• Mathematics

    On Teaching Trigonometry: Graphing Trigonometric Functions (Part 2)

    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.       If you need to see Part 1 of this article, you can access it here. Showing your students how to graph trigonometric functions, using different techniques, can be fun. Besides using softwares, you can show your students how to program a computer to graph trigonometric functions. Programming a computer to graph trigonometric functions Again, we think that it’s best to show your students how to graph trigonometric functions by hand before showing them how to use automated tools, and one reason is that…

  • 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.     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…

  • Mathematics

    On Teaching Trigonometry: Trigonometric Functions and the Unit Circle

    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.       After you’ve spent some time practicing with your students and give them some time to work on exercises on their own, you may need to move on to other topics. Now that you’re done working with evaluating trigonometric functions on an acute angle, it’s probably time to introduce evaluating trigonometric functions on an arbitrary angle. Much of the trigonometry you’ll cover may involve non-acute angles, so it’s wise to bring them in. Non-acute angles You may need to emphasize to your students the…

  • Mathematics

    On Teaching Trigonometry: Angles and the Right Triangle

    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.       By now, many of your students may be all excited about trigonometry. You’ve managed to persuade them that it is worth to put the efforts to comprehend the technicalities that you will explain to them. But you will also need to remind them of the importance of prerequisite knowledge. To effectively communicate the technicalities to your students, you will need to make some assumptions about their knowledge of some facts. If you choose not to do that, you may run into complications to…

  • Mathematics

    On Teaching Trigonometry: Introduction

    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.     This is the first in a series of articles about ways that one could teach trigonometry. We will not assume a specific setting in which the teaching will take place. So what we will say may be applicable to classroom settings or other settings. Also, we will not necessarily assume that the teacher is distinct from the student. As far as we are concerned, the teacher can also be the student. If you are teaching yourself trigonometry, then it is not too far-fetched to…