Chris in PA Posted June 11, 2014 Share Posted June 11, 2014 I am looking for some help in order to determine what math my ds should start in the fall. We are currently working through the Foerster Algebra and Trigonometry text for Algebra 2. We plan on finishing the book by mid-July (we didn't start the text until January). I have the Math without Borders DVD and Foerster precalculus text for the fall. I thought my plans were set until I talked with a friend today. We were discussing online math classes and I was telling her about my search for an online precalculus class a few months ago. At that time, I came across the Veritas Press online academy. I was telling her their precalculus class uses chapters 9-15 of the Algebra and Trig text as their precalculus. So she questioned me about having my ds complete another precalculus book when he will already have covered what Veritas Academy considers precalculus. Now the waters are muddied for me. My question is: Would there be an issue moving to calculus in the fall after covering the precalculus topics in the Foerster Algebra and Trig text? Would he be missing something by not completing a precalculus text? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Gooblink Posted June 11, 2014 Share Posted June 11, 2014 Wow! You are going through the Alg2/Trig book fast. That's great! It was my understanding that book covers 2 years of study. Anyway, I'm following your thread because my son is right (well, a ways) behind your kid. :) Edited to add: it is our intention to go from the Foerster book to Calculus, and skip pre-calc. It was my understanding, also, that the Foerster material is more than adequate prep. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

In The Great White North Posted June 11, 2014 Share Posted June 11, 2014 DS did Foerster Algebra II and Trig, then went into Foerster Calc; however, there was a thread after that where Foerster himself recommended using the Alg II & Trig book for algebra II (minus the trig chapters) then doing the entire precalc book. I hadn't heard that the Alg II & Trig book was for two years. THe Precalc book also includes a lot more with sinusoids, vectors, matrices, probability, some statistics, conics and a chapter on limits and derivatives (which is also in the calc book). This is not all necessary before calculus, but it is helpful and I did see all of it in later courses (physics, differential equations, prob&stat, etc). 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

kiana Posted June 12, 2014 Share Posted June 12, 2014 Heh, I was going to Math Without Borders to look up the TOC and found: "If you are wondering whether to skip from Algebra 2 directly to Calculus or whether to take Precalculus first, the answer (almost always) is to take Precalculus first. Gaining depth is more important than racing ahead, and the depth offered through this course is tremendous." Chapters 1-2 should be review. Chapter 6 looks VERY similar to chapter 15 from the algebra and trigonometry book. Chapter 7 should be mainly review although I find 7-7 very interesting. Chapter 9 looks very similar to chapter 12 from algebra/trigonometry. Chapter 14 looks quite similar to 11 from algebra and trigonometry although the part on partial sums will probably be new. If you were doing a bare-minimum precalc course to go to calc as fast as possible the algebra/trigonometry book would probably suffice. I'd prefer, though, to just skip 11-15 or 12-15 from the algebra/trig (they're re-covered in precalculus) and move to precalculus earlier, if hurrying is desired. 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

MorningGlory Posted June 12, 2014 Share Posted June 12, 2014 Chris...I think I remember your conversation about precalculus a few months ago. Isn't your son interested in being an actuary? :-) Anyway, my son completed the entire Foerster Alg/Trig book for Algebra II. It took a 3 school months of one "year" and then the entire next school year...so about 12 full months to finish it. And he (we) worked at a steady (not slow) pace to do that. The book is full and dense...as you probably know by now. And it totally prepared ds for the psat and act (stellar scores in math on both tests). BUT...I still plan to have him take a precalc course this coming school year. One reason is that he took AP Stats last year, so he will definitely need the review that precalc will provide. My other reason is that I don't want him to rush into calculus. He will probably take calc I and calc II his senior year at our local 4-year university. I just don't see the need for him to do that his junior year (others would disagree...I know). So my 2 cents is that precalc is a good thing...even if a student has completed that intense Foerster book! :-) 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Gooblink Posted June 12, 2014 Share Posted June 12, 2014 My personal experience was to go from algebra II straight to calculus (in college), and I never took Trig. I probably would have benefited from a pre-calc class, but I managed. We're straggling behind in math through no fault of my kids, but rather my lack of discipline in the early years. Son 1 is heading into 11th grade, and I want him to get calculus off his plate before he graduates high school. I just don't think we have time for a pre-level class. I guess we'll see how it plays out and how he feels. Dh is a physics guy and can easily tutor the boys through calculus, not everyone has that resource. :) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

