over 3 hours a day on this class. Perhaps it took me longer than some other people due to my learning style, I am not sure.


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

Towards the beginning of the year, two different times, we had to write our own calculus problem for our classmates to solve. I really enjoyed trying to splice humor and some tricks into mine, and I enjoyed solving everyone else's problems as well. We did not have to solve all of our classmates problems, just 3-4 that we were assigned by last name. So it was manageable.


δ. Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I was already interested in math; I am a very mathy, logical person, and this course helped to confirm that interest. It very quite difficult at times, but all-in-all, I enjoyed it.


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

The class had a google group discussion board where the class could post questions that they were having trouble with. I will admit at times I was underwhelmed with the participation on the board. I wondered why it seemed to be only me having a problem - I suppose this a common worry - but nonetheless I felt that in the time I could ask a question and have someone answer it, I could just struggle through it myself and solve it. A few times I needed help I just decided to try and figure it out, because I doubted I would get help from the discussion board. Toward the end of the year it really picked up, but I just would have liked to see more consistent participation. 

Communication with Mrs. Gilleran directly via email seemed to be the primariy way most students asked questions. Mrs. Gilleran would then in detail break down the problems students were having trouble with in her daily comments, showing us how to do it. This was very helpful. I personally just prefered asking questions on the discussion board, so if others had the same issue, they could see and post as well.

 

ζ. 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 think if you are willing to work hard, and are persistent, this class is for you. I have learned much over the year, I have grown a lot, and I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure even though I hit a few figurative waves at times.

An issue I did have was how the assignments were laid out. The assignments were posted daily, and therefore it was hard to work ahead. Assignments were laid out for the month, but due to schedule changes you could really only count on the daily assignments to be accurate. This meant you had to check in daily to keep up with your work. Depending on your situation, this could be a good thing or a bad thing. Personally, I never had too much of an issue with this, but I can see it being a problem if you have a busy week and need to work ahead, or just need flexibility in general. 

Another issue was with the grading. Sometimes we would get our test grades back late, and this could be an inconvenience because we wouldn't know what general areas we were weak on and needed to study until a few days before the next test. I think Mrs. Gilleran was just so busy trying to grade both the AB and the BC calculus classes' tests that it was hard to get them back in time. After a busy year, I can completely relate. But I do think some sort of automated grading system, for either homework or tests, would be helpful to lighten the amount of work Mrs. Gilleran has to keep up with.

All in all, it was a wonderful class. It was challenging, difficult and at times quite stressful. But Mrs. Gilleran is a great teacher, and I enjoyed reading her comments that she posted for the daily assignments. She doesn't just teach you the material, she embarks on the adventure with you. Even though it was hard, I am sad it is over. 

If you are up for a challenge, and you like math, this class is for you.


Good class but very hard if you are a procrastinator or not well motivated posted by Jeremy Bost on May 08 2014 at 12:46:46

The online format of this class was difficult for me, especially the way homework piled up. With some online classes it is a little more flexible, but with this one work would often be assigned the same day it is due. And it is kind of hard to keep track of what you've done when you are behind. I really wished they used the Haiku Learning platform for this online class...I've had classes that use it and it is so much easier to track things you need to do.

 

Plus the teacher can set up some things to be auto graded, instead of us waiting weeks for a graded file to appear in Dropbox.

 

I tried to keep up, but after some medical stuff and a vacation, things started to pile up and catching up was almost impossible. And then important info was sometimes lost in some daily comment PDF file that I might have missed because there are so many.

 

This class is fine for those willing or able to work an hour or two each day, but if you can't...it's much harder. And it might really throw you off if the teacher changes the way she makes the total grade halfway during the course again.


Solid AP Calc Class - Prepare for Work, but You'll be Prepared! posted by Maia Paddock on May 08 2014 at 10:17:44

I was a little daunted going into this class at the beginning of the year. I knew I needed to take calc to prepare for college, but the class looked like it would be a ton of work. And it was, but not in a bad way. I spent about two hours each morning on this class. Some days it was significantly more, other days it was slightly less. The thing that made this class great was that I always understood what I was working on, even if I couldn't do it well. The morning notes from tthe teacher were fantastic. She would go over the homework assignments and explain any new concepts that we were learning that day. Between those, my textbook, the google group, and the test prep book, there wasn't a concept that I couldn't figure out before starting my homework. The other thing I really liked was that we started doing practice free response questions from the first few weeks of the class. This really helped make me confortable with the AP format and what was going to be covered on the free response section from very early in the class. Overall, it was a great class. I highly recommend it for anyone who knows they need calc for college or anyone who wants a good (but not stressful and overwhelming) challenge!


Calculus BC- Take it! posted by Alexander Deatrick on May 07 2014 at 17:37:07

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

Definitely. Mrs. Gilleran plans her syllabus excellently, and as a result there is a full month and a half to prepare for the AP exam. We also went through a review book throughout the year to keep topics fresh.

