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MCV4U outline

Bright Future Academy

4433 Sheppard Avenue East, 2nd Floor, Room 202

Toronto, Ontario M1S 1V3

MCV4U – Calculus and Vectors


Course Title: Calculus and Vectors
Course Code: MCV4U
Grade: 12
Course Type: University Preparation
Credit Value: 1
Prerequisite: MHF4U (Note: MHF4U may be take concurrently)
Curriculum Policy Document: Mathematics, The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12, 2007 (Revised)
Text: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Calculus and Vectors 12,
© 2008

ISBN-13: 9780070126596

Department: Mathematics
Course Developer: Jenny Li
Development Date: May 2013

Course Description:

This course builds on students' previous experience with functions and their developing understanding of rates of change. Students will solve problems involving geometric and algebraic representations of vectors and representations of lines and planes in three dimensional space; broaden their understanding of rates of change to include the derivatives of polynomial, sinusoidal, exponential, rational, and radical functions; and apply these concepts and skills to the modelling of real-world relationships. Students will also refine their use of the mathematical processes necessary for success in senior mathematics. This course is intended for students who choose to pursue careers in fields such as science, engineering, economics, and some areas of business, including those students who will be required to take a university-level calculus, linear algebra, or physics course.

Overall Expectations: MCV4U

By the end of this course, students will:


Overall Expectations

demonstrate an understanding of rate of change by making connections between average rate of change over an interval and instantaneous rate of change at a point, using the slopes of secants and tangents and the concept of the limit;

graph the derivatives of polynomial, sinusoidal, and exponential functions, and make connections between the numeric, graphical, and algebraic representations of a function and its derivative;

verify graphically and algebraically the rules for determining derivatives; apply these rules to determine the derivatives of polynomial, sinusoidal, exponential, rational, and radical functions, and simple combinations of functions; and solve related problems.


Overall Expectations

make connections, graphically and algebraically, between the key features of a function and its first and second derivatives, and use the connections in curve sketching;

solve problems, including optimization problems, that require the use of the concepts and procedures associated with the derivative, including problems arising from real-world applications and involving the development of mathematical models.


Overall Expectations

demonstrate an understanding of vectors in two-space and three-space by representing them algebraically and geometrically and by recognizing their applications;

perform operations on vectors in two-space and three-space, and use the properties of these operations to solve problems, including those arising from real-world applications;

distinguish between the geometric representations of a single linear equation or a system of two linear equations in two-space and three-space, and determine different geometric configurations of lines and planes in three-space;

represent lines and planes using scalar, vector, and parametric equations, and solve problems involving distances and intersections.


Unit details:


Titles and Descriptions

Time and Sequence

Part One

The Geometry and Algebra of Vectors

Unit 1


There are four main topics pursued in this initial unit of the course. These topics are: an introduction to vectors and scalars, vector properties, vector operations and plane figure properties. Students will tell the difference between a scalar and vector quantity, they will represent vectors as directed line segments and perform the operations of addition, subtraction, and scalar multiplication on geometric vectors with and without dynamic geometry software. Students will conclude the first half of the unit by proving some properties of plane figures, using vector methods and by modeling and solving problems involving force and velocity. Next students learn to represent vectors as directed line segments and to perform the operations of addition, subtraction, and scalar multiplication on geometric vectors with and without dynamic geometry software. The final topic involves students in proving some properties of plane figures using vector methods.

12 hours

Unit 2

Linear Dependence and Coplanarity

Cartesian vectors are represented in two-space and three-space as ordered pairs and triples, respectively. The addition, subtraction, and scalar multiplication of Cartesian vectors are all investigated in this unit. Students investigate the concepts of linear dependence and independence, and collinearity and coplanarity of vectors.

10 hours

Unit 3

Vector Applications

Applications involving work and torque are used to introduce and lend context to the dot and cross products of Cartesian vectors. The vector and scalar projections of Cartesian vectors are written in terms of the dot product. The properties of vector products are investigated and proven. These vector products will be revisited to predict characteristics of the solutions of systems of lines and planes in the intersections of lines and planes.

