Trigonometric identities – I adore them. They are like little challenging puzzles. But high school students don’t always share my ardor. I wanted them to understand what an identity actually was so I started the unit with Sam’s amazing Pythagorean Identities lesson.
The lesson was a little tough for my Algebra 2 class, so I helped them through the last two pages. The next day, I had them white board some basic trig identity problems. I usually just give them one side to simplify for starters. This helps with the whole, “OMG – it’s adding fractions – but with trig!!” scare. On the third day I put them in pairs to work on Shireen’s (Math Teacher Mambo) Trig Identity Match Up activity.
This activity was fantastic because all of the identities were the steps in the simplifying process! So even after they had matched them all up I had them put the cards in the correct order. What a great activity!
I didn’t see this activity about having students create their own identities (from Sam as well), but I wish I would have! I will definitely incorporate this next year!