Recently I’ve been using some great resources that I’ve cribbed from you guys. I want to throw out there some kudos:

1. Kate Nowak for her Line Activity (modified for my class)

2. Maria Andersen’s Multiple Derivatives and Power Rule Format card activities (here)

3. Robert Talbert’s use of Wolfram Alpha to investigate the power rule in calculus.

And to give back. None of these are really special in any way, but I figure I’d share ’em in case you find them useful:


A short but effective worksheet on getting students to realize the power of the power rule (pun!) — by applying our class motto take what you don’t know, and turn it into what you do know

You can probably see what this worksheet is trying to get students to do. We haven’t yet learned the product, quotient or chain rules. But heck if I have students who don’t recognize that \frac{x}{3} is the same as \frac{1}{3}x. Or that you can simplify \frac{3x-2}{5x} into \frac{3}{5}+\frac{2}{5}x^{-1}. This worksheet is meant to get my kids to see how they can simplify and use the power(ful) rule! As you can see, our class motto is coming through loud and clear: take what you don’t know, and turn it into what you do know.


For those teaching lines in Algebra II, and think — “they’ve seen lines before! I want to just jump right in!” — here’s a review sheet I created which has worked well last year and this year. Nothing fancy, but practical.


When having students first understand derivatives, I made this worksheet which they can do in class and finish out of class. It exploits this awesome calculus grapher:

It’s rather simple looking, but my kids loved the site. Also, the last page (of observations about the relationship between the function and it’s derivative) actually usually generates a really lively and interesting class discussion. I’ve tended to generate a class list of all observations on the board — no matter how obvious they might be. The point is: derivatives are rich fodder when students first encounter them.


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