## Trig summary sheet

GCSE Maths students find the trigonometry problems hard, and I think this is because such problems involve a range of skills like

• Identify what you know in the question
• Decide if it is Pythagoras or Trig
• Identify the ratio to use
• Transpose the formula to get the correct calculation
• Manipulate the calculator to find either the side (sin(known angle)) or the angle (shift-sin(answer to calculation))

I’m working on a flow chart that will guide students through these choices in the right order. If a student narrows down incorrectly, say trying to use the Sin formula in a problem that involves the opposite and the adjacent sides, then s/he will have to backtrack wasting time and causing confusion.

I’m also working on four YouTubes (Basics and Tan function, Sine function, Cosine function, Mixed problems and identifying the correct route). This will then form the basis of my teaching in future years, lets face it trigonometry has not changed for a millennium or two!

There is an excellent handout with problem sets that you can download from the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics page about the Mathematics Enhancement Programme materials for GCSE Maths. You are looking for the trigonometry link in the Units 1 to 6 Standard/Academic Practice book.