10 hours

Unit 4

Intersection of Lines and Planes

This unit begins with students determining the vector, parametric and symmetric equations of lines in R2 and R3 . Students will go on to determine the vector, parametric, symmetric and scalar equations of planes in 3-space. The intersections of lines in 3-space and the intersections of a line and a plane in 3-space are then taught. Students will learn to determine the intersections of two or three planes by setting up and solving a system of linear equations in three unknowns. Students will interpret a system of two linear equations in two unknowns geometrically, and relate the geometrical properties to the type of solution set the system of equations possesses. Solving problems involving the intersections of lines and planes, and presenting the solutions with clarity and justification forms the next challenge. As work with matrices continues students will define the terms related to matrices while adding, subtracting, and multiplying them. Students will solve systems of linear equations involving up to three unknowns, using row reduction of matrices, with and without the aid of technology and interpreting row reduction of matrices as the creation of new linear systems equivalent to the original constitute the final two new topics of this important unit.

12 hours

Part Two

Calculus and Rates of Change

Unit 5

Concepts of Calculus

A variety of mathematical operations with functions are needed in order to do the calculus of this course. This unit begins with students developing a better understanding of these essential concepts. Students will then deal with rates of change problems and the limit concept. While the concept of a limit involves getting close to a value but never getting to the value, often the limit of a function can be determined by substituting the value of interest for the variable in the function. Students will work with several examples of this concept. The indeterminate form of a limit involving factoring, rationalization, change of variables and one sided limits are all included in the exercises undertaken next in this unit. To further investigate the concept of a limit, the unit briefly looks at the relationship between a secant line and a tangent line to a curve. To this point in the course students have been given a fixed point and have been asked to find the tangent slope at that value, in this section of the unit students will determine a tangent slope function similar to what they had done with a secant slope function. Sketching the graph of a derivative function is the final skill and topic.

12 hours

Unit 6


The concept of a derivative is, in essence, a way of creating a short cut to determine the tangent line slope function that would normally require the concept of a limit. Once patterns are seen from the evaluation of limits, rules can be established to simplify what must be done to determine this slope function. This unit begins by examining those rules including: the power rule, the product rule, the quotient rule and the chain rule followed by a study of the derivatives of composite functions. The next section is dedicated to finding the derivative of relations that cannot be written explicitly in terms of one variable. Next students will simply apply the rules they have already developed to find higher order derivatives. As students saw earlier, if given a position function, they can find the associated velocity function by determining the derivative of the position function. They can also take the second derivative of the position function and create a rate of change of velocity function that is more commonly referred to as the acceleration function which is where this unit ends.

13 hours

Unit 7

Curve Sketching

In previous math courses, functions were graphed by developing a table of values and smooth sketching between the values generated. This technique often hides key detail of the graph and produces a dramatically incorrect picture of the function. These missing pieces of the puzzle can be found by the techniques of calculus learned thus far in this course. The key features of a properly sketched curve are all reviewed separately before putting them all together into a full sketch of a curve.

12 hours

Unit 8

Derivative Applications and Related Rates

A variety of types of problems exist in this unit and are generally grouped into the following categories: Pythagorean Theorem Problems (these include ladder and intersection problems), Volume Problems (these usually involve a 3-D shape being filled or emptied), Trough Problems, Shadow problems and General Rate Problems. During this unit students will look at each of these types of problems individually.

9 hours

Unit 9

Derivative of Exponents and Log Functions-Exponential Functions

This unit begins with examples and exercises involving exponential and logarithmic functions using Euler's number (e). But as students have already seen, many other bases exist for exponential and logarithmic functions. Students will now look at how they can use their established rules to find the derivatives of such functions. The next topic should be familiar as the steps involved in sketching a curve that contains an exponential or logarithmic function are identical to those taken in the curve sketching unit studied earlier in the course. Because the derivatives of some functions cannot be determined using the rules established so far in the course, students will need to use a technique called logarithmic differentiation which is introduced next.

10 hours

Unit 10

Trig Differentiation and Application

Determine, through investigation using technology, the graph of the derivative  and  of a given sinusoidal function. Solve problems, using the product and chain rules, involving the derivatives of polynomial functions, sinusoidal functions, exponential functions, rational functions, radical functions, and other simple combinations of functions. Solve problems arising from real-world applications by applying a mathematical model and the concepts and procedures associated with the derivative to determine mathematical results, and interpret and communicate the results

10 hours


Final Evaluation

The final assessment task is a proctored two hour exam worth 20% of the student's final mark.

