On Teaching Trigonometry: Graphing Trigonometric Functions
Mathematics

On Teaching Trigonometry: Graphing Trigonometric Functions (Part 1)

Note: Thoughts expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s). Any advice given in this article may not work in all situations.

OUTLINE

Domain and co-domain
Motivating graphing of trigonometric functions
Now it's time for graphing

Sine and cosine

It's time for practice

Tangent and cotangent

It's time for practice

Secant and cosecant

It's time for some games
Use of technology to graph trigonometric functions

Graphing calculators
Geogebra
Maple
Wolfram Alpha

And more...

 

SUMMARY:  We talk about how to introduce your students to graphing trigonometric functions. 

 

After you’ve explained to your students that the sine and cosine are functions from the real numbers to the real numbers, you may need to mention that the tangent, cotangent, secant, and cosecant are also functions of a real variable but that are undefined for some real numbers. Explain to them the reason for the undefinedness: these last four functions are defined as ratios, where their denominators are variables, which cannot be zero, so all the angles for which these ratios have denominators equal to zero need to be excluded. And those angles are the real number...

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