Precalculus Manuals - Overview
FREE! You can DOWNLOAD our entire Precalculus Manual, Exams, and Projects for FREE.
Click HERE for the FREE Precalculus Student Manual
Click HERE for the FREE Precalculus Exams/Projects
The answer keys are available for purchase: Click HERE
Evolution of the Precalculus Manual
In the late 1980’s, I developed a Precalculus course that used the TI-Graphing calculator (then the TI-82). The textbook was Demana and Waits and the course was experimental as no one was convinced that graphing calculators were anything but a fad. The textbook was somewhat experimental as well as it integrated the graphing calculator. However, it has been my experience that we buy expensive and heavy textbooks for the students but find that students simply have trouble learning from them. Students see the textbook as a source of problems, not a teaching tool.
As is my practice, I developed worksheets that would lead students through certain types of problems. If a student was absent and wanted the work that we missed, I found it easier just to hand the student the worksheet rather than refer him to the text.
Since our periods were short, I also found that rather than assign many problems from the textbook, I would assign what I felt to be essential problems I needed to get through and simply added them to the worksheet. Over a period of six years, I developed worksheets for many topics in Precalculus.
In the early 90’s, I took over the A.P. Calculus program and have not taught Precalculus since. My materials stayed in an electronic file.
At the end of the 2007 school year, I retired from public school. Unable to stay away from the classroom, I decided to work part-time at a private school. I was asked to teach a section of Honors Precalculus. So, after, 18 years, I was teaching out of a textbook again.
Since I continue to prefer to teach from my own materials and over the year, I have resurrected some my old material, but mostly wrote new material. That is what is presented in this website.
Use of the Precalculus Manual
The manual is not a textbook. It is not intended to be one. It simply presents topics and walks students through a series of classwork problems. The teacher does the teaching of the problem. The students take notes in the space provided. There is little or no attempt to prove theorems. You can still do that on your own. The manual provides you and your students sample problems, which will touch upon every concept that is covered in a good Precalculus curriculum. To reiterate, this manual still needs a good teacher - you. You cannot just hand the student the manual and expect him or her to read it and understand it.
The use of a graphing calculator is expected for this course. The TI-84 is the calculator of choice. For all important calculator operations, keystrokes are explained and example viewscreens appear throughout the units. Typically, students get lost in a classroom trying to duplicate what the teacher shows on the overhead calculator screen. The manual has thorough explanations so students can work at home, carefully duplicating the keystrokes shown in the manual in order to get the same screens..
The manual is divided into 12 units. At the school where I taught after retiring from public school, trigonometry was to be taught in the fall and non-trig material in the spring. That is the form of the manual, but there is no reason it cannot be switched.
Units 1 through 6 and 11 deal with trig concepts and units 7 through 10 and 12 deal with non-trig topics. The reason for not keeping the trig sections contiguous is that unit 11 concerns itself with vectors, a topic that many teachers simply do not have time to teach. Unit 12 deals with the conic sections, again, considered a luxury in many Precalculus courses. So the basic curriculum is in units 1 through 10 with 11 and 12 presented if teachers have the time.
There are also homework problems for every concept. Again, space is provided for students to complete them. There are enough challenging problems but the idea is to give students enough problems to test whether they understand a concept without overburdening them.
By downloading the free manuals (or purchasing paper copies), you have the right to make as many copies as you wish as long as you use them for face-to-face classroom use.
We are happy to offer these manuals for no charge! Go to the PreCalc Manual page to download any or all sections of the manual. They are in PDF format.
Every teacher needs a solution manual. You can either solve the problems in your own copy of the student manual, or purchase the solution manual. Go to the Solution Manual page for more information about purchasing an electronic copy (for download) or a paper copy. The solution manual has the same page numbering as the student manual to make it easy to keep your students 'on the same page'.
The student manual is also available for purchase in paper format like the solution manual. Click here to learn more about purchasing the student manual in paper format.
For all manuals and answer keys, go to Purchase Options to order them in combination for a discounted price!
Click HERE to purchase the Answer Key.
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