Q&A #304

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Geometry or Trig first?

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From: Marcia Aguero

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001032116:28:12
Subject: Trigonometry in sophomore year?

Hi. My daughter is a sophomore in high school, and is struggling in trigonometry. Because her school is on a semester system, she has already taken algebra I, geometry, and algebra II. I am wondering if a 15-year-old is mature enough to handle trigonometry. With her semester system, I had two options when she started high school - Slow down the rate at which she learns math, by having her take only one semester-long math class per year instead of two, OR, I have her all the way up to trig by the end of her sophomore year. I chose the second option, because she is a smart kid, math is her favorite subject, and I felt strongly that you can't learn math effectively if you have large gaps of time in between each class. How can you retain your math if you take a class from September to January, and then not until September again? Does this semester system really work for math? Technically, if she passes trig, she will have fulfilled all math requirements for high school, but it doesn't seem right for her to stop now, especially since she likes it. So she will take some electives in the next two years - pre-calc and calc. Opinions, please? Am I asking too much of her to handle trig at her age and grade level? Thanks, -Marcia

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