Monday 1/23 – Exp and Log Limits

// Before class

  • You should be done with all the homework from Section 5.1 and have read and taken notes on Section 5.2

// During class

  • Daily Quiz on Section 5.2
  • Questions? Nametags?
  • Discussion and group work for Section 5.2

// After class

  • Finish the reading/examples for Section 5.2 as soon as possible after class
  • Do at least this minimum amount of homework for Section 5.2, before the next class:
    • Thinking Back – all problems
    • Concepts – #0, #1, #2, and at least five more from #3–16
    • Skills – 1 from #17–22, wide selection of at least 18 problems from #23–68, 3 from #69–76, 1 from #77–80
    • Applications – 1 from #81–82
    • Proofs – 2 from #83–87 (don’t worry about #88, #89)
  • Read and take notes on Section 5.3 to be ready for Wednesday’s Daily Quiz

Friday 1/20 – Exp and Log Functions

// Before class

  • Make sure you’ve done the reading for Section 5.1 and taken careful notes in your Notebook, and that you have your Notebook with you in class to use during the Daily Quiz

// During class

  • Daily Quiz on the reading for Section 5.1
  • Hand back Double HW Quiz and briefly discuss
  • Ways to get help in this class
  • Questions?
  • Group work and discussion of Section 5.1

// After class

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. If you want to stay on track in this class and not fall behind, then follow the instructions below to start good study habits for this class. The basic idea after each class day is to complete ALL the homework for the section we just talked about, and to do so before the next class, taking the time to get help if you need to. In addition, you’ll have to get ready for the next class by reading and taking notes on the next section. Once you get used to it, you’ll find it to be easy; but to get started I’ll break things down in fine detail for this particular weekend:

  • Finish the reading for Section 5.1, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE:  At this point you hopefully already read Section 5.1, but you may not have read the Examples and Explorations. Reading through those examples and taking notes is a great place to start your work for this section, and doing so as soon as you can after class will help you make sense of the material.
  • Do the homework for Section 5.1, BEFORE MONDAY’S CLASS:  It is your responsibility to complete as many homework problems as you require for complete mastery of the material in Section 5.1. The class Homework Notebook Policy provides guidance on the minimum amount of homework that you should do for each section, but I’ll be more specific today to help get you on track. Here is a list of the minimum set of exercises that I recommend you do for Section 5.1:
    • Thinking Back – all problems
      These should be easy review, but if they aren’t then make sure that you review what you need to so that you can do them all.
    • Concepts – #0, #1, #2, and five problems from #3–22
      You already did #0 when you read the section. Always do all of the True/False questions in #1 and all of the Example questions in #2. In #3–22, choose five problems that you are not immediately sure how to answer and figure out how to answer them. Don’t pick the first five; distribute your choices so that you do a range of types of problems.
    • Skills – choose three problems from #23–28, three from #29–36, six from #37–48, six from #49–62, three from #63–70, three from #71–74, and three from #75–80
      You’re supposed to do a minimum of 20 Skills problems for each section, but often you will need to do more. My suggested list above has 27 problems. Choose a few problems from each “block”, and if you have trouble then choose more of them before you go on. Don’t just pick the first/easiest problems in a block; try to pick a wide range of problems. Skills problems are particularly valuable to have in your Notebook, but ONLY if you actually write out the question and show all your work, not just the final answer. Remember that you can check your answers to almost every Skills problem by using, and you should learn how to do this instead of just looking at odd answers in the back of the book.
    • Applications – choose one problem from #81–86
      In general I recommend not choosing the easiest or the hardest problems; pick something in the middle that seems most related to examples in the reading or what we discussed in class. For Section 5.1, I’d suggest choosing something from #83–#85.
    • Proofs – choose two problems from #87–96
      Again, try to choose things that are mid-range and related to the reading or class discussions. For Section 5.1, I’d suggest a couple of problems from #87–92.
  • Read Section 5.2, BEFORE MONDAY’S CLASS:  Looking at the Calendar, you can see that in Monday’s class we will be covering Section 5.2. That means that you need to carefully read and take notes on that section to be ready for the Daily Quiz on Section 5.2 on Monday. Remember that you will be allowed to use your Notebook on the quiz.

Getting help and asking questions

Here is a breakdown of the many ways that you can and should seek help in MATH 232 this semester.

// For day-to-day studying, form a Study Group

Find people to work with outside of class, and meet with them often. If you don’t already have a study group then you can find people to work with by posting on the Slack studygroup channel.

// For regular help on homework problems, go to the SMLC

The JMU Science and Math Learning Center is on the first floor of the Student Success Center, and is open on Mondays through Thursdays from 10am–8pm, on Fridays from 10am–2pm, and on Sundays from 5pm–8pm. If the SMLC is too busy when you visit, then choose a less popular time to visit. Camp out there and do your homework in a place where you can ask free tutors for help anytime you need it! The SMLC is a particularly good place for your study groups to meet.