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

This is a pretty intensive course, but that being said it's very doable. On weekdays I spent about 2 hours a day (~30 minutes of reading and ~90 minutes doing problem sets). If it's close to a test, the midterm, or the final that might creep up to 3 hours a day once you factor in extra studying. There's no homework assigned over the weekends, which is relaxing, but it can be helpful to put in an hour or so of studying to keep the topics fresh.

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

This might sound crazy, but I enjoyed the problem sets the most. Doing problems and getting better at something just by doing it over and over is something I find very satisfying.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? 

Definitely! Although this is probably a pretty common answer to this question in other PA Homeschoolers reviews, I really did come to enjoy calculus by the end of the year. The thrill of solving a tricky problem or mastering a difficult concept is really satisfying.

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

The discussion board is very active and useful. I probably didn't use it as much I could/should have, but if you're having problems with anything there will always be a TA or a classmate ready with 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!)?

Being able to work hard is definitely a plus! Another factor to consider is whether to do Calc AB or BC. This was a tough choice for me last year, but I'm glad I chose BC. If you enjoy math a lot then BC will likely be a fun opportunity to challenge yourself. There's also some neat stuff in BC that you won't learn in AB. However, if you don't like math as much, then the problem sets may start to feel like chores, and it might be worth considering AB instead of BC. Either way, in Mrs. Gilleran you will have a superb teacher who will prepare you well and give you a great year of calculus!


A Very Solid Class posted by Justus Hibshman on May 07 2014 at 16:51:06

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

Yes - very much so. I just took the exam today, and there wasn't a question I didn't feel capable of answering. (The last few weeks of class are almost entirely preparation for the exam.)

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

It varied, but I would say 1-2 hours a day -- rarely 3.

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

Most of the assignments were similar in nature: read the material, maybe watch a video, and do the exercises. However, sometime we had to make our own word problems and I thought that was enjoyable.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Well, I was already interested in math, but I think calculus added to that interest. Some of the things we learned to do were cool. Also, I've become very fascinated with the existence of e.

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

I didn't have much communication with other students. Only a few people really used the discussion group, and that was mostly in communication with TAs. Occasionally though, we analyzed each-others' answers.

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!)?

It would definitely help to be someone who can learn by reading. Every day, Mrs. Gilleran would write something for us to read, and we'd generally read something from the textbook as well. That was how most of the teaching was done. (If you had questions though, there were definitely ways to ask them.)

I would recommend this class. Mrs. Gilleran is a very enthusiastic and fair teacher. While I can't compare this class to others, I think she did a great job. One nice thing is that in the case you wish to know a little more about a related topic that BC doesn't really go into, Mrs. Gilleran will give you optional materials to read. Some of the stuff that math gets into is pretty cool. Also, at the end of her daily post, she would attach a quote and a comic; the comic was often an enjoyable pause before digging into the task at hand. Some days, I felt like I was doing more exercises of the same kind than I really needed to, but at the same time, the work definitely reinforced what I was learning. I'm happy I took the class.


AP Calculus BC Review posted by Abigail H. on May 24 2013 at 03:36:19

 

 

I put about 2-3 hours per day into this course.

 

 

 

 




AP Calculus BC posted by Brooke Wade on May 15 2013 at 12:18:59

This class is a MUST! Mrs. Gilleran is absolutely amazing with her explanations of the most difficult calculus topics. That coupled with her sense of humor made this class a blast.

Absolutely. Unlike many of the other students in the class, math isn't my strongest subject, but Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments and slew of practice tests and review work made me feel quite confident about my chances on the exam. She is very thorough and extremely helpful.

I probably spent more hours per day working on assignments than others in the class. Somewhere around 3-4 hrs a day, I believe. It was a lot of dedication and commitment on my part, but I felt that spending that much time definitely paid off.

There wasn't a particular assignment since each lesson essentially consists of reading the chapter, working out problems, and solving a practice test (if there is one). I really loved Mrs. Gilleran's daily comments though. Each day, first thing in the morning, I'd log onto our course website and download her thoughts and explanations on the concept we were covering that day. These comments ranged anywhere from 5-15 pages. I really enjoyed reading them because they summarized the core concepts so well and brought in a range of additional examples to supplement the core reading. It helped me a lot, in particular, because Mrs. Gilleran would always put her explanations into everyday terms, so we didn't get lost in all the deltas and epsilons. It definitely helped prepare me to read the actual lesson.

Definitely. To be completely honest, algebra and pre-calc weren't my favorite classes, but I can say without hesitation that I absolutely loved AP Calc BC with Mrs. Gilleran. Though others had told me to dread derivatives and integrals, I came to enjoy them. Though the derivative application problems looked scary at first, Mrs. Gilleran's teaching helped me tame those problems

As part of the class, we had a Google discussion group to go over any problems and difficulties we had. It was always interesting for me to read the other students' comments, just as a way to see how someone else had solved the problem. It was nice to have that sort of collaboration.

I would definitely recommend this course to anyone! Whether you plan on going into a math or science field or not, I would highly suggest taking this class. It introduces you to a complex yet intriguing world and really hones your problem-solving and analytical  skills. You will have to put in a good amount of time, but the investment is completely worth it!


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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