## Friday, August 23, 2013

### Precalc Breakdown

Continuing with my Precalc brainstorm, I went through my new school's textbook (Functions Modeling Change, Fourth Edition, from John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), and pulled out specific content strands to correspond to each of the core topics I will need to teach. The current Precalc teachers don't all teach sequences as a topic in Precalc, but when I took it out, I found that no matter how I sequenced the basic algebra topics, they always seemed somewhat random and disconnected. So, I will still start off with a sequences discussion, in order to tie everything together for my own students. I also brainstormed a project for each Precalc unit during the year. If I end up throwing them out, it's ok! But, hopefully this gives me ideas to fall back on throughout the year. If they don't have references, either I have that project lying around from my own creation before or I think it'll be fairly straight-forward to pull one together this year.

Thoughts??

 Topic Key Lessons Project or Lab From Arithmetic Sequences to Linear and Quadratic Functions 1.       Sum of arithmetic sequences 2.       Quadratic patterns and quadratic formulas from applying sequence formulas to sum 2nd differences Daily openers: Practice linear and quadratic skills Triangular Numbers and Stellar Numbers (past IB Portfolio topic) From Geometric Sequences to Exponential Functions 1.       Sum of geometric sequences 2.       Exponential formulas from applying sequence formulas to geometric sequences 3.       Recursive vs. explicit formulas Daily openers: Practice basic exponent and log skills Modeling and Visualizing Graphs of Basic Forms 1.       Interpretation of parameters within a formula, domain, range 2.       Compare and contrast linear vs. exponential word problem setups 3.       Using GCD to analyze word problems after proper setup Daily openers: Practice graph prediction from formula Regression lab via RC-circuit Transformations of Families of Functions 1.       Review function notation 2.       Use the studied functions to reinforce basic transformations knowledge Daily openers: Practice transformations, forwards and backwards to/from formulas @Samjshah’s family of transformed functions art project Mini Capstone Unit: Modeling with Functions 1.       Go over function forms and uses (including forms not yet studied in the course) 2.       Give students guidelines on modeling assignment 3.       Do one example during class and then provide time in class to complete individual assignments Daily openers: Adjust as perceiving student needs. Use old IB portfolio topics Trigonometry of Circles and Waves 1.       Review non-right triangle trig with project from @KFouss 2.       Motivate circular trig using rollercoaster problem 3.       Unit Circle 4.       Graphing and transforming waves in both modes 5.       Solving trig equations (graphical and algebraic) 6.       Trigonometric identities 7.       Tangent function and GCD solutions Daily openers: Unit circle memorization; from hand-drawn graphs to finding trig formulas (and thereafter, to finding GCD solutions for intersection points) Non-right triangle trig project from @KFouss Building an animated rollercoaster in Geogebra End Behaviors of Polynomial and Rational Functions 1.       Start with modeling problems to motivate the various forms of new functions 2.       Fully develop each function type completely, paying attention to Calculus terminology 3.       Graphical analysis of instantaneous rates along a graph Daily openers: Predictions of graphs based on formulas; verify with GCD Stocks modeling project Field trip planning project / write proposal to principal Logarithmic Functions 1.       Function inverses 2.       Motivate topic using exponential vs. log scales 3.       Mixed practice in interpreting log scale graphs Daily openers: Solving logarithm equations Research/poster representing an exponential dataset using multiple forms of graphs, discussing visual tradeoffs Non-functions and Modeling Using Different Coordinate Systems 1.       Circles and Ellipses 2.       Polar coordinate system 3.       Hyperbola and the idea of Locus Daily openers: From Cartesian to Polar Coordinates, vice versa Art project via Desmos Year-long, Ongoing Review Create a Precalculus Magazine summarizing each unit that we have learned.