2 hours



110 hours

Teaching / Learning Strategies:

Students will follow a similar pattern of instructions in all units. To begin students will be involved in the exploration of an investigation of a concept. Then they will apply what they have learned in several real life scenarios or applications of the concept. Students will see solutions to applications after they try to solve them for themselves. Then students will complete assignments where no solutions are provided and submit these for assessment. Finally the unit ends with a test or other suitable assessment of learning such as projects. Since the over-riding aim of this course is to help students use the language of mathematics skillfully, confidently and flexibly, a wide variety of instructional strategies are used to provide learning opportunities to accommodate a variety of learning styles, interests and ability levels.

Seven mathematical processes will form the heart of the teaching and learning strategies used.

Communicating: To improve student success there will be several opportunities for students to share their understanding both in oral as well as written form.

Problem solving: Scaffolding of knowledge, detecting patterns, making and justifying conjectures, guiding students as they apply their chosen strategy, directing students to use multiple strategies to solve the same problem, when appropriate, recognizing, encouraging, and applauding perseverance, discussing the relative merits of different strategies for specific types of problems.

Reasoning and proving: Asking questions that get students to hypothesize, providing students with one or more numerical examples that parallel these with the generalization and describing their thinking in more detail.

Reflecting: Modeling the reflective process, asking students how they know.

Selecting Tools and Computational Strategies: Modeling the use of tools and having students use technology to help solve problems.

Connecting: Activating prior knowledge when introducing a new concept in order to make a smooth connection between previous learning and new concepts, and introducing skills in context to make connections between particular manipulations and problems that require them.

Representing: Modeling various ways to demonstrate understanding, posing questions that require students to use different representations as they are working at each level of conceptual development - concrete, visual or symbolic, allowing individual students the time they need to solidify their understanding at each conceptual stage.

Other strategies used include; Guided Exploration, Problem Solving, Graphing, Visuals, Direct Instruction, Independent Reading, Independent Study, Ideal Problem Solving, Model analysis, Logical Mathematical Intelligence, Graphing Applications, and Problem Posing.

Assessment and Evaluation Strategies of Student Performance:

Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course. The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is seen as both “assessment for learning” and “assessment as learning”. As part of assessment for learning, teachers provide students with descriptive feedback and coaching for improvement. Teachers engage in assessment as learning by helping all students develop their capacity to be independent, autonomous learners who are able to set individual goals, monitor their own progress, determine next steps, and reflect on their thinking and learning.


Teachers will obtain assessment information through a variety of means, which may include formal and informal observations, discussions, learning conversations, questioning, conferences, homework, tasks done in groups, demonstrations, projects, portfolios, developmental continua, performances, peer and self-assessments, self-reflections, essays, and tests.


As essential steps in assessment for learning and as learning, teachers need to:

• plan assessment concurrently and integrate it seamlessly with instruction;

• share learning goals and success criteria with students at the outset of learning to ensure that students and teachers have a common and shared understanding of these goals and criteria as learning progresses;

• gather information about student learning before, during, and at or near the end of a period of instruction, using a variety of assessment strategies and tools;

• use assessment to inform instruction, guide next steps, and help students monitor their progress towards achieving their learning goals;

• analyse and interpret evidence of learning;

• give and receive specific and timely descriptive feedback about student learning;

• help students to develop skills of peer and self-assessment.


Teachers will also ensure that they assess students’ development of learning skills and work habits, using the assessment approaches described above to gather information and provide feedback to students.

The Final Grade:

The evaluation for this course is based on the student's achievement of curriculum expectations and the demonstrated skills required for effective learning. The percentage grade represents the quality of the student's overall achievement of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline. A credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student's grade is 50% or higher. The final grade for this course will be determined as follows:

  • 70% of the grade will be based upon evaluations and assessments of learning conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade will reflect the student's most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration will be given to more recent evidence of achievement. All assessments of learning will be based on evaluations developed from the four categories of the Achievement Chart for the course.


  • 30% of the grade will be based on a final evaluation administered at the end of the course and may be comprised of one or more strategies including tests and projects.. This final evaluation will be based on an evaluation developed from all four categories of the Achievement Chart for the course and of expectations from all units of the course. The weighting of the four categories of the Achievement Chart for the entire course including the final evaluation will be as follows.


