WELCOME TO
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.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

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.

PREREQUISITES

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

TEXTS

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.

SUPPLIES

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.

THE "INDEX CARD" LECTURE METHOD

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:

QUICK QUIZZES

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

The Quick Quizzes are graded with a  1  (one point) or an  N  (Not 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.)

QUIZZES and EXAMS

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.

ALGEBRA PINBALL

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!

LATE POLICY

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."

EFFORT HONOR ROLL

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.

YOUR NUMBER IS ...

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:

USING PREVIOUS COURSE MATERIALS

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

GRADING

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.

TERM GRADE

(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

EXAM DATES

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

COURSE GRADE

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.