homepage: Dr. Carol JVF Burns Precalculus Homepage |

PRECALCULUS and PRECALCULUS HONORS

at Miss Hall's School

2007 – 2008 Academic Year

INSTRUCTOR: | Dr. Carol J.V. Fisher |

EMAIL: | cfisher@misshalls.org |

TELEPHONE: | classroom: 395-7029 (leave message) |

CLASS MEETING TIME: | regular: E block MTWF; D block MTThF; honors: F block MTWF |

CLASS MEETING PLACE: | Room 200, Main Building |

INSTRUCTOR'S SCHEDULE: | Click here |

NOTE: Course materials are on the web at:

http://www.onemathematicalcat.org

Click on Table of Contents, then Precalculus/Precalculus Honors at Miss Hall's School.

*Precalculus* is a 1-credit course covering topics in algebra
and trigonometry, with an emphasis on functions. The
course is designed to develop skills that are essential for success
in Calculus. The Honors section will have many challenging homework problems,
and a variety of derivations and proofs throughout the year.

Completion of Algebra II and Geometry (or the equivalent) are prerequisites for this course. Precalculus Honors also requires permission from the Mathematics Department.

Precalculus: Mathematics For Calculus, fourth edition, by James Stewart, Lothar Redlin, and Saleem Watson. We will cover parts of chapters 1, 8, and 9, and most of chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

*TI-83 GRAPHING CALCULATOR*

You need a TI-83 graphing calculator for class, homework, and exams.
Calculator skills will be developed throughout the course.

*3-RING BINDER and DIVIDER SHEETS*

A 3-ring binder (at least 1.5" ring size) is strongly recommended
to organize all class materials. Please make tabs for SYLLABUS, GRADE SHEET, and INDEX CARDS.

*INDEX CARDS*

Index cards (4" × 6", both sides un-ruled, about 100 cards) are used
to summarize important material. You may want to purchase a 3-hole punched plastic zippered pouch in which
to keep your index cards.

All the important ideas in the course are summarized on index cards, which become a primary study source for exams and quizzes. Here's how the "index card method" works:

- You will receive copies of the index card material; the sheets are pre-punched to put in your 3-ring notebook.
- Quickly read over the sheet(s) before coming to class. This way, you have a preview of what we'll be talking about, making you more receptive to the ideas.
- After class, copy the material onto an
*actual*index card. As you write the card, THINK! Make sure that you understand*everything*you're writing down. Feel free to add additional material to make the index cards more useful to you. - Index cards are passed in and graded at the midterm and end-of-term. Each card is worth 2 points (1 point for each side).

At the beginning of each class, there is a *Quick Quiz* over material
from the previous day. This Quick Quiz may be:

- doing one of the assigned homework problems (including algebra review problems), or a similar problem
- answering a basic question from the previous day's index card(s)

The Quick Quizzes are graded with a 1 (one point) or
an N (*N*ot completely correct).
Points accumulated on the Quick Quizzes
are added into your point total as *BONUS POINTS*. Consequently, they can't hurt
your grade, but can certainly help! There are no make-ups on Quick Quizzes. Quick Quizzes
are discarded immediately after grading.

An unexcused late or unexcused absence causes you to lose a Quick Quiz point.
(I record -1 on the Quick Quiz sheet.)

Every Monday there will be a major quiz over the Precalculus material covered in the previous week.
These quizzes comprise a significant part of your course grade. Take them *very* seriously!
The Honors class will have additional questions; non-honors students may choose to do these questions
for (specified) extra credit.

Every Friday there will be a quiz over the Algebra/Geometry review exercises for the week.

Since there are a wide variety of questions which are randomly-generated and
vary considerably in difficulty level, the review quizzes will be scaled
according to your class:

PreCalculus (regular sections): score multiplied by 1.25 ( 80% turns into 100% )

PreCalculus (honors section): score multiplied by 1.10 ( 91% turns into 100% )

AP Calculus AB: score multiplied by 1.05 ( 95% turns into 100% )

Scores are not allowed to exceed 100% (i.e., any scaled score greater than 100% is recorded as 100%).

These review exercises are a WIN-WIN situation: ones that are difficult for you are filling in gaps in
your understanding; ones that are easy for you are building up your course grade!

Each term, there will be a midterm exam and a cumulative final exam.

You may earn UNLIMITED extra Quick Quiz points by posting fast times on Algebra Pinball!

I have a new column for my classes this year. Web exercises are "open for participation" on the first
school day of the week in which they are assigned, and remain open thereafter.
Submissions must be brought to my classroom; the fastest score for each day earns one QQ point.
If you beat the OVERALL FASTEST score (first column), then you earn three QQ points!

The *MAXIMIZE PARTICIPATION CLAUSE* is this: the same person *cannot* appear in the "overall fastest" column
and "Fisher classes 2007-08" column at the same time.

You may also earn up to TEN Quick Quiz points each term by having Friends and Family participate in Algebra Pinball.

Explain the rules to them...

tell them they must beat the time posted in the Friends/Family column...

have them SELECT ALL-COPY their fast timing sheet and email it to you...

then, you print it out and submit it to me.

Make sure THEIR information is completely filled in, and YOUR name is on it, so I can give you your Quick Quiz point!

Any missed work due to unexcused lates or absences will receive a grade of zero.
Furthermore, school policy dictates that a girl's class average will be reduced by one-half a percentage point for each
unexcused absence.

Recall that there are no make-up Quick Quizzes. The Miss Hall's School late policy applies to any other missed work:
*"A student who has been absent must be prepared to submit all missed
classwork within 48 hours of her return. A student should be prepared
to take a quiz or test upon her return if the material was covered prior
to her absence. A 10% per day grade reduction will be applied to any
outstanding work after the 48 hour grace period."*

A student is voted to the Effort Honor Roll when she has worked consistently throughout the term to be the best student she can be in all of her classes. Any one of the following reasons is sufficient to prevent a girl from receiving a recommendation for Effort Honor Roll: an unexcused absence; non-participation in class; lack of preparation for class; tardiness to class.

On the first day of class, a form will be passed around where
you will select your *number for the year*.
This number will be written on all passed-in material. Also, your personal folder is identified with
this number. If you miss class, check your folder for papers that may have been distributed
while you were absent.

*MY NUMBER IS:*

Sometimes, girls gain possession of class materials from previous years. You are welcome to use such materials, subject to the following conditions:

- You must show me any materials that you are using from previous years. I reserve the right to disallow use of these materials.
- You must make a copy of any materials that you are using and put them on reserve in the library, so that all students in the class can benefit from their use.

You will accumulate points throughout each term. Here's an example: if there are 2000 possible points, and you accumulate 1543 points, then your numerical term grade will be determined by computing 1540/2000 and using normal rounding, yielding 77%. Each student is provided with a grade sheet which is used to keep track of your grade throughout the term.

(no grade of A^{+} at MHS) | A: [93,infinity) | A^{-}: [90,93) |

B^{+}: [87,90) | B: [83,87) | B^{-}: [80,83) |

C^{+}: [77,80) | C: [73,77) | C^{-}: [70,73) |

D^{+}: [67,70) | D: [63,67) | D^{-}: [60,63) |

F: <60 |

Fall midterm: Wednesday/Thursday, October 24/25, 2007 (before long weekend)

Fall term final exam: Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 10:00 AM to noon

Spring midterm: Thursday/Friday, March 13/14, 2008 (before Spring Break)

Spring term final exam: Thursday, May 29, 2008, 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

Your course grade will be the average of the Fall and Spring term grades.

WEIGHTED GRADES FOR HONOR COURSES:

The semester average of a student enrolled in an Honors course is weighted by one point. This weight affects the
student's grade point average, when the GPA is computed and recorded on the
transcript and shared with prospective colleges. Additionally, this weight
can favorably influence a student's semester average, helping her to earn
recognition on the Head's List or Honor Roll.