// To ask the professor a question between classes, use Slack

Make use of our “continuous office hours” by posting questions to the general channel in our Slack group. If you’re asking about a homework problem then be sure to include a photo of the problem and/or your work on it so far. Ask specific questions that show you’ve already spent some time thinking about the problem; for example, ask “what do I do after I find the roots?”, not “how do you do #72?”. If your question is personal then you can use a direct message in Slack.

// To request that a problem be discussed during the next class, use the Questions Form

As time permits, I’ll use some class time to answer whatever people ask on the Questions Forms. Probably the best time to use these forms is right before class as you come in and sit down, directly from your phone. Please use the correct form for the time of your section of class:

Wednesday 1/18 – Double HW Quiz

// Before class

  • Study for the quiz by making sure you can do all the problems on the Review Packet

// During class

  • Get tables/dividers into quiz configuration
  • Double Homework Quiz
  • Group discussion to get to 100% mastery on the quiz material
  • Discuss class format going forward

// After class

  • Read Section 5.1 carefully and take notes in your Notebook
  • Friday’s Daily Quiz will consist of one short question concerning the reading from Section 5.1. You will be allowed to use your Notebook.

Double HW Quiz on Wednesday

// Reminder

We will have a double Homework Quiz on Wednesday. This is a 20-point quiz and will be two-fifths of your homework grade for the entire semester, so please be ready! The quiz will come from the material on the Review Packet.

// Warning

I’ve graded your Daily Quizzes from Wednesday and Friday, and they don’t look so good. Many of you had trouble finding the inverse of a basic function and/or computing a very basic limit, which is a serious warning sign considering that you knew what problems would be fair game for the Daily Quizzes.

If this sounds like you then please set aside additional time over the long weekend to study for Wedensday’s quiz. I want you to get off to a good start in MATH 232 this semester, both in terms of being ready to handle the new material and in terms of having a strong quiz score under your belt to help protect you a little bit from future test scores.


Friday 1/13 – More Review

// Announcements

  • Are you new to class today? To get started, follow the instructions in the Announcements of Wednesday’s post below.

// Before class

  • Complete Part 2 of the Review Packet so you will be ready to take the Daily Quiz
  • Start working on Parts 3 and 4 of the Review Packet so you will have questions to ask in class

// During class

// After class

  • The university will be closed on Monday 1/16 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The Double Homework Quiz will be on Wednesday 1/18. It will be worth 2o points and will cover the entire 231 Review Packet.
  • Work hard this weekend to study for the Double Homework Quiz so that you start out from a good place in MATH 232 this semester!
  • Want someone to study with? Do something about it. Post in the studygroups channel on the class Slack group.

Wednesday 1/11 – Logistics & Review

// Announcements

  • If you’re new to this class today, please do the following:
  • Everyone: Please note that the JMU Registar’s Drop-Add deadline is on Tuesday the 17th, which is before our big HW Review Quiz on the 18th.  That is the last time that you can leave the class without a W-type grade appearing on your transcript. Think about how you think you would perform on the HW Review Quiz and let that guide your judgement as to whether you think you should remain in the class.

// Before class

  • Complete all chapter review sets from Chapters 0–4 to prepare for the Daily Quiz
  • Make sure to bring your new MATH 232 Homework Notebook so that you can use it on today’s Daily Quiz
  • Submit questions for today’s class discussion. Focus on questions from the chapter reviews, the 23 problems in Part 2 of the Review Packet, and about the class policies.

// During class

// After class

  • Continue working through the Review Packet to prepare for the double Homework Quiz next Wednesday.
  • Attempt to complete all 23 of the problems in Part 2 of the Packet by Friday. The Friday Daily Quiz will be taken from those 23 problems.
  • Also start thinking about the limit and derivative calculations in Parts 3 and 4, as we will spend part of Friday’s class discussing your questions on those parts of the Packet.
  • Don’t forget to use the class Slack group at for office hours and setting up study groups.

Monday 1/9 – Hello and 231 Review

First day of class! Today we’ll get to know each other, make sure you’re all in the right class, get everyone set up with Slack and intro assignments, and even have a chance to do a little math.

// Before class

  • Make sure that MATH 232 is the correct class for you. To be in MATH 232 you need to have earned a C- or better in Math 231.
  • Make sure that you are registered for the correct section of MATH 232:  Taalman’s sections are Section 01 at 9:05-9:55 MWF and Section 02 at 10:10-11:00 MWF.
  • If you are on the wait list for Section 01 or Section 02, then you are welcome and encouraged to attend class while you wait for a slot to open.

