Q&A #6009

Trigonometry in sophomore year?

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From: Marcia Aguero <agueroma@whidbey.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: Mar 22, 2001 at 17:16:10
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?


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