An Easy Transformation: Right Triangle Trigonometry

From Haese and Harris MYP 9:

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 5.07.33 PM

I was looking for problems to give my students as applications of the right angle trigonometry from our previous class. The problem is essentially equivalent to the basic questions requiring them to find an unknown side or angle - the work is all done for them. One of my standards is all about parsing a word problem for the information needed to answer it, and this question does not require students to do any parsing.

I removed all of the measurements, and this problem became remarkably more demanding:

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 5.08.48 PM

This will certainly prompt more conversation than in its original form.

It's embarrassing how easy it was to make this change - I anticipate a nice payoff in class.

An Easy Transformation

Before:
Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 10.19.21 AM

Instructions:
Solve every problem, or maybe just the odds.


After:
Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 10.21.02 AM

Instructions given to students:

  • Group the problems you think belong together
  • Work with your group to write out a rule that works to simplify the expressions in each group
  • Clearly show how the rule applies to simplifying each expression.