Honors Pre-Calculus 1/Trig is a course for students who are talented in Algebra and were successful in Honors Geometry or did very well in regular Geometry. These students skip intermediate algebra because it is understood that they need no review of Algebra 1 topics and will quickly learn the intermediate algebra concepts as we reach them in Pre-Calculus. Students are expected to complete Problems of the Week and a semester project as well as class activities and book assignments/worksheets. Students successful in this course will take Honors Pre-Calc 2/Calculus A next year. Sophomores who were not successful should take Pre Calculus 1-2 next year and juniors who were not successful should register for College Algebra instead. All of these options are recognized by any university but Honors Pre-Calculus will prepare them best for college level mathematics.
Topics covered in first semester are linear, quadratic and exponential functions and graphs, transformations of a variety of functions, function operations, inverses, mathematical modeling, higher power functions & graphing techniques (roots, synthetic division, leading coefficients, rational and real zeros, bounds, complex solutions), and sketching, domains & asymptotes of rational functions.
Second semester includes logarithms, basic right triangle trig, radian measure, the unit circle, graphs of trig functions, inverse trig functions, trig identities, simplifying and solving trig equations, Law of Sines & Cosines, and vectors with applications.
Grading: Students earn approximately 75% of their grade through assessment. This includes quizzes and tests. 25% of their grade is earned through class work, homework & POW's. Students will be assigned homework most nights.
Problems of the Week are often the biggest challenge for students. POW's emphasize the process and usually require a written description of their problems solving methods. These encourage the students to be creative and to value both inductive and deductive logic and the numerous types of problem solving that can be used to solve a problem. Grades are based on much more than just a correct answer. Students must communicate a logical problem solving procedure, but this procedure does not necessarily need to be algebraic. Once the student has read the problem and begun to develop some ideas, they are allowed, and even encouraged to exchange ideas with friends and family. Sharing of ideas is great, but the work and explanation must be their own.