Verifying Trigonometric Identities Worksheet

Verifying Trigonometric Identities – Commit and Toss

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You are going to let students throw paper wads or paper airplanes in your class.

The activity is used for closure during the later portion of a class period.

Anytime you can interject some play, the task is less complicated, and students are more open to discussion with their peers.

Commit and Toss

The activity is called Commit and Toss. Students are given one of two trig expressions to simplify that are both equal to 1. Do not tell them they are equal to one. Have an expression for each student. There should be the same number of both expressions.

Use two different colors of paper for the expressions

Like expressions should be of the same color. When students are finished simplifying the problems, they can either crumple the paper to make a paper wad or fold it into a paper airplane and send it to a student with a different colored problem.

The beautiful thing about this is activity is one of the expressions is more straightforward than the other. You can give struggling students the easier of the two and the harder problem to those who have a better grasp of the concept.

The students uncrumple or flatten the paper they receive and grade it. A star is placed on solutions believed to be correct and returned to the owner. If a student disagrees with the answer, he or she takes it to the owner and discusses the problem with the individual until they agree on a solution.

Experience teaches us that it is very likely that many students will not simplify to 1. When the solutions are agreed upon, the answers are recorded on the board. This list presents an excellent opportunity to discuss correct solutions with the whole class and how the agreed upon solutions are trig identities.

Suggested Expressions Are:

sin² θ.+ cos² θ         and         sec² θ – tan² θ

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