Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Calculator Precalculus

Geometry. Geometry. Geometry. It's almost like I don't teach another class. BUT. I totally teach precalculus, and it's fun to get back to it after a 2 year break.

We're currently learning how to solve "simple" trig equations on the calculator. I make the students purchase a scientific calculator, so that they have one at home and so that when we have "graphing" tests, they can still use this calculator.

Here's what we're currently working on, and I just have to say, still LOVE the answer banks. [note: added later .... eek! error in answer bank on front side. "5.6034" should be "3.8214"]

I'm also going to start the 100% or 0% quizzes soon. I want them to have quick and accurate access in their heads to the sine, cosine, and tangent of all the special angles given in radians (including on the axes). I give them a 10 question (14?) quiz and I take it with them the 1st time. I tell them that I'll give them twice as much time as it takes me, and they have to get 100% or it's a 0%. They can take it as many times as they want throughout the 6 weeks. This forces them to have a super fast grasp of it.


  1. A 100 percent or flat out zero marks assessment structure-I am tempted to follow your style.It sure as hell would motivate them kids.

    By the way, do your students also learn trigonometric identities and special angles, such as sin^2 x +cos^ 2 x=1, cos (60 degrees) =0.5 etc? Just curious. Peace.

  2. Hi whitecorp,

    I love the 100% or 0% because it basically forces the kids to do it over and over and just the repetition of it makes them learn the basics.

    I do also go over the identities later.