I suppose that my experience with Pre-Calculus curriculum began in Steve Patterson’s Pre-Calculus class at Briarcliff High School in the 1981-82 school year. Pre-Calculus always stuck out in my mind because it was the only math course that was completely locally developed. Algebra I, II, and Geometry all had Regents exams and the Calculus course was AP Calculus.I'm hoping Rich will write more posts for us.
I remember studying Conic Sections, Polynomial Long Division and Synthetic Division, the Rational Roots Theorem (and its proof), elementary Discrete Math (permutations, combinations and binomial probability), Polar Coordinate graphing and hand calculating Riemann Sums at the end of the year. I took the College Board Math Achievement Test II (now the SAT Subject Test Math II) after completing the Pre-Calculus course so I recently looked at some current sample questions and saw these same topics – Analytic Geometry, Permutations & Combinations, Synthetic Division, Functions, Sequences & Series.
During the 1999-2000 school year, I taught Pre-Calculus at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine. The school was using the Chicago Series text Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry for their Pre-Calculus course. I know that some teachers like the Chicago Series and FST in particular, but I didn’t really get much use out of the textbook, and began to supplement. Standard textbooks can be supplemented quite easily because the order and difficulty level of the topics is often similar. I found that the Chicago Series was very difficult to supplement and just began to create separate materials for the students. I collected these assignments in a binder and showed this to the University of Maine math department when I was interviewing for an adjunct position the following year (yeah - I didn’t stay at MCI very long – they were sticklers for using the approved textbook). I taught as an adjunct at UMaine for two years before beginning their MA program in Math.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Rich Beveridge on pre-calculus
Rich Beveridge writes: