Precalculus | 2020-21

Precalculus is a live online class for homeschoolers. Live classes are scheduled twice a week on ZOOM, with the first class of the week 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. The class can be taken live, or students can watch recordings of the classes after they have been held.

  • Precalculus is offered as a regular course with an honors option.

  • A full-year class: Aug 17-May 14.

  • Sections:

    • 1 | Live Tuesday/Thursday 4-5:15 p.m. Eastern

    • 2 | Recorded only

    • All live classes will be recorded. Students can participate live or watch some--or all--classes as recordings after each class is completed.

  • For CA students, this course is a-g approved if taken through some homeschool charters. See our FAQ.

The Course Foundation

A typical week might include a variety of elements:

  • Homework sets will be assigned and completed through WebAssign.

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

  • Games (similar to Kahoot and Jeopardy)--where students solve puzzles/riddles and complete Precalculus-related assignments--can be expected, especially in review weeks.

  • Each week will incorporate some sort of real-life application.

 

Students should expect to spend 6-8 hours per week (which includes the live Zoom sessions) on classwork. The instructor will be readily available for assistance throughout each week. 

Print and Digital

The class will be using the most current edition (10th edition) of Precalculus by Ron Larson. This well-regarded textbook offers both an algebraic and graphical approach to topics in functions, trigonometry, matrices, probability, and analytical geometry. Each section engages students in explorations of problem solving, strengthens critical-thinking skills through technology and study tips, and develops why precalculus is important through real-life applications.

 

  • Aligned Interactive Resources

    • Students will access homework assignments in WebAssign, a platform that is widely used by colleges and universities across the country. Through this online resource, the instructor tailors weekly assignments and can offer supplementary practice to students who need it. Using WebAssign will also give students experience with a digital platform they are likely to see in future college math classes. 

    • An optional interactive ebook is equipped with embedded videos from Cengage Learning that supplement examples in the hard-copy text. The ebook also allows students to bookmark pages and concepts they feel are important to review.

    • To facilitate mastery, students will use the online resource IXL--which offers targeted practice in hundreds of skills foundational to Precalculus success and provides diagnostics to determine whether students are still learning, are proficient, or have mastered skills.

    • A hard-copy text can be borrowed free through the Blue Tent OnLoan program so that students have the option to utilize both online and print resources--choosing or combining those in a way that work best for their preferences and learning styles. 

  • Test Prep

    • 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.

Honors Option

Students who choose the honors option will be presented with supplementary materials that reinforce, enrich, and expand on topics covered in the class.

  • Supplementary instruction will be delivered in a variety of ways, including ZOOM meetings, recorded videos, and critical thinking assignments.

  • Those choosing the honors option should plan to spend an additional 1-2 hours per week on classwork; however, some students will find they can master the core and supplementary material more efficiently than the hourly estimates.

Collaborate. Learn. Enjoy!

Students will be interacting with their classmates during the live sessions as well as through an online forum provided through their Moodle classroom.

  • They can post questions about the lecture, textbook sections, or homework.

  • Or they might answer other students’ questions or post solutions to problems.

  • The instructor will be available in the class forums as well and will make sure to work through the most interesting problems in the Thursday class meeting.

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

 

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