Precalculus Syllabus and Classroom Rules

    Instructor: Mr. Licea

    Room: 754

    Email: glicea@dadeschools.net

    Course Description


    Precalculus is a course designed to prepare students for topics covered in an elementary Calculus course at the college level.  It begins with a comprehensive study of functions and moves into an analysis of rudimentary calculus concepts such as the difference quotient and the notion of “taking a limit.”   In addition to introducing students to terminology and concepts essential to the study of Calculus, this course should also help students develop reasoning and analytical skills which may be applied to problems outside the typical realm of mathematics.


    An additional goal of this course is to introduce students to the graphing calculator and its wide range of useful functionality.  I will be using the TI 84 Plus for all in-class demonstrations.  Though you must have a graphing calculator to make it through the course, this does not mean that you must necessarily have a TI 84.  However, you, not I, are responsible for learning how to operate your calculator.


    Text and Materials


    Required Text: Blitzer, Fourth .  (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010).


    You will need the text, 8.5x11 lined papers for homework, graph paper, a small ruler, a protractor, sharp pencils, and a very large eraser.

    All classwork, homework assignments, quizzes and tests must be done in pencil, not ink. Work done in ink may not be submitted for a grade.


    GRAPHING CALCULATOR: A graphing calculator is required for this course. I will use a TI-84 Plus and if you have not already purchased a calculator I recommend this calculator or an older model of the TI 83. Graphing calculators with a computer algebra system cannot be used in this class. You may use any other calculator, except one that has a computer algebra system, but you must know how to operate it.





    Below are brief descriptions of the kinds of assignments given in the class with their respective percentages of the quarter grade.


    Homework (20%), written and unwritten, will be assigned every class.  Though the assignments will vary according to the material, the general form for homework will be as follows.  You will be assigned set of problems each to complete.  From these I will select a small number of problems (typically no more than 10) which you must prepare fully and turn in to me the following day. 


    Note: “Prepare fully” means that you must write out the full problem—yes, directions included—neatly with a step-by-step explanation of the solution.  As with most math homework, the answers are not that important; you doing the work and understanding the concept are.  In fact, the problems will generally be odd-numbered so you may check your solution in the back.      



    Weekly Quizzes (30%).  Unless otherwise stated, these are to be completed individually, closed-book and closed-note.  They may range from one to ten problems and will invariably cover material from in-class lectures.  Whenever possible, quizzes

    will be announced in advance.



    Tests (50%) will be given at the conclusion of each chapter and/or longer sections.  They also are to be worked individually—closed-book, closed-note. One make-up exam for a missed exam may possibly be given, but at the discretion of the instructor.


    Grading Policy


    In accordance with school policy, letter grades for the quarters, exams, and semesters will follow the familiar ten-point scale.  All grades for the quarter will be calculated based on the below percentages.


    90-100% of Total Possible Points A

    80-89% ____________________________B

    70-79% ____________________________ C

    60-69% ____________________________ D

    0-59% _____________________________ F



    Clasroom Policy


    Be on time. If you are not in the classroom when the bell rings, you will be marked tardy. Following M.B.S.H. policy, no gum, food, drink, etc. will be allowed in class.  Keep your cell phones and ipods off and in your locker where they belong.  They will be confiscated if found.


    Raise your hand for permission to speak; sit up in your desk; rudeness, disrespect, profanity, and childish behavior will not be tolerated.  Above all, be respectful to your fellow classmates and your instructor.


    Barring the direst of circumstance, no locker passes will be distributed. Likewise permission to use the restroom will be granted only in extreme cases.


     ATTENDANCE: You are expected to attend each class meeting. Excessive absences will very likely affect your grade.



    Academic Misconduct Policy


    Talking about math problems with your classmates is an important part of the learning process.  Therefore, I will allow responsible communication about homework and problem sets outside of the classroom.  This is not a license to cheat.  You may only work to help one another.  You may not copy all of your friend’s homework solutions before class.  This is not help for your friend or yourself; it will result in no credit on an assignment and.


    Obviously, the above policy does not apply for quizzes or tests.  Any correspondence during these assignments will be considered cheating and will result in a zero on the assignment and parents will be contacted.


    Make-Up and Late Work Policy


    If you miss a quiz or a test due to an excused absence, you may make up the assignment(s).  To do this, find out what quiz or test you missed, prepare for it, and arrange a time with me to take it before school. You have three days to contact me and complete the missed assignment(s).  After three days the grade becomes a zero.


    If you miss a class, you are responsible for acquiring discussion notes from a classmate.


    Availability and Assistance


    I will be available everyday before school in room 754 starting at 6:30 A.M. if you have questions concerning an assignment.  For other issues or other times of availability please talk to me after class. 


