Saturday, May 5, 2012

Connect the Dots: Trigonometric Identities

This past quarter, one of the units that I taught to my Honors Algebra 2 course was all about the trigonometric identities. Now, if you've ever taught the course, you will recognize that identities/proofs/teenagers, well they don't really mix. The unit was rather difficult, especially if the students didn't have a firm grasp on the unit circle or the identities.

When it came time to prove an identity, it was hard for students to see where an identity could fit or how they could change an identity so that they could substitute it into the proof. Prior to proving identities with my students, I gave them a connect the dots. Now, the one that I used in the class was one that I had found online. After using it, I decided that I didn't like it and it didn't have what I wanted my students to see so that they could "connect the dots". My mentor teacher had told me that I could create my own but I wasn't sure at the moment how I would or what I would want to change.

After completing the unit, I finally realized what I would change, now I just had to figure out how I could change it..... Part of proofs and eventually trigonometric inverses is figuring out how you can adjust the Pythagorean Identities. Often times, students don't see where identities come from once they are changed. Therefore, I wanted to create a Connect the Dots that featured some of these tweaks so I did! Below, you will find my handwritten version of the worksheet as well as what I created after my connections are drawn.
Connect the Dots: Trigonometric Identities


Let it be known, this is a flower and the caterpillar type thing was me struggling how I could fit a "four connected dot" object onto the paper. I would have loved to have another "three connected dot" to make a petal but I didn't have any more identities left.

Any critique would be appreciated on this! And I would love to hear other topics that would work with a Connect the Dot style approach. I found this to be very visual and students were able to see more connections after doing this.

1 comment:

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