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#1 Calming Tea

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 06:10 PM

I am a little concerned about my son's community college math class.  And I don't know if I should force him to do another class alongside it, or even just do Saxon Pre-Calc at home

 

Background info:

He did Saxon through Alg 2 and also did Mathnasium for 6 months, scoring an 87 on their Pre-Calc test.  

He is getting his AA in math and Comp Sci and transferring, hopefully to a UC

He is 15- and this is Pre-Calc only, with Trig to be taken next semester

This is the second best community college in the entire state, with one of the highest rates of UC transfers, well funded, etc.

Teacher has been there forever and is fun dynamic, involved, and highly regarded....

On third week of classes

 

OK, here's my problem....this week, they only had NINE problems assigned for the entire week, last week it was five and the week before similar. The teacher, and my son, say that this work is all review, and she's just laying the foundation...he says this is really really easy stuff, like ALg 1 even....In looking at the syllabus, the pace does pick up somewhat but even then, at any given time in the course, there are never more than 25 problems assigned per WEEK.  

 

This course is really only 12 weeks because it starts in september and ends the week after thanksgiving.  There are no breaks, except thanksgiving, so it is a full 12 weeks....but still, how can about 250 problems TOTAL be enough practice to cement something in someone's long term memory so they'll be ready for Calculus later? 

 

SO, should I MAKE my son do more problems?  Should I make him do Saxon Pre-Calc alongside these courses this year?  Any other ideas?

 

 

 

 



#2 EKS

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 07:56 PM

Are the assigned problems graded?  Maybe she thinks that students who need more practice will do more problems on their own before attempting the graded problems.

 

I do know that when my older son was at the CC here (also well regarded), the same course only covered linear/polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions, which turned out to be the first four chapters of the book.  The trig covered in the next class was the next three chapters.  Six chapters weren't covered--polar coordinates and vectors, analytic geometry, systems of equations and inequalities, sequences and series, and counting and probability.

 

In contrast, in my younger son's honors precalculus course at the (well regarded) public high school, they did all of these things.

 

I would be concerned not only about the lack of problems but also about the long review period.  

 


Edited by EKS, 12 September 2017 - 07:57 PM.

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#3 Arcadia

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:16 PM

OK, here's my problem....this week, they only had NINE problems assigned for the entire week, last week it was five and the week before similar. The teacher, and my son, say that this work is all review, and she's just laying the foundation...he says this is really really easy stuff, like ALg 1 even....In looking at the syllabus, the pace does pick up somewhat but even then, at any given time in the course, there are never more than 25 problems assigned per WEEK.


I am looking at Foothill/De Anza's precalculus syllabus as they has a better track record than my district's community college. The student is supposed to do more than the assigned problems and there are also weekly quizzes.

"Expect problems to be given each day. Remember, you should be prepared to spend 2–3 (maybe even more) hours per day (including weekends) for review, homework, and study (see General Information).

The assigned problems merely touch on the skills you will need. It is suggested you do additional problems of each type to gain additional expertise. It is suggested that you also answer the “Exploration” Questions, which are usually “True-False” or “Think About It/Explain”

Assignment: Every Other Odd ( EOO ): This amounts to about one-fourth (usually 20–25 problems) of all problems in any given section; thus it is not really an excessive burden on time or effort: about 5 minutes per problem is approximately two hours."
https://www.deanza.e...th-41-1-W17.pdf

"You will use Course Compass to do additional homework on-line. The course id is: ******. Learning mathematics is similar to playing a sport well. One must put in the time to practice. You should expect to spend 2 – 3 hours each night on homework, including reading the textbook and doing the problems.
...
I will assign problems to be worked for the next class during each session. These problems will be from the book, from handouts and printouts of problems from Course Compass. You must be in class to get the exact homework (although you may find it posted on the Google Calendar for your class on your class webpage).
...
A quiz will be given nearly every week on each chapter that we cover. These quizzes will be mostly multiple-choice, though some work may still be required to support answers.
...
You should plan to spend at least 2 hours outside of class, for every hour in class, studying your notes, text and doing problems (this means at least 10 hours per week; it is not wise to assume it will all happen on the weekend)."
http://profbutterwor...W14syllabus.pdf
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#4 Calming Tea

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:29 PM

VERY helpful!! this prof's syllabus, as far as I noticed didn't say a single thing about the homework not being enough, but I will take another look.  But even if she didn't SAY it, it should be obvious to my son that 9 problems a week, isn't enough.  His thought is, that he cemented this stuff in his long term memory two years ago, which is a long time ago, thus proving it's in his long term memory.  LOL!!  

 

BUT that is not good enough for me.  We are moving on to requiring Every Other Odd plus any Think About It or other similar types of problems! His math education is too important to slack off now.  It looks like this course is too easy and he should have taken Pre-Calc WITH Trig combined, but oh well. He will have to keep it fresh during next semester somehow.

 

I will require him to do EOO - the answers are in the back for him to check himself, I believe, on the odd problems.  

 

 


Edited by Calming Tea, 12 September 2017 - 09:36 PM.


#5 Arcadia

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:02 PM

He can do these chapter quizzes from Larson Precalculus to keep his skills fresh during next semester.
http://www.larsonpre...and-post-tests/

If you want to be that mean mom, download some of the summer assignments for students taking AP Calculus and make him do those before his calculus I class starts.
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#6 Calming Tea

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:27 PM

So
I just went over the homework and syllabus- she teaches the entire book completely out of order- chapters 1-3 are skipped back and forth for 5 weeks, (1.1 then 3.1 then 2.6 and so on) then chapter 4 in order, then back to skipping around in chapters 1 and 2 totally out of order, skips trigonometry, then chapter 12, then chapter 11, both of which are geometry.

I didn't know what to say to my ds except that he should do the odds in whatever section she covered in class, so just do the odds in the weird order she shows on the homework sheet.

He loves her teaching and says she explains things very well and he feels confident that he will do well!

I'd be having a conniption if I myself were in the class. Thankfully this is mostly old materials!

As smart and fun and nice as she is, I will probably require him to choose someone else for Calculus.


Edited by Calming Tea, 13 September 2017 - 09:16 AM.