Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week of 2/6/12 Trigonometric Art and Using Triangles to Model and Measure

General - This week we will be demonstrating Mastery of our Trigonometric Function Knowledge by creating our own "art project" which involves drawing a picture using only Trig. Functions with specific domain/range restrictions.  Period C has already seen the sample student work and knows that they need to come to class Tuesday with a "rough draft" of their project on notebook paper and Period D will see the preview Monday  Secondly, we will be starting Chapter 5 and the first two sections are comprised mainly of previously learned material that involves applying Right Triangle Trigonometry to model real-world phenomenon and perform indirect measurement.  Section 5.2 is about the Law of Sines which most of us mastered last year in Algebra II.  However, if you have not, there will be class time to learn practice, and help each other.

Finally, there will be a task Friday to assess our understanding of these principles.

Key Content Goal
Students will understand how to model real-life situations and use indirect measurement to find unknown heights, angles, etc.  Much of the Trigonometry we learn is applied in surveying, mapping, and developing computer models involving angle measurements and other related quantitites.  Much of this week's content can be found in Chapter 5, sections 5.1/5.2

3 Key Process Goals
  • Students will solve textbook problems and focus on using textbook examples as a learning resource
  • Students will work cooperatively to check their understanding.  If you took Algebra II honors, you have worked much more with Law of Sines compared to others in our class who took Algebra II last year.  If you have previously learned the Law of Sines you are expected to help out your classmates (I will be out Tuesday at a Professional Development).   If you do not know this content well, you will be expected to seek out help from classmates who are more familiar.
  • Students will be creating interesting products.  Your final "Art Project" is due on Friday as you come into class.  That same day you will be completing a full period task that will assess how well you can solve a real-world problem and demonstrate your ability to draw a diagram, apply relationship(s) and explain your understanding of the problem
3 Key Products
  • 5.1   248/2-11 Primes,14,15,18,24,27,30,33,34 Solutions must include a diagram, show formula, and worked out key steps to earn full credit  
  •  5.2 254/2-18 even, 20,22,23,24,26,29,31 [Possible Handout]
  • Art Project (individual rough draft due Tuesday (place in folders) and Final Project due Friday (You may work in Pairs or Independently)
Other Comments
  •  If you did poorly on the Ch. 4 Test, you are expected to make corrections to your exam and redo the Practice Test #4 problems that are similar to the ones you missed
  • You should use our "coloring technique" to highlight key features of your graph from the Ch. 4 test and create a table, if you did not originally
  • The art project is really an alternative assessment for you to show how well you know your Trig. graphs.  If you did poorly on the test, you this opportunity to balance out your grade and show what you know about Trig. Functions. 


  1. Will we be having a Portfolio Task on Friday?

    1. Yes, we will have the portfolio task on Friday. All the learning goal above remain unchanged and you will find that what we do in class over the next two days will also help you prepare for that assessment.

    2. Mr. Steppen, what textbook problems would help us prepare for the task? I wasn't in school today, so I didn't get the chance to ask you about it.

    3. A mixture of all the elements of the different textbook problems (and classwork handout problems) should prepare you for the task. The most challenging process skill tends to be interpreting the word problems and drawing an accurate diagram (angle of elevation, depression, relative to a "horizontal or line of sight"). Once that skill is mastered the other pieces tend to fall into place. Check the diagrams you draw with your classmates drawings to confirm you are drawing/labeling angles and sides correctly.

  2. For those of you who are actively following this blog (especially Fakey McNotreal), you may want to remind your classmates that following this blog will be helpful for knowing what is expected in class. Also, this type of communication is good practice for the type of communication you will probably see in college.

  3. There are an enormous number of uses of trigonometry and trigonometric functions. For instance, the technique of triangulation is used in astronomy to measure the distance to nearby stars, in geography to measure distances between landmarks, and in satellite navigation systems. The sine and cosine functions are fundamental to the theory of periodic functions such as those that describe sound and light waves.
    Z score Table