Pre-Calculus 2018-2019 Syllabus

About the Course

Why Pre-calculus? If you plan on going to college, Pre-Calculus will give you a basis for the higher maths that are to follow. It is designed to prepare you for more challenging math courses. It give you a solid background in algebra and trigonometry.
Pre-calculus is a college preparatory course that includes a unifying review of the prerequisite basic skills from the algebra courses and the extensions of these skills as they apply to Pre-calculus topics. This course requires a strong algebraic background and will help you develop the skills and Techniques you need to be successful in Post-Secondary Math.

There are two main branches of pre-calculus that this course will cover:

Math Analysis

Whereas Math Analysis, which some instructors sometimes call Algebra 3, digs deeper into algebra concepts. Specifically, functions, domain and range, and end behavior. The focus of math analysis is not to just review or solve more complicated equations, but to show students how to represent them in various formats (i.e., graphically, numerically, and verbally). In particular, students will study polynomial functions, rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions and limits and learn how to express their findings using various modalities.


Trigonometry, which is the study of triangles, typically begins with an understanding of basic functions, then branches into how triangles and their angles can be drawn and represented in rotations, degrees and radian measure. With this foundation, students are then introduced to the Unit Circle, which enables them to explore trigonometric graphs, trig identities, and trig equations, as well as how to solve both right and oblique triangles. And lastly, students will explore new graphing planes called the Polar and Complex Coordinate systems.


Topics by Semester

1st Semester

Functions and Their properties

What is a function? What are the defining characteristics of functions? Topics include domain and range, inverses, composition of functions, symmetry and end behavior.

Parent Functions and Piece-wise Function

How do we graph functions? Topics include characteristics of parents functions, graphing piece-wise defined functions, and evaluating functions on specified domains.

Polynomial Functions

How do we graph and find the roots of polynomial functions of any degree? This unit teaches how to graph polynomial functions based on end behavior, roots, and other characteristics that can be used to define these special functions.

Rational Functions

What is a rational function? This unit covers solving, graphing, and identifying key characteristics of rational functions.

Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

This unit is an in-dept look at the techniques and skills needed to graph the exponential function and its inverse, the logarithmic function.

Sequences, Series and Sum

This unit gives students an understanding of how to identify and write different sequences, series and sum, using their special math notation that they will see more of in a calculus class.

2nd Semester

Right Triangle Trigonometry

The study of right triangles and their special properties will introduced in this section. Students will get a firm grasps of how the trigonometric functions will be used to further evaluate the field of trigonometry

Angles of Rotation

This unit will introduce students to the Unit Circle and its special angles.

Trigonometric Identities

This unit will introduce students to the fundamental identities, Pythagorean identities, and other important identifies that are derived from the unit circle.

Graphing Trigonometric Functions

Many phenomena occur in repeated patterns that follow sinusoidal curves. Graphing these unique curves will be the objective of this unit.

Conic Sections

This unit introduces students to the conics that are created by slicing a certain 3D figure.

Parametric Equation

This unit introduces students to polar coordinates and graphing using these special type of coordinates.

Classroom Guidelines

Assignments and Grading Policy

Test 60%

There will be a minimum of 3 tests given every 9-weeks. Testing will be done in my class only. All tests will be announced at least a week in advanced. Students are expected to make-up test, whether it be because of absence or retest, in a timely manner.

Quizzes 20%

Quizzes, unlike tests will be topic specific. Quizzes will be given weekly to ensure that students that are practining the material that is being taught. There are no retest on a quiz.

Quizzes may OR may not be announced ahead of time and may happen any time during class. Quizzes are like test in that they must be completed by the allotted time

Homework and Daily Grades 20%

Homework/Daily Grades are due by announced dates in class. Homework due dates will be announced in advanced and communicated to students on a regular basis. Homework is graded on a combination of effort, completeness, and accuracy. You will be held accountable for all material in the homework the following day it is assigned, even though the homework itself may not be due till a later date. Late homework may or may not be accepted at my discretion (for a reduced grade). No homework should be turned in for a section after the test for that section is taken.

