
Re: Manipulatives
Posted:
Apr 11, 1995 8:12 AM


Hi NCTMers
>For older kids  >When I teach trig, I give my students large unit circles on graph paper >with a radius of ten graph units of .1 each. They approximate the >coordinates of the points on the circle at the intersections of the radii >at pi/6, pi/4, ... etc and write these on the circle. From then on they >can visualize the important symmetries by referring to the circle and >they use the circle on tests and in doing work involving trig for several >years afterward. For these kids the unit circle is a manipulative  they >depend on it, not for values (they have calculators for these if >necessary) but for visualizing and understanding the nature of circular >functions. A kid who doesn't happen to have her circle available will >often sketch it quickly when working on a problem  which is exactly how >I would hope she would think > >Joan Reinthaler >Sidwell Friends School
Here is one I used this year...
My Algebra II class was having a hard time understanding radian measure, they kept converting even the obvious angles back to degrees. The floor in my classroom is made up of 4 foot squares. I had the students push all of the desks to the side of the room and each stand on their own "personal origin." After drawing a large zero in the front of the room, we spent the hour turning angles of radian measure, complements of radian measure, supplements of radian measure, and finding referance angles in radian measure.
Since then, I see a lot of "body language" during tests, but they are understanding much better. :)
Mark Priniski Pioneering Partner '93 Rib Lake High School priniski@cedar.cic.net Rib Lake, WI 54470

