PreCalc Syllabus

Syllabus  2011-2012
Honors PreCalculus
Mr. Osterman    room C 101      

Course Description:  This course provides a preparation for college courses in mathematics. Topics covered include, polynomial functions, logarithmic and exponential functions, as well as a continued study of matrices, conic sections, graphing techniques and inferential statistics. Trigonometric subjects covered include circular functions and their graphs, identities and equations, solving right and oblique triangles, and trigonometric inverses.

Requirements:  Each student is required to bring a pencil/pen, loose-leaf paper or notebook (with enough space to keep track of all assignments), calculator and his/her assigned textbook to class every day.  Homework will always be due the day after it is assigned.   Required Textbook:  Precalculus, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill

Benchmark Assessments (50%):  A Benchmark Assessment will be given at the end of each unit.  I will give plenty of notice as to the date of BA’s.  We will usually take a day to review for BA’s.  An absence from this review day DOES NOT excuse students from taking the test with the rest of the class.  Students who are absent the day of a BA are responsible for making arrangements with me to take the BA before or after school on the day they return.   

Quizzes (45%):  We will have 2-3 quizzes per unit.  They will usually have approximately the same value as one another.  I will make students aware of the dates of most quizzes (I reserve the right to give pop quizzes of minimal value).  I will make it clear which topics are on quizzes, but students will be responsible for reviewing on their own. 

Class work / Homework (5%):  Homework will be assigned 3-4 times per week.  Although the percentage in this category is the lowest, your success in this course depends on how serious and diligent you are in doing your homework.  In past years I have found there is a direct correlation between a student’s rate of homework completion and their overall grade in the class.  One reason for this is that I strategically select homework questions that will help prepare students for quizzes.  These quizzes in turn help prepare students for their Benchmark Assessments.  Those students who place a high importance on their homework completion and understanding usually do well in the course. 

Note:  The first and second marking periods of each semester will each count for 40% of the final semester grade.  The other 20% will come from the final.

Attendance:  Because regular attendance is crucial to academic success, poor attendance will reflect in the student’s grade.  Unexcused absences will result in missed lectures, class work assignments, and homework assignments.  Students may make up missed assignments in the event of an excused absence without penalty.  It is the students’ responsibility to obtain missed assignments from my website or classmates.  If a student is aware of a pre-arranged absence, it is imperative to secure notes and/or assignments before the scheduled absence.  This will help keep students on track without falling behind too much.  Pre-arranged absences include field trips, AP testing, vacations, etc.

Class Expectations:  My only classroom rule is that everyone shows respect.  Students are to show respect for themselves, their classmates, the teacher, and the class room.  Infractions will be handled individually. 

Calculators:  I will not be able to supply calculators.  It would be helpful, although not essential, to have a graphing calculator (i.e. the TI-83 which costs approximately $100).  If you are planning a college program in the mathematics, engineering or science field you will probably use the TI-83 enough to warrant the purchase.  It is imperative that you secure a calculator for quizzes/tests as I will not be able to supply one for you.

Suggestions for Studying:  The most common reasons for difficulty in this course are poor algebra skills and failure to study consistently. You are developing a skill and must therefore practice.  Pre-Calculus is a fairly difficult mathematics class. The difficulty of the material increases as the course progresses. If the course seems easy to you at first, do not think this is an indication that you do not need to study.   In order to succeed in this course you should attend class regularly, take notes during lectures, and do your homework.  Here is an outline of things you can do to be successful in a college-prep mathematics courses:

A. Before, during and after a lecture:
1.      Before - skim new material the day before it is covered in a lecture and make notes of anything that seems confusing.
2.      During - take careful notes and copy all example problems making sure to ask questions for clarification.
3.      After - work all homework problems while referencing class notes.
B. Studying for quizzes and exams:
1.      Re-read the chapter(s) from the book noting important formulas/theorems.
2.      Review the lecture notes and examples provided during lectures.
3.      Re-do old homework and quiz problems that you difficult for you.

Students should come to class to learn.  Do not wait to get help if you are struggling in class.  I will make every effort to assist you if you make the effort to get help.  If you need additional help outside of class ask me, we will try to set something up at our mutual convenience.  Also, forming a study group with some or your classmates is always a good idea.  Come to class everyday, participate, do your homework and work hard, you will be successful! 

The district grading scale is as follows:
A+      100              B+      88 - 89       C+      78 - 79      D+    68 - 69                      
A        92 - 99         B        82 - 87       C        72 - 77       D      62 - 67
A-       90 - 91         B-       80 - 81      C-       70 - 71       D-     60 - 61