Precalculus‎ > ‎

Course Description

The learning goals in this class are:

  • to have the prerequisite skills needed for calculus studies.
  • to achieve a competitive score on the mathematics portion of the SAT.
  • to meet the school-wide academic expectations for which the mathematics department is responsible.

At the conclusion of this course, you should know:

  • Transformations of parent functions
  • Polynomial functions: analysis and graphs
  • Rational functions: analysis and graphs
  • Exponential and logarithmic functions
  • Radian measurements of angles
  • Angular velocity
  • Trigonometric functions and applications
  • Vectors
  • Conic sections
  • Sequences, series, and applications

... and be able to:

  • manipulate and solve various algebraic expressions and equations.
  • analyze and graph polynomial and rational functions.
  • use transcendental functions (logarithmic and trigonometric) for solving problems.
  • explore sequences and series.
  • use a graphing calculator as a tool for analysis and problem solving.

These resources will be used to facilitate your achievement of the above goals:

  • Book: Precalculus-Mathematics for Calculus 6e by Stewart, Redlin and Watson
  • Internet (homework and other course information can be found at
  • SAT and Accuplacer Practice Problems
  • Computer Presentations 

Assessment methods will include:

  • Tests: These assessments are given at the end of each unit of study.
  • Quizzes: These are more frequent and smaller assessments.
  • Projects: One or two projects will be assigned each quarter.  These are usually in-depth, practical applications of recently introduced skills.
  • Homework: Most assignments will be completed using an online homework system called WeBWork (links to this system are on Mr. Grenfell's webpage). If a student does not have access to the internet, he or she can request hard copies of the assignments. Each assignment stays open for multiple days. Questions can be emailed to Mr. Grenfell using the WeBWork system, but these questions may not get answered until the next school day. Because of this, starting an assignment the night before it is due will eliminate extra help opportunities.
  • Midterm and Final Exam

The grades for each quarter will be computed as follows:

  • Tests:                  40%
  • Quizzes:              30%
  • Projects:             20%
  • Homework:        10%

The final grades will be computed as follows:

  • First Quarter:       20%
  • Second Quarter:   20%
  • Midterm Exam:    10%
  • Third Quarter:      20%
  • Fourth Quarter:    20%
  • Final Exam:            10%

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.