Pre-Calculus at Lathrop High School                                      Back to JeffBaldwin.org

Pre-Calculus is offered at Lathrop High School to prepare students for AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC. Since we are on Block Schedule, we are able to offer both AP Calculus programs. First year AP Calculus AB is offered in the Fall, and second year AP Calculus BC is offered in the Spring. In May the students are able to take the AP Calculus BC test which will also have an AB sub-score. It’s a two-for-one offer, you get two AP scores for taking only 1 test. Our Pre-Calculus program specializes in preparing students for the course work in both of the AP courses.

The content of the Pre-Calculus class includes Functions and Graphs, Polynomials, Quadratics and Conics, Solving Systems, Matrices, Trigonometry, Complex Numbers, Sums, Series and Sequences, Polar Coordinates, Parametric Equations, and other topics.

The class is rigorous and rapid. It is analytical in nature and the students are warned that it will be difficult in content and speed. Mr. Baldwin will do anything he can to help, but the students will need to remain totally engaged during class and be re-engaged at home every night for studies. Students may call Mr. Baldwin anytime, 24-7, for math help, his phone number is 594-1894. His work e-mail is jbaldwin@musd.net, his home e-mail is baldjeff@comcast.net, and his business email is bald@jeffbaldwin.org. His cell phone is (360) 640-0093. Parents are invited to communicate with Mr. Baldwin at any time for any reason. Also, please check your child’s progress in this class daily using Parent Portal.

Parents: Your child is expected to put at least two hours of energy into their Pre-Calculus work each and every night regardless of assigned homework. Regardless of what they may tell you, there is NEVER a night where they do not have two hours of homework. The result of not doing this will be poor test and quiz performance and therefore poor grades. I am available on a 24-7 basis. If your child is not performing to your specifications, please remove all the distractions from their nights. This would include Internet, television, cell phones, texting, emailing, and possibly more, such as sports and cheerleading. Many students fail Pre-Calculus, and later tell me that they continued in their other interests to the tune of 3 to 5 hours a day. This really is a deal-buster for an analysis class. Sorry for the bad news, but I am brutally honest. Other things in their lives that take hours a day will destroy their Pre-Calculus performance. Period. The intensity will not seem that great at first, but it will suddenly hit like a bat, and those who are not in the habit of time-devotion are going to be the ones that fail.

There are a few subjects that have the same thing in common, and that is if you are in it all the way it will be the coolest thing you’ve ever seen, but if you get behind and confused, it will be the worst thing you’ve ever experienced. They would be logs, trig, matrices and sums. Your energy in can’t be high enough. I’ll say “I told you so” later on when you’re there and you haven’t put that energy in.

This class is specifically designed for students who are planning on becoming engineers, doctors, and otherwise members of the technological community. If you are taking this class for other reasons, such as to increase your transcript status, please be aware that it will be paced quickly and rigorously for the intent of this high level of expectation. Please increase your level of rigor and personal performance minimum standards to this degree.

One more thing to mention parents. Many kid who get into a Pre-Calculus class are those straight-A students who always gets As in their math classes. They do this by memorizing a chapter’s content, puking it out to the teacher in a test, then forgetting that material so they can move on to the next thing to memorize. This will not work in an analytical math class. The student must be able to continue on with the material and use it by thinking, not regurgitating. If your straight-A student suddenly is getting lower grades, please remember that you have been told this and the ability to think a problem through may not yet exist and must be developed. Chronically retaking exams is not the answer, so please do not beg me for this service. Not getting an A may be the wake-up call you child requires to learn how to think rather than responding with memorized junk.

 

Here ae some group workings by the kids.

Just before Halloween in 2015 our Pre-Calculus class determined the distance from Mr. Baldwin’s doorknob and Mr. McGrath’s doorknob. The problem is that the buildings themselves are in the way. So Way 1 to determine this was to go from Baldwin’s doorknob to the flagpole by the theatre, then from the theatre to McGrath’s doorknob, determine that angle, and use the Law of Cosines to determine this distance [assuming the Earth is flat, which it isn’t]. Here is a student created chalkboard picture of the problem drawn by Prassad.

A tree was in the way between Baldwin’s room and the pole, and another tree was in the way between the pole and McGrath’s room. Issues were solved.

