Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trigonometry Word Problems

We finally got to the cool section in geometry where the students FINALLY can figure out what those crazy "sin" "cos" and "tan" buttons are on the calculator. After practicing *basic* problems in class, I assigned this "word problem" homework.

A sample problem is:

1. For a 50 foot pole to be stable, engineers have decided that 3 equally-spaced guide wires (running from the top of the pole to the ground) have to create a 75deg angle with the ground.
a. How much total wire should they plan for?
b. How far from the pole should each wire be attached to the ground?

I tried to make "sensible" problems that weren't of the "shadow" or "kite" variety ... because at the end of the day, I guess I don't care how far out the kite is or why I would even want to know my shadow's length (and you know, students don't grasp this whole shadow thing anyway :) ).

Also, I found it was a good idea NOT TO ASSUME they knew what sonar was or what guide wires looked like, so we had a discussion before the end of class as to what the pictures might look like (with them doing most of the work, of course).

Also, spring break? why si, I did enjoy it, gracie.


  1. Anonymous7:54 AM

    Ms. Cookie, a post from you in my RSS reader always makes my day! Thanks for blogging. I'm teaching geometry for the first time this year, and your ideas are always helpful.

  2. Woot! Thanks for making my day :).

  3. I'm saving your worksheet for next year, need something different than the same old from the textbook. I'm always interested in how the kids draw out these problems on paper as I always tell them, "If you can draw it, you can solve it." Thank you!!
    Hopefully Italy (hubby's roots) is our next big vacation. Beautiful pics! Oy, our spring break is not until first week of April.

  4. Fawn - Glad you liked the worksheet. And hope you have a GREAT time in Italy. I loved it and want to go back :).

  5. Your post is very helpful for understanding mathematics for those who are just starting with it and here is some of the basic information about Trigonometry which I want to share with everyone, Its that branch of mathematics which is used to deal with the relationships between the sides and angles of triangles and the calculations based on them, specifically the trigonometric functions.
    Dividing Fractions Worksheets

  6. Anonymous6:24 PM

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing your practice problems, I'm stealing it. :) I agree the kite problems have always disappointed me, too.

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