Tips for Introducing Trig Ratios

Introduction to Trigonometric Ratios

Today we are focusing on setting the tone and building a foundation for trigonometry. Once students master the basic terms and formulas, then it’s easier for them to understand how to apply them.

Trigonometry is everywhere: engineering, architecture, and navigation. All complex ideas are based on simple, strong foundations.

Trigonometry is the study of triangles and all their measurements. When introducing the right angles, trigonometry focuses on learning how to label the triangle.

Focus on Vocabulary

Then, students can understand how to find the correct ratios that the acute angles create. Students must have a firm handle on how to label the triangle. If they don’t, they will struggle with rations.

The lesson plan for this topic should focus on learning and understanding the new vocabulary and ratios. I know the saying is “practice makes perfect,” but wrong practice confuses.

Students will be introduced to the terms opposite, hypotenuse and adjacent as it relates to triangles. Remind them that the hypotenuse is always on the opposite of the right angle. After working through a few examples together, allow students to work in groups or spend some time on independent practice.

The Ratios

When they are ready, introduce sine (sin), cosine (cos), and tangent (tan) ratios. When you see that they understand those three ratios, dive into their respective reciprocals of cosecant (csc), secant (sec) and cotangent (cot).

Every class is different, so it is important to move at their pace. This introduction to trigonometric ratios is part of the foundation of trigonometry.

Lesson Plan

Here is an “Introduction to Trigonometric Ratios” lesson plan that helps break down the key concepts and vocabulary.

It includes a presentation that defines all the key terms, formulas and visual examples of different ratios. Download this free lesson plan that includes a bellringer, activity, practice worksheet, exit slip for assessment and more.

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