Meanwhile, three students measured down the building from McGrath’s room, then along his building, then down the hall to Baldwin’s building, then over to Baldwin’s door, and the total east distance was computed, the total south distance was computed, and the Pythagorean Formula was used to hopefully match the Law of Cosines formula. Here is the chalkboard work by Giri.

A table was set up by the flag pole to mark directions to the doors. They were drawn on the table and the angle was measured back in the classroom. Yang used a mirror to align the ruler to point directly at each door. This enabled him to not have to look through the flag pole [impossible].

Lots of hard working Pre-Calculus students.

Our Approximate Schedule

8/8/2018

Intro, Real Numbers

8/9/2018

Functions, Domain, Range

8/10/2018

Transformations

8/13/2018

Compositions

8/14/2018

Inverse Functions

8/15/2018

Master Ch 1

8/16/2018

Test Ch 1 Functions and Graphs

8/17/2018

 

8/20/2018

 

8/21/2018

 

8/22/2018

Quadratics

8/23/2018

Polynomials

8/24/2018

Synthetic Division, Polynomial Division

8/27/2018

Complex Numbers

8/28/2018

Zeros, Factors, Roots

8/29/2018

Rational and Radical Functions

8/30/2018

Master Ch 2 Polynomials

8/31/2018

Test Ch 2 Polynomials Rational Functions

9/4/2018

 

9/5/2018

 

9/6/2018

 

9/7/2018

Exponents

9/10/2018

Graphs of Exponents

9/11/2018

Logs Graphs of Logs

9/12/2018

Growth and Decay

9/13/2018

Master Ch 3 Exp Log

9/14/2018

Test Ch 3 Exp Log

9/17/2018

 

9/18/2018

 

9/19/2018

 

9/20/2018

Unit Circle

9/21/2018

Trig Functions

9/24/2018

Right Triangle Trig

9/25/2018

Graphs of Trigs

9/26/2018

Invese Trig

9/27/2018

Master Basic Trig

9/28/2018

Test ch 4 Basic Trig

10/1/2018

Trig Identities

10/2/2018

Proving Trig Identities

10/3/2018

Solving Trig Equations

10/4/2018

Sum Diff Rules

10/5/2018

Double Angle Half Angle Rules

10/8/2018

Master Ch 5 Trig

10/9/2018

Test Ch 5 Trig

10/10/2018

 

10/11/2018

 

10/12/2018

 

10/22/2018

Law of Sines,Law of Cosines

10/23/2018

Vectors

10/24/2018

Dot Product

10/25/2018

Trig form of Complex Numbers

10/26/2018

d'Moivre'sTheorem

10/29/2018

Master ch 6 Trig

10/30/2018

Test Ch 6 Trig

10/31/2018

 

11/1/2018

 

11/5/2018

Matrices

11/6/2018

Matrices

11/7/2018

Matrices

11/8/2018

Master Matrices

11/9/2018

Test Ch 8 Matrices

11/13/2018

 

11/14/2018

 

11/15/2018

Rules of Summation

11/16/2018

Rules of Summation

11/19/2018

Geometric Series

11/20/2018

Summation

11/21/2018

Math Induction

11/26/2018

Binomial Theorem

11/27/2018

Binomial Theorem

11/28/2018

Master ch 9 Summation

11/29/2018

Test Ch 9 Summation

11/30/2018

 

12/3/2018

 

12/4/2018

 

12/5/2018

Conics

12/6/2018

Conics

12/7/2018

Polar Coordinates

12/10/2018

Polar Coordinates

12/11/2018

Conics in Polar Coordinates

12/12/2018

Conics in Polar Coordinates

12/13/2018

Master Ch 10 Conics and Polar Coords

12/14/2018

Test Ch 10 Conics Polar Coords

12/17/2018

 

12/18/2018

 

12/19/2018

 

12/20/2018

Finals

12/21/2018

Finals

 

 

 

Pre-Calculus

1/9/2019

Intro, Real Numbers

1/10/2019

Functions, Domain, Range

1/11/2019

Transformations

1/14/2019

Compositions

1/15/2019

Inverse Functions

1/16/2019

Master Ch 1

1/17/2019

Test Ch 1 Functions and Graphs

1/18/2019

 

1/22/2019

 

1/23/2019

 