    Course Outline


    Below is a brief list of the topics to be covered in this course. 

     Prerequisites: Algebra Review

    P.1 Algebraic Expressions, Mathematical Model,  and Real Numbers.           P.6 Rational Expressions

    P.2 Exponents and Scientific Notation                                                          P.7 Equations         
    P.3   Radical and Rational Exponents                                                           P.8 Modeling with Equations
    P.4  Polynomials.                                                                                         P.9 Linear Inequalities and Absolute Value Inequalities

     P.5 Factoring Polynomials


    Ch. 1 - Functions and Graphs
    Ch. 2 - Polynomials and rational functions

    Ch. 3 - Exponential and logarithmic functions

    Ch. 4 - Trig Functions

    Ch. 5 - Trig identities with one and two variables

    Ch. 6 - Law of Sines and Law of Cosines

    Ch. 7 - Systems of Equations

    Ch. 8 - Matrices and Determinants

    Ch. 9 - Sequences, Probability, and Statistics

    Ch. 12 - Limits and Intro to Calculus


    INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES: At the end of the course the student will demonstrate the

    ability to:

    1. Perform algebraic operations necessary for calculus.

    2. Solve algebraic equations and inequalities, trigonometric equations, and systems of equations.

    3. Graph algebraic, logarithmic, exponential, and trigonometric functions, and conic sections.

    4. Find equations of lines, conics, composite and inverse functions.

    5. Recite from memory algebraic and trigonometric identities.

    6. Prove trigonometric identities.

    7. Solve trigonometric problems involving triangles.

    8. Identify and evaluate elementary sequences and series; prove elementary facts requiring mathematical induction. Apply algebraic and trigonometric concepts to the solution of Practical problems in a variety of disciplines.



    Take good notes. A notebook for notes is highly recommended for this class.

    Review notes after class.

    Read the text.

    Get a study buddy.

    Have a scheduled time to do your math homework (as soon after class as possible).


    Read the entire problem to get a general idea.

    Read the problem again, this time answers the following three questions.

    1. What is given?

    2. What am I asked to find?

    3. How am I going to do it?

    Draw diagrams whenever possible.


    Students in this class are expected to assist in maintaining a classroom environment that is conducive to learning. In order to assure that all students have the opportunity to gain from time spent in class, students are prohibited from engaging in any behavior that is a distraction in any way to others in the class. Inappropriate behavior in the classroom shall result in a discipline referral and parents will be notified.

    All cell phones must be turned off before you enter the classroom. No cell phone may be visible to me at anytime. You may not use your cell phone for text messaging.

    Integrity is expected of everyone in my classes. If there is any Indication of collaboration on quizzes or tests all of the collaborators will forfeit any grade on the quiz or test in question. In other words, do your own work and do not let Another student copies your work.

    Please respect your fellow students and the instructor by refraining from carrying on a conversation while someone is speaking. If you have a question, raise your hand and

    ask the instructor. Do not be rude to your fellow classmates or, to me.

    Please take care of personal business before you enter the classroom. Walking in and out of the room after the class has started is disruptive and annoying behavior. Please

    note that no one is allowed to leave the classroom for any reason during a test unless permission is requested, and granted.

    COURSE GOALS: To encourage and enable students to:

    1. Develop algebraic problem-solving skills appropriate to calculus.

    2. Expand their understanding of algebraic and transcendental functions.

    3. Understand the development and application of analytic trigonometry.

    4. Develop a level of mathematical sophistication necessary to appreciate the structure, power, and beauty of calculus.


    Before you read the syllabus it is important to know some important rules of the classroom. 


    1.-Miami Beach Senior High is a uniform school. No student will be allowed into the class without a uniform and ID. On days where there are test, you will not be allowed to take the test without a uniform or Id.  

    2.-If you are absent, you are responsible to get any work you missed in class and bring to class with an admit within three days. If you do not have an excused admit you will not be able to make up the assignment.  

    3.-No late work will be accepted. You must be aware of the due dates and turn the assignments in on time. No excuses will be accepted.  

    4.-Please do not ask to go to counselors, other teachers, or an administrator during my class as it is important that you are in class so you do not miss important information. Please make arrangements to do any of your business on your time. 

    5.-Please copy and paste the last page to a word document, sign, have your parents sign and return to me by Friday August 26th


    I have read and understand the course information presented on this syllabus as well as the Miami Beach Senior High Academic Policy.  I understand that my child will have reading materials that may have to be purchased or borrowed from the library. My child is expected to be responsible and keep on top of the required assignments and I will see that they are prepared and I will make sure they have what is necessary to succeed.   


    Student signature:______________________________________________ 


    Parent signature:_______________________________________________