kiana Posted June 12, 2014 Share Posted June 12, 2014 My personal experience was to go from algebra II straight to calculus (in college), and I never took Trig. I probably would have benefited from a pre-calc class, but I managed. We're straggling behind in math through no fault of my kids, but rather my lack of discipline in the early years. Son 1 is heading into 11th grade, and I want him to get calculus off his plate before he graduates high school. I just don't think we have time for a pre-level class. I guess we'll see how it plays out and how he feels. Dh is a physics guy and can easily tutor the boys through calculus, not everyone has that resource. :) Did he do tablet class alg 2 as in your sig? There's no trig in that, so I would suspect the trig sections of a modern calculus class would be pretty difficult. I'd recommend this -- http://www.amazon.com/Just-Algebra-Trigonometry-Calculus-Edition/dp/032167104X -- for a quick summary of the trig you need to know, paired with the calculus topics where you need it. It's also pretty cheap, used. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Gooblink Posted June 12, 2014 Share Posted June 12, 2014 Did he do tablet class alg 2 as in your sig? There's no trig in that, so I would suspect the trig sections of a modern calculus class would be pretty difficult. I'd recommend this -- http://www.amazon.com/Just-Algebra-Trigonometry-Calculus-Edition/dp/032167104X -- for a quick summary of the trig you need to know, paired with the calculus topics where you need it. It's also pretty cheap, used. Thanks for the links! Actually, I need to update my sig. We ended up purchasing TC as a supplement. Son 2 started using it, but switched to Foerster's Alg 1 mid-year. Son 1 declined TC alg 2 and is using Foerster's alg 2/Trig. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

kiana Posted June 12, 2014 Share Posted June 12, 2014 Thanks for the links! Actually, I need to update my sig. We ended up purchasing TC as a supplement. Son 2 started using it, but switched to Foerster's Alg 1 mid-year. Son 1 declined TC alg 2 and is using Foerster's alg 2/Trig. Now I understand your decision to move to calc :D 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Chris in PA Posted June 13, 2014 Author Share Posted June 13, 2014 Yes, Jetta my ds is the one who wants to be an actuary. Thanks for all the great responses! The water is much clearer now. Because he is going to be a math major, I want the foundation to be strong. We will easily get to calculus before he graduates so we are going to stop the algebra and trig book after chapter 12 and pick up precalculus in the fall. I don't want to short change him in any way and I think the year of precalculus will cement all the concepts before we tackle calculus. Thanks again everyone! Chris Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

crimsontide Posted April 20, 2015 Share Posted April 20, 2015 Old topic but definitely felt the need to reply I've now taken a look at samples of the precalculus text and have a copy of the alg 2 text The algebra with trig text is very different in style than the precalc text.. A similar discrepancy exists between the 3rd edition of jacobs geometry compared to the 2nd ed.. There seems to have been a change in philosophy by the two authors The algebra/trig text is the only self contained text out of either one. What I mean is that Foerster's precalculus text does not have many of the alg 2 topics that his earlier text goes over in detail.. I think Foerster realizes this when he recommends to students that they should complete alg 2 from his earlier text, skip the trig, then switch to the precalc text. The texts are not compatible though.. You can verify this by looking at the toc of both, or perusing samples of the 2 texts.. There is quite a bit of overlap and the presentation is also quite different. I'd say both texts are precalculus texts, but are written on opposite ends of the spectrum I see no need to complete a course using the alg/trig text then proceeding to a course using the newer precalc text. An analogy would be to use the 2nd ed of Jacobs, then do a course based on the 3rd ed .. There are additional topics in the Foerster precalc text, but there also additional topics in the 3rd ed of Jacobs. In both cases, I feel the additions are unnecessary and do not add to the text.. They could be learned better and cleaner in more advanced courses The coment about partial sums is not correct.. The earlier alg/trig text's chapter on sequences and series goes into more detail and has almost twice as many sections as the newer precalc text.. I think that's one of the main problems with the newer text, apart from the bombardment of technology options, and discovery learning. The newer precalc covers topics such as fractals, but has less instruction in core alg 2 topics.. I'm looking at the toc now of the foerster precalc and can't find even 1 section on advanced factoring, while the alg/trig text has over 80 pages covering rational functions in chapter 7. I also had a look at the teacher resources, and tm for the precalc. Many of the exercises,explorations,etc are meant to be done in groups, and supervised by a teacher in a classroom setting. I think if I had to give a quick summary, I'd give the following 2 equations foerster alg/trig text= jacobs' geometry 2nd ed foerster precalculus= jacobs 3rd ed 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

## Recommended Posts

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.