1/24/2019

Quadratics

1/25/2019

Polynomials

1/28/2019

Synthetic Division, Polynomial Division

1/29/2019

Complex Numbers

1/30/2019

Zeros, Factors, Roots

1/31/2019

Rational and Radical Functions

2/1/2019

Master Ch 2 Polynomials

2/4/2019

Test Ch 2 Polynomials Rational Functions

2/5/2019

 

2/6/2019

 

2/7/2019

 

2/8/2019

Exponents

2/12/2019

Graphs of Exponents

2/13/2019

Logs Graphs of Logs

2/14/2019

Growth and Decay

2/15/2019

Master Ch 3 Exp Log

2/19/2019

Test Ch 3 Exp Log

2/20/2019

 

2/21/2019

 

2/22/2019

 

2/25/2019

Unit Circle

2/26/2019

Trig Functions

2/27/2019

Right Triangle Trig

2/28/2019

Graphs of Trigs

3/1/2019

Invese Trig

3/4/2019

Master Basic Trig

3/5/2019

Test ch 4 Basic Trig

3/6/2019

Trig Identities

3/7/2019

Proving Trig Identities

3/8/2019

Solving Trig Equations

3/11/2019

Sum Diff Rules

3/12/2019

Double Angle Half Angle Rules

3/13/2019

Master Ch 5 Trig

3/14/2019

Test Ch 5 Trig

3/15/2019

 

3/25/2019

 

3/26/2019

 

3/27/2019

Law of Sines,Law of Cosines

3/28/2019

Vectors

3/29/2019

Dot Product

4/1/2019

Trig form of Complex Numbers

4/2/2019

d'Moivre'sTheorem

4/3/2019

Master ch 6 Trig

4/4/2019

Test Ch 6 Trig

4/5/2019

 

4/8/2019

 

4/9/2019

Matrices

4/10/2019

Matrices

4/11/2019

Matrices

4/12/2019

Master Matrices

4/15/2019

Test Ch 8 Matrices

4/16/2019

 

4/17/2019

 

4/18/2019

Rules of Summation

4/23/2019

Rules of Summation

4/24/2019

Geometric Series

4/25/2019

Summation

4/26/2019

Math Induction

4/29/2019

Binomial Theorem

4/30/2019

Binomial Theorem

5/1/2019

Master ch 9 Summation

5/2/2019

Test Ch 9 Summation

5/3/2019

 

5/6/2019

 

5/7/2019

 

5/8/2019

Conics

5/9/2019

Conics

5/10/2019

Polar Coordinates

5/13/2019

Polar Coordinates

5/14/2019

Conics in Polar Coordinates

5/15/2019

Conics in Polar Coordinates

5/16/2019

Master Ch 10 Conics and Polar Coords

5/17/2019

Test Ch 10 Conics Polar Coords

5/20/2019

 

5/21/2019

 

5/22/2019

Finals

5/23/2019

Finals

5/24/2019

Finals

 

A few hyperlinks to use.

Click ME to download and print the Chapter 1 Expectations!        This link needs repairs

Click ME to download and print the Chapter 3 Expectations!        This link needs repairs

Click ME to see how to graph sinusoids.

Click ME to download and print the Final Prep Sheet!          This link needs repairs

Click ME to get to Conic Sections Stuff!

Click ME to get to Dog Problems!

Click ME to download and print the Symbols sheet!

Click ME to download and print rational functions instructions!

Click ME to download and print radical functions!

Click ME to download and print rules of Exponents and Logs!

Click ME to download and print money and economic formulae.

Click ME to download and print Midterm Final material.                 This link needs repairs

Click ME to see the U.S. Census!

Click ME to download and print the Trig Builder Sheet!

Click ME to download and print the Trig Identities Cheat Sheet!

Click ME to watch my You Tube video on the Proof for the Cosine Sum/Difference Rule!

Sorry for how fast these go, that’s why there’s this video.

Click Me to watch my You Tube video on the Proof for the Sine Sum/Difference Rule!

Sorry for how fast this goes, that’s why there’s this video.

Click ME to download and print the Trig Identities Verification Worksheet!

Click ME to download and print the expectations of the Pre-Calculus Midterm Final Exam occurring October 2014.                This link needs updating

Click ME to use de-Moivre’s theorem to determine nth roots of complex numbers.

Click ME to learn about solving Matrices by manipulating them into Reduced Row Echelon form.

 

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