Sunday, March 6, 2011

Features of trigonometric functions

This Monday, a very basic investigation of trig functions/reinforcement of function transformation skills with a standard/honors junior class. I was toying with the idea of just throwing a matching activity to the students, but I'm still new to using those and besides they take so much work cutting and organizing.
The activity below is very characteristic of how I teach and what I'm aiming for is student ownership (discovery, confidence, etc) and connection to previous materials.
Students will be doing this in pairs, each pair doing either the sine or cosine activity. Afterwards, pairs will combine into groups of four so that each group has one pair which has done the sine and one which has done the cosine. They will then compare and discuss the question at the bottom.

Any suggestions for improvement are, of course, welcome.

Investigation Transformations of Trigonometric Functions                                                                                           


  1. I'm guessing this is a review?

    I might use a smaller angle, say pi/6. But I'm not at all sure that would work better.

    How did you make the graph paper? (Or, where did you find it?) I can't seem to get multiples of pi on the x-axis. (My latest attempt was for a graph I drew in Geogebra.)

  2. Sue, this is kinda a review of function transformations, by applying it to understanding trigonometric functions (amplitude, period, principal axis). As such, it's both a review and an introduction.

    The graph paper. Oh my. I made it in geogebra, then made the labels out of text-boxes in Microsoft Word. I'm sure there is good graph paper available online somewhere, but I wasn't able to find it quickly. By the way that's also why I didn't use smaller intervals on the angle... it would have been too cluttered and too much work.

  3. Oh and I just noticed a typo, corrected for today's class: general form should be y = A*sin(B(x-C))+D, not -D. Not that it matters...