Classroom Policies

Turning in Assignments

All homework is due by due dates that will be announced in class. The homework will be placed in the appropriate period tray that is labeled on my dest. Please be cognizant that once homework goes in the tray, it will not be removed. Homework must be turned in by the end of a period, unless otherwise noted, at which point it will be late.

Calculator Usage

As technology advances in the world so does its use in math. This is no truer than the use of a calculator in a math class. The most important aspect of the class if understand concepts. The calculator aids in this by allowing students to cut down on the amount work and calculations that must be done by hand.

In class I will assign each one of you a calculator. If you do not have access to one outside of class you will need to check one out from the library.

If your calculator is missing at any point, please notify me IMMEDIATELY.  This way we can try to locate the calculator and you are not responsible for its loss.



With the new year comes new advancements. We will use the iPad extensively in this class. You must remember that your iPad is not only technology, but it is a great tool that will help you tremendously over the course of the year. Here are a couple of norms for technology in this class:

1) Bring your iPad to class fully charged.

2) Respect those around you while using your iPad. Keep headphones with you just in case a lesson involves a video or sound at some point.

3) Be responsible for what you do and your iPad's upkeep. Keep track of it and stay on task.

4) Most importantly do not forget that having these in class are a privilege. Just like any privilege it can be lost at any time.

Cell Phones

Cell phones will not suffice for having your iPad. Please be sure to use them responsibility and only when designated to do so. If a cell phone becomes a disruption it will be picked up, and school code of conduct rules and procedures will be enforced.

Tutorial Policy

Morning Tutorials

Monday-Thursday 8:00 am - 8:40 am

The pace at which this class moves is fast. There will be times when you will not fully understand a topic or topics covered. It is always in your best interest to attend tutorials. Tutorial time has been set aside by the school from 8:00 am to 8:40 am, Monday through Thursday. Tutorials on Friday need to be scheduled with me, to check my availability.

Afternoon Tutorials

TBA 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Afternoon tutorials take place in the athletic wing. Designated subject teachers are available to help with some subject matter, and to give Retest or make up test that cannot be scheduled before school or during school.

Retesting Policy

If a student receives below a 70 on a test, that student will be allowed to take one retest to improve their score. They are only allowed one retest on each test given in a marking period. The highest grade that can be made on a retest is a 70.


1) Inform me that you would like to take a retest, by contacting me through email or after class.

2) Schedule the retest within one week of getting you original test back There will be no retest scheduled after the week has passed.

3) Students must take the retest before the next test in a marking period.

4) Retest will be put in at the end of a 3-week cycle.

5) There are no retest on quizzes.

Make-up Work Policy

You are responsible for asking and receiving any and all assignments and if possible notes from EVERY day that you missed on your first day back to class. This generally should take place before school, and not during class.

Make-Up work Procedures

If you miss a day when assignments are due, they are due upon the first day you return. Your missed work will be kept in a folder in the back of the room.

Missing a review day does not excuse you from a test. If the only day missed is a review, you will be expected to take the test when you return.

Depending on the length of your absence, you will have a maximum of 5 days to complete all missing assignments.


This course uses the app Remind to communicate with students as well parents. Students are encouraged to sign up for the Remind for this class as well as be active participants in the class by using the app to ask questions, communicate with me, and receive any other information that is vital to their success in the class.


Canvas is the system that will be implemented throughout the year. using this app and web-based program we will be submitting work receiving feedback, and doing project based learning with canvas.

About Me

I've been teaching math for 12 years all at Deer Park High School. I have a BS in Math Education from McNeese State University, an MS in Statistics from the University of Houston Clear Lake, and an M. Ed in Instructional Leadership from the University of St. Thomas.
Created By
Shannon Simon


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