Reflection: Intervention and Extension Solving Right Triangles - Section 1: Bellwork

 

When I work with students on solving problems involving right triangles, I have noticed that a main obstacle for my students is identifying the opposite and adjacent sides successfully. Many students assume that you only work with the acute angle at the bottom of the triangle (a stereotypical approach). If I rotate the triangle or ask them to use a different angle than the one at the base, my students get confused, which suggests that they never learned to work with more complex figures. 

Students have little difficulty identifying the hypotenuse, since it is the longest side. Some students, however, will say it is always side c. I, of course, change things up as we work. I will label the triangle with different letters and use Greek letters for the angles. This is not to trick the student, but to help students learn to be more flexible with the terminology used to talk about right triangles, segments, and angles.

If a student continually struggles with identifying the side-angle relationship, I will insist that the student label all the sides in relationship to the unknown measurement that they are asked to find. This interventions typically helps my students, because it effectively leverages annotation to spur their reasoning.

  Struggles with right triangles
  Intervention and Extension: Struggles with right triangles
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Solving Right Triangles

Unit 6: Solving Problems Involving Triangles
Lesson 2 of 13

Objective: SWBAT solve problems involving right triangles.

Big Idea: After reading and drawing diagrams for word problems students use the right triