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Course Syllabus


Dear Student:

            Welcome to Critical Thinking Mathematics with Mr. Facer.  As we journey through this course together, I offer to you my 17 years of experience teaching Mathematics, and I hope that you will see me as a credible resource.  Regardless of your past experiences in Mathematics, I hope that this course inspires you and instills the confidence in you to be successful in all your endeavors. 

            Mathematics is a discipline.  Because it is a discipline, it requires students to be disciplined in their study habits.  For many of you, this is going to require a change in your approach to learning mathematics.  First and foremost, it will require daily attendance and promptness.  Being in class and on time is paramount to your success in any field of study.  Secondly, your attention and participation in class is crucial to your understanding.  Listen, Apply, and Ask questions to gain understanding.  It is my responsibility as your teacher to present the concepts in a clear and concise manner, free of distractions and void of confusion.  It is your responsibility, as the student to learn the concepts, apply them appropriately, and seek help when necessary.  Assignments will be daily and are your opportunity to practice and apply your understanding.  Failure to do your assignments will result in your failure to learn and, ultimately, your failure to receive a passing grade in this class.

            This syllabus is a general outline of the activities planned for this class.  The content of this syllabus is subject to the discretion of the instructor and it can change as the need arises, determined by the instructor or the administration.  The content of this syllabus does not constitute a contract; either expressed or implied and is provided to the students solely as an outline for the class.


            Jeff Facer


Course Description

            Course Name: Critical Thinking Math A, B

            Prerequisite:  Must have passed Algebra I and Geometry

            Credits:          This is a one credit class trimester. 


The Faculty and Administration of Hillcrest High School encourage you to make

the most of your experience and time here.  To ensure that our students are able

to perform at their highest academic level, we will continue to set our standards

high.  To achieve this goal, it will be imperative that each student progress through the Mathematics curriculum at Hillcrest and not be allowed to digress into a lower section of Mathematics.  Once a student receives credit in a discipline they will be required to move on to the next class in the sequence.  A student who receives the first semester credit, but fails to earn the second semester credit would be well advised to enroll in both semesters of the same class at the next available opportunity.  The exception to this rule would be Algebra I A/B.  Because of the special nature of this class, each eligible student is allowed only one attempt in this class.  





  1. Solving Equations and applications
  2. Functions and graphs and applications
  3. Systems of equations and applications
  4. Matrices and applications
  5. Exponents and applications
  6. Polynomials and Factoring and applications
  7. Exponential and Logarithmic functions and applications
  8. Perimeter area and volume and applications
  9. Trigonometry and applications
  10. Probability and Stats and applications


  1. Linear Equations and graphing
  2. Exponential/Log equations and graphs
  3. interest - compound and simple and promissory notes
  4. Annuities - future value, present value sinking funds
  5. Home loans
  6. Taxes - property and income
  7. Depreciation
  8. Insurance - life home and auto
  9. Stocks/Bonds/Mutual funds
  10. Arithmetic/Geometry sequences and series



Some financial mathematics will be placed along the way along with other varying topics of interest to teacher and/or students.
Grading Policy


            The Hillcrest Math Department has developed a standard grading policy which will be adhered to in all classes to assure consistency throughout the curriculum and department.  The exception may be in the case of AP, Honors, and Dual Enrollment classes.  The Policy is as follows:


                                                Homework/Projects                15%

                                                Tests/Quizzes                          65%

                                                ECA                                        20%


The four E’s of learning:

  1. Environment - An environment conducive to learning is paramount to success.  Bonneville School District #93 and Hillcrest High School have put in place a number of policies to ensure that each and every student is given the opportunity to learn in a safe and nonthreatening environment.  These policies can be found in your planner, and each of you will be responsible for knowing and following them.  In addition to these policies, I have a set of rules for my classroom to help limit distractions and increase learning.  They are as follows:


1.  Be on time and in your seat. This will result in being able to start class on time, otherwise you will be marked tardy

2.  Come to class prepared. This will result in you being able to be productive in class, otherwise you run the risk of falling behind

3.  Pay attention to the speaker. You will be able to have some of your questions answered, otherwise you might ask the same question or miss some important information.

4.  Follow directions the first time they are given. I won’t get so frustrated and class will run more smoothly

4.  Use time given to work, don’t waste class time. You won’t have as much homework and I will be here to answer questions.  If you leave it for at home, you might not get the help needed

5.  Be respectful. I will in turn show you respect.

6. Do assignments in pencil showing all work for credit.

7. Hall passes will not be granted in the first or last 15 min. of class, nor while I am teaching so don’t ask at these times.

8. No mp3 players, cell phones, iPods, etc. I will ask you to put it away, but if it becomes a consistent problem, I will take it to the office

9. Books are to remain off the desk until I am finished with the days notes unless otherwise directed.

10. No hats. Just a reminder to remove them if you forget, please don’t make a big deal out of this

11. Worksheets will be given along with the assignment when students forget their books.


As your teacher, it is my responsibility to maintain this environment.  As the student, it is your responsibility to know and follow all rules and policies to help maintain the environment.  Since homework will be daily, you, along with your parents/guardians, will need to maintain a positive, quiet learning environment at home to reinforce the learning environment at school.

  1. Example- Daily instruction will include examples of homework problems, as well as steps for completing the various assigned tasks.  More examples can be demonstrated at the student’s request, either during class, or before or after school during help sessions.                         
  2. Encourage- I firmly believe that every student has the ability to learn.  The hard truth is that we all learn in a variety of ways and at a variety of speeds.  I encourage you to use any and all resources available to you to master the content of this course.  This begins with asking for assistance during class instruction when appropriate, and may require seeking extra help before or after school.  I am here as a resource for you!  Please take advantage of that!  Parents, please also encourage your child to do their best by setting realistic goals for them, and helping them to achieve those goals.                  
  3. Effort- This is the single most important factor in learning and is the only factor that you as the student are completely responsible for.  Make a choice, set the goal, and then put forth the effort to achieve that goal.  Empower yourself!  Become self-made.                       


Responsibility Chart

























Make-up Policy


            All work missed due to an excused absence must be made up in a timely manner.  The District Policy regarding this can be found in your planner, and allows for one day for each absence plus one day.  For example, a student who misses one day would be allowed one day plus one day to make up any work.  A student missing two consecutive days would be allowed two days plus one, for a total of three days to make up any work.  More time may be granted in extenuating circumstances, as deemed appropriate by your teacher.  Work due the day of the absence is due upon returning to school.  You only get the extension on the material missed. 

            An unexcused absence would result in a zero score for the assignment(s) missed.  It would still be in your best interest to complete the assignment(s) for your practice and understanding to master the concepts missed.


Late Work


            Late work will be accepted for a 10% grade reduction per day (not class period) late. Late work will only be accepted up to the test on the unit the late work comes from.


Re-work Policy


            Any student meeting the following conditions will be given the opportunity to repair all assignments for full credit:

  1. The assignment was completed with honest effort and received on time for a grade.
  2. The student has no zero or half credit scores for any other assignment during that particular chapter or unit.
  3. The student repairs all incorrect problems on a separate sheet of paper showing all work.
  4. The repaired assignment is received prior to the start of the next scheduled class meeting after the grade has been entered and the assignment is returned.


Test Retakes/Repair


Any student meeting the following conditions will be given the opportunity to retake/repair a chapter test (original tests must be finished in the time given for the test.)

  1. The student was present and took the original test on the day it was assigned.  Any student missing the day of the test forfeits any possible retake/repair. Tests must also be completed within 24 hours from the time started to be granted an opportunity for a retake.
  2. The student has no zero or late assignment from that chapter or unit (each assignment was turned in on time).
  3. The student has completed a review assignment for no credit, as assigned by the teacher and has come in early to go over the review with the teacher.  This assignment must be completed proficiently before the retake/repair is administered.
  4. The retake/repair is completed within one week of the original test.
  5. Only one retake/repair will be allowed per student for a given chapter.
  6. There will only be 2 test retakes/repairs given for each student each trimester. Use them wisely.





            Unfortunately, cheating has become commonplace in the classroom.  Besides being a blight on your character, cheating interferes with true success and prohibits learning.  Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to, copying answers from answer book, copying answers from friends or neighbors, taking any answer you did not derive yourself, talking during a test or quiz, and discussing or sharing test questions/answers with students from other sections of a class.  Any student discovered to be cheating will receive 70% of the credit on an alternate assignment/test.  In addition, the student will forfeit any and all privileges aforementioned in the Rework and Retake sections for the remainder of the school year.


Teacher Availability


            I will make myself available to you for help each scheduled advisory day that is set aside for tutoring.  If more help is needed talk with me and I will do what I can to work out a time for extra help.  I will also be available after school until 4:00 (outside of the Track season) for extra help.  I realize that for most of you, I may be your only source of help.  I encourage you to take advantage of these times offered.  I am here to assist you in any way I am able, but you must take the initiative to seek the help.





 The instructor reserves the right to change this syllabus

Ap 5th Annual Honor Role Recipient
Thunder Ridge High School
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
Phone: 208-523-4739