Knowledge & Understanding

Thinking, Inquiry & Problem Solving









l  70% for assessment of learning throughout the course

ü  5 Tests: 35%=5 * 7%

ü  2 Assignments: 14 %=2 * 7%

ü  3 Projects: 21% = 3* 7%


l  30% for final evaluations conducted near/at the end of the course

ü  Project= 10%

ü  Final exam= 20%


The Report Card:

The report card will focus on two distinct but related aspects of student achievement; the achievement of curriculum expectations and the development of learning skills. The report card will contain separate sections for the reporting of these two aspects.

A Summary Description of Achievement in Each Percentage Grade Range
and Corresponding Level of Achievement

Percentage Grade Range

Achievement Level

Summary Description


Level 4

A very high to outstanding level of achievement. Achievement is above the provincial standard.


Level 3

A high level of achievement. Achievement is at the provincial standard.


Level 2

A moderate level of achievement. Achievement is below, but approaching, the provincial standard.


Level 1

A passable level of achievement. Achievement is below the provincial standard.

below 50%

Level R

Insufficient achievement of curriculum expectations. A credit will not be granted.

Program Planning Considerations for Mathematics:

Teachers who are planning a program in Mathematics must take into account considerations in a number of important areas.

The areas of concern to all teachers that are outlined include the following:

  • Teaching Approaches
  • Program Considerations for English Language Learners
  • Literacy and Inquiry/Research Skills
  • The Role of Information and Communication Technology in Mathematics
  • Career Education in Mathematics

Considerations relating to the areas listed above that have particular relevance for teachers planning programs in Mathematics:

Teaching Approaches. To make learning accessible to students, teachers must draw upon the prior knowledge and skills possessed by students. Students must have a solid conceptual foundation in mathematics. Students must be provided with the opportunity to learn the expectations of their mathematical curriculum in diverse ways. Teachers should make use of manipulatives in their teaching of mathematics which allow students to represent abstract ideas of math in concrete ways. Teachers will provide a rich math curriculum which will allow students to investigate and identify thus gaining experience with applications of the new math curriculum. Teachers need to promote attitudes conducive to the learning of math by showing students multiple ways of solving problems so that they gain confidence in problem solving.

Program Considerations for English Language Learners. This Mathematics course can provide a wide range of options to address the needs of ESL/ELD students. Assessment and evaluation exercises will help ESL students in mastering the English language and all of its idiosyncrasies. In addition, since all occupations require employees with a wide range of English skills and abilities, many students will learn how the operation of their own physical world can contribute to their success in their social world. Assessment and evaluation accommodations, as well as other program accommodations can and will be made to facilitate the success of the ESL or ELD students.

Literacy and Inquiry/Research Skills. Communication skills are fundamental to the development of mathematical literacy. Fostering students' communication skills is an important part of the teacher's role in the math curriculum. When reading in mathematics, students use a different set of skills than they do when reading fiction or general non-fiction. They need to understand vocabulary and terminology that are unique to mathematics, and must be able to interpret symbols, charts, diagrams, and graphs. In all math courses, students are expected to use appropriate and correct terminology, and are encouraged to use language with care and precision in order to communicate effectively. Math courses also encourage students to communicate with precision in order to communicate effectively. Students are encouraged throughout their online mathematics course to ask questions to their peers and teacher and, as well, to become proactive in the solving of their own questions through investigations.

The Role of Information and Communication Technology in Mathematics. Information and communication technology (ICT) is considered a learning tool that must be accessed by Mathematics students when the situation is appropriate. As a result, students will develop transferable skills through their experience with word processing, internet research, presentation software, and equation editors as might be expected in any environment. By using ICT tools, the students will be able to reduce the time required to perform mundane or repetitive tasks thus creating more time to be spent on higher order tasks such as thinking or concept development. The nature of the online course itself, with students enrolled from all over the world, brings the global community into the classroom.

Career Education in Mathematics. Mathematics definitely helps prepare students for employment in a huge number of diverse areas - Engineering, Science, Business, etc. The skills, knowledge and creativity that students acquire through this course are essential for a wide range of careers. Being able to express oneself in a clear concise manner without ambiguity, solve problems, make connections between this Mathematics course and the larger world, etc., would be an overall intention of this Mathematics course, as it helps students prepare for success in their working lives.


McGraw-Hill Ryerson, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Calculus and Vectors 12, © 2008

ISBN-13: 9780070126596

Nelson Education Ltd., Nelson Calculus and Vectors, © 2009

ISBN-13: 9780176374440

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