Honors Precalculus - 2020-21

Honors Precalculus can be taken synchronously or asynchronously. We will meet twice a week, with the first class consisting of a lecture introducing new material and the second designed for students to solve problems based on weekly assignments and the concepts learned in the lecture.

  • Classes will be held from 2:45-4:00 p.m. Eastern on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  • All live lectures and problem sessions will be recorded, so if you wish to take the entire class or any part of it asynchronously, it is an option available to you.

  • And for students in California, this course is a-g approved if taken through one of several CA homeschool charters listed on our FAQ page.

Foundational Elements

A typical week will open Saturday morning and close the following Friday night. While you may not wish to work over the weekend (and that is perfectly fine!), this timing will allow you to plan the week ahead as you look over the upcoming assignments prior to the first instructional meeting.

  • The week will begin with a short video (posted on Saturday) introducing a new concept. This should be watched prior to Tuesday’s live lecture.

  • Homework sets will be assigned and completed through WebAssign.

  • Short quizzes will check your knowledge of the lecture content, and tests will be given periodically to measure mastery of concepts.

Problem sessions will be optional for students. In those weekly meetings, you will be provided with an additional problem set that is similar to the homework. This will be a time to ask deeper questions about content and see examples of similar problems worked out--which will aid with homework questions. 

An Interactive Approach

The textbook we will be using is the 5th edition of Precalculus Functions and Graphs: A Graphing Approach eBook, by Ron Larson, which is part of the 2010 Enhanced WebAssign Series (and students can request to borrow a free hard-copy of the text through the Blue Tent OnLoan program). This Precalculus book offers both an algebraic and a graphical approach to topics in functions, trigonometry, matrices, probability and analytical geometry.

  • Each section engages students in explorations of problem solving through clear examples, strengthens critical thinking skills through technology and study tips, and develops why precalculus is important through real-life applications. 

  • In addition, the enhanced eBook offers a variety of tools to aid in learning. This interactive eBook allows students to bookmark pages they feel are important to review, to highlight important definitions or concepts, and to take notes while reading through designated sections.

  • The eBook is equipped with embedded videos (from Cengage Learning) that will supplement the examples in the textbook.  

  • We will also be using the online program GeoGebra, which allows students to create, visualize, and investigate properties of functions, vectors, matrices, topics of trigonometry, and more. 

Supplementary Learning

In addition to the foundational textbook and online application resources that will be utilized in this class, SAT and SAT Subject Test (SAT 2) practice will be interwoven during the year to familiarize students with new content and sound test-taking strategies. Supplementary instruction will cover mathematical concepts such as data analysis, probability and statistics, which have not traditionally been a part of a precalculus class, but which are now making their way into recent versions of standardized tests.

Collaborate to Learn and Enjoy!

You will be interacting with your classmates during the live sessions as well as through a lively online forum provided through our Moodle classroom. You can post questions about the lecture, textbook sections, or homework, answer other students’ questions, or post solutions to problems. I will be available on the class forums as well and will make sure we work through the most interesting problems in our Thursday meeting.

Through live (or recorded) instruction, a variety of interactive resources, and a friendly online classroom, this course is designed to help you efficiently and successfully learn and enjoy Precalculus!


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