Recently 9F have been learning about trigonometry, specifically how to use it to calculate the lengths of sides of right-angled triangles. Mrs Bennett and Mr McVey have been trialling a new approach to teaching this topic, aiming to give the students a deeper understanding of the somewhat mysterious ‘sine’, ‘cosine’ and ‘tangent’ ratios.
Mrs Bennett introduced the concept, explaining how ancient mathematicians used the unit circle and stars in the night sky to develop the fundamentals of what we know today as trigonometry. The students also saw how lengthy tables of trigonometric values had to be used before the advent of the calculator. They certainly viewed their Casio ClassWiz in a new light after this!
From here, the students learned how to correctly label the sides of a right-angled triangle using the words opposite and hypotenuse. They then used the sine ratio to accurately calculate the length of these sides. In subsequent lessons, the cosine and tangent ratios have been explored with the adjacent side being brought into play. For the remainder of this unit of work, we will be looking at how to calculate the size of angles in the triangles and also at how this interesting branch of maths is used in real life.
Well done to all the students in 9F who approached their learning with great enthusiasm!