Calculus for Middle Schoolers should be intriguing for students who are curious about trigonometry and calculus before they can take those courses, and it might also be useful for students struggling with advanced math. That means it might be useful for students in middle school who already have some grasp of algebra as well as for high school students, before or while taking precalculus or calculus. Rather than a complete course, think of it as a teaser for the mathematically minded student and a confidence-builder for the mathematically reluctant.
When upper-level math introduces concepts that use unfamiliar symbols, it often looks more difficult than it actually is. This 139-page book gives students quick primers (with a bit lengthier primer on trig) on selected concepts in ways that show how practical and useful they are for problem-solving. The print is large and uncrowded, so it doesn’t appear at all intimidating.
Calculus for Middle Schoolers introduces selected concepts in ways that are easy to understand with clear explanations and examples. Divided into two sections titled Precalculus and Calculus, it covers nine concepts: 𝒆 (a constant), logarithms, natural logs, trigonometry, ∑ (sigma), limits, derivatives, integrals, and 𝒆x. The section on trig is the largest, with 30 pages.
Students should try solving the sample problems, generally using a calculator that includes keys for functions, trigonometry, roots, etc. (either an online or physical calculator). They don’t need to write in the book, which means the inexpensive Kindle version of this book should work fine for most students. Students should be able to read it and work the problems on their own without a teacher.
Some students are eager to understand advanced math, and this is an easy way to give them a head start without having to use complete courses.