Honored to teach Honors Precalculus

A little over a year ago, I outlined a curriculum for a regular precalculus course for use by two other teachers in our department.  I hoped to help better align student readiness for AP Calculus as prior students arrived deficient in trigonometry skills, specifically, as well as knowledge and skill with functions, in general.  Students who enter my AP course this fall will be the first cohort through the revised, regular precalculus curriculum.  The students who come from honors precalculus will bring their experience with a curriculum developed separately by another teacher who is no longer with our department; although over a three-year period the BC teacher and myself, from time to time in response to requests for our thoughts, helped guide the honors curriculum she developed.  I so look forward to a better prepared cohort this fall.

Happily for me, nearly 100 students will arrive in one of my three, new honors precalculus sections in slightly over two weeks.  In preparation for their arrival, I outlined a new curriculum for the course leveraging my earlier efforts for the regular precalculus course.  In doing so, I intend for students to experience: 1) trigonometry and a variety of functions in the depth and breadth needed to succeed in AP Calculus, whether AB or BC; 2) several prerequisites for success in BC such as vectors, parametrics, conics, sequences and series; as well as 3) topics in probability and statistics in preparation for AP Statistics.

The following figures illustrate my plan for both semesters.  Excited to teach this new course, doubly so as many of these students will take AP Calculus with me in the following year, I look forward to kicking off the semester soon.

2014-2015 Honors Precalculus Sem1 Plan 2014-2015 Honors Precalculus Sem2 Plan

If anyone has any comments or suggestions related to my plans above, please feel free to share them with me.

About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Independent consultant and junior college adjunct instructor. Former secondary math teacher who taught math intervention, algebra 1, geometry, accelerated algebra 2, precalculus, honors precalculus, AP Calculus AB, and AP Statistics. Prior to teaching, I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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10 Responses to Honored to teach Honors Precalculus

  1. GeoffSmith says:

    What software are you making that with?


  2. Dave your senior ( experience and age only) says:

    Impressive that you have several sections of precalc, honors or not. I hope that they are armed and ready to roll. Might be visiting the Point this weekend. A distant relative of my son’s wife is a Plebe footballer.


    • Yes, we have 8 precalc sections (3 honors, 5 regular).

      I hope Army beats Navy this year!!

      If a classmate of mine has any influence in the matter, which he will as the soon-to-be 75th Commandant of Cadets, they will! He is a former player, too.



  3. Dave your senior ( experience and age only) says:

    hope they get their goat. Although my son was a LT in USNR. We used to go to Pointcon in 1980’s.


  4. gflint says:

    I have been teaching math for about 30 years. I still do not understand the time spent on trig identities. They seem to be antiques left over from the pre-computer era. I like them for the algebraic and trig manipulation but it just seems there might be better ways of doing that. Three weeks just seems a long time for a history lesson. Most text books seem to spend about the same length of time on the topic. Anybody have a reasonable reason to spend so much time on trig identities?


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