This week we went from optimization to related rates, and in the introduction to it Mr. Cresswell said usually students understand one more than the other. In my personal case I found this to not really be true, there were parts that I could do right like getting the picture drawn, but then figuring out what needed to be used as the mathematical model stumped me.
Out of the six steps I can do 4 consistently, I can create a diagram, and label the known variables, I can plug in the variables, and I can solve for the last known variable. The last three parts are fine and dandy if I can use the right formula for the mathematical model. After writing the mathematical model finding the derivative is the next hardest part because I may or may not have blocked out how to do implicit differentiation. After looking back at my notes and practice with it through out this week I have gotten better at using implicit differentiation to take the derivative.
After doing a lot of different problems I do feel that I have got a better handle on related rates problems. There may be a few conceptual gray areas with a couple of problems, but I do feel that I have a better grasp of things than I did last week, so maybe it does ring true that students are usually better at either optimization or related rates.