Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quiz 5.1.09

Any questions?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Combination of Functions

I found this "cool" website. Here is a video on combining functions. You may want to fast forward to around the 5:50 mark -- he starts to describe composing functions, which is our next topic.

Watch the 250K version.

Here is a page of over 60 precalc videos.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Did you know...

...that there will only be four trig questions on the ACT Math Test, so even if you aren’t comfortable with trig, it won’t destroy your Math score. The topics of trigonometry covered by the ACT are:

  • Solving Triangles
  • Trigonometric Identities
  • Trigonometric Graphs

I got this from SparkNotes. So I was interested in the other questions and I found this:

  • 14 questions w/ pre-algebra
  • 10 questions w/ elementary algebra
  • 9 questions w/ intermediate algebra
  • 9 questions w/ coordinate geometry
  • 14 questions w/ plane geometry
  • 4 questions w/ trigonometry

Saturday, April 18, 2009


A student asked for some information on probability.

Here is a link.

Here is another link.

Does that help?

I also found this on ACT's website. It has some more practice tests, if you need them.

As you probably are already aware, here are the topics covered in the math portion of the ACT test.

And how about this...On the Math Test, a D+ Is a Pretty Good Grade!

On a normal test for your high school math class, if you get two-thirds of the questions right, you’ll receive something like a D-plus—not exactly a parent-impressing grade. But if you get two-thirds of the questions right on the ACT, you’ll likely end up with a Math score of 24 or 25, scoring several points higher than the average test taker. Not too shabby. -- from SparkNotes

SparkNotes also has a good review section.

Friday, April 17, 2009

ACT Prep

Someone asked about some of the questions on circles.

Here is a good site. It is a link to the Regents test, a test that high schoolers in New York must pass in order to graduate. Should Illinois have a similar test that you must pass?

Here is an interactive site.

Here is some information on ellipses.

And finally, here is a review of conics.

Does this help? If not, leave me an email or comment.

Any other questions on the ACT prep pages Ms. Fulton and Mr. Bywater put together?

Combining and Modifying Functions

Our last outcome for WOF is combining and modifying functions.

Here is a site that talks a little about it. And here is another link.

Does anyone have other resources?

What would a function machine look like for f(g(x))?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Everything You Need to Know to be successful in Calculus

Here is the magical video.

What do you think? Do you think this video told you everything?

How to find the Specific Functions

What techniques did we try in class today?

How are you going to find the specific function on our quiz this Friday?

Finding Specific Quadratic Functions

Here is a cool video on how to find the specific quadratic function when given 3 points.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Research says...

This weekend I was playing Family Feud with some friends. You know you're old when you are the only one to remember Richard Dawson....


I was doing some research. I will be teaching an abridged PreCalculus class this summer. I have several questions that rattle through my head...
What should I teach?
How much of High Dive do my students remember?
How much of High Dive is important for my students' success in Calculus?

I found this article. Here are some excerpts:

"If students are to remember what they learn, the courses they take must tell a coherent story...Precalculus courses often run the risk of not being memorable because they are defined as the skills needed in calculus rather than telling a coherent story...No matter what flavor of calculus course they take, students benefit from a precalculus course that emphasizes interpretation as well as calculation...Particularly for students who are repeating material that they did not fully master before, a focus on meaning is an essential part of making the ideas fit together and finally stick."

Do you feel that your current Precalculus class "tells a coherent story"? Or is there more of an emphasis on the calculations? Do you think you are mastering the material?

Additionally, since you have experienced both "traditional" and "reform" (IMP) math curriculum, how should the AP Calculus class be taught? What are the pro's and con's of continuing to use our traditional Calculus curriculum? Of switching to a reform Calculus curriculum?

Here is a research paper examining the University of Michigan's Calculus classes, which use a "reform" textbook created by Harvard University.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Break...

I'm on a world tour with my book in my hand...

Any questions about the High Dive Unit Exam? Your portfolio?