// During class

  • Hello and setup
  • Policies and logistics
  • Review of Math 231
    • Huge Review Packet that you’ll be working on day and night for the next week
    • There will be a double Homework Quiz on this packet on Wednesday, 1/18
    • Do your work in a NEW bound Notebook so that you can use it on the Quiz
  • Get up and do something!
    • Stand up and work with your group on the blackboard near your table. Start by choosing one of the problems from Section 2 of the Review Packet, and work together to get started on the problem.
    • Share with the class: Each group briefly share what they’ve been working on and any advice they have about those problems.

// After class

  • Get a spiral or otherwise bound paper Notebook for this class.
  • If you haven’t already, get the textbook: Calculus 1 with Integrated Precalculus by Taalman. You can get it used, new, online, or even rented. It’s got a blue cover.
  • Carefully read the class policy documents in the right sidebar of this website.
  • Make a plan to finish the entire 231 Review Packet in time for the double Homework Quiz on Wednesday, 1/18, and then start implementing that plan! Your plan should include finishing all of the end-of-chapter reviews from Chapters 0–4 before Wednesday’s class.
  • Come to Wednesday’s class with your Notebook and ready to:

Common questions

// Can I estimate my grade during the semester?

YES, you can do this at any time. See the Grades information page to learn how.

// How much homework do I need to do?

Whatever makes you feel like you have completely mastered each section and would be ready for any of the exercises from that section to be asked on a quiz or test. See the Homework Notebook information page for more guidance.

// When are the Homework Quizzes?

The first Homework Quiz will be a double quiz on Wednesday, January 18. The remaining Homework Quizzes will occur during future Problems Days, and will not be announced in advance.

// Do I have to wait until a daily blog post is published before I know what to do “before class”?

NO, just look at the “after class” list from the day before.  Each “before class” list is just a brief recap of the high points of the previous day’s “after class” list, and is usually posted well after you should already have everything completed, just as a reminder.  🙂

Before the first day of class

Hello and welcome to Math 232. My name is Laura Taalman and I am excited to meet you on the first day of class.  Here are some things that you might want to consider before that first day.

// What to expect from Taalman’s MATH 232 class

All sections of MATH 232 use the same textbook, but each MATH 232 instructor implements their own style and philosophy of teaching. Here’s what it will be like in my sections of MATH 232 this semester:

  • Class will meet in Roop 213, which has tables for working in groups, and blackboards all around the room.
  • Class meetings will consist primarily of active group work and presentations, rather than a lecture format.
  • You will be expected to read each section and begin attempting examples and homework exercises before each class day.
  • I will not be collecting or grading homework, but all tests and quizzes will be based on the homework. If you do lots of homework then you will succeed, and if you don’t do enough homework then you will fail, but I won’t be checking your work every day to make sure that you are still on track. You will have to be very responsible and manage your time and homework schedule yourself.

If the type of class described above does not appeal to you, then you might prefer another section. On the other hand, if it just sounds a little unfamiliar and scary, then you’ll be fine. It will be a welcoming and friendly class atmosphere in which exploration, mistakes, and even failures are embraced on a daily basis as you all learn the material.

// Slack group for this class

Office hours for this semester will be digital, over Slack, at You should have received an email invitation to join this Slack group. If you have problems accessing this group, or if you have recently joined the class and need a Slack invitation email, then please let me know by email.

// Website for this class

This website,, will be the website for this class. There will be no information on Canvas for this class; everything will be here on this site. The website will act as a sort of blog, with update posts for each class day. Syllabus, links, and other information can be found in the right column menu. I recommend using the tool at the top of the right column menu to sign up for email notifications when this site is updated.

// If you’re on the Wait List for MATH 232-01 or MATH 232-02

If you are on the Wait List to get into Section 01 or 02 of MATH 232 and are still hoping to get into the class, then I encourage you to attend class each day, if posssible. That way you won’t start at a disadvantage if you do get into the section.

// If you got below a C- in MATH 231

A grade of C- or higher in MATH 231 is required for MATH 232. If your grade in MATH 231 was lower than C- then please see me immediately so that we can talk about what you can do to succeed in MATH 232. Historically, students who earned D’s and F’s in MATH 231 have an extremely high probability of failing MATH 232. The suggested course of action is to retake MATH 231 instead of going on to MATH 232 before you are ready.

// If you were in my MATH 231 class last semester

Things will be much the same this semester as it was in the fall, with the following exceptions:

  • We are meeting in Roop instead of SSC. It’s still a group learning classroom, but smaller and with blackboards instead of whiteboards.
  • There will be five homework quizzes throughout the semester worth 10 points each, rather than weekly Friday quizzes worth 20 points each. This should give us more time for questions/problems days.
  • Although you’ll still have to choose your own homework problems according to the amount of practice that you need, I’ll will give you some more direction and help with how to choose those problems.
  • I will hold “continuous office hours” digitally with Slack instead of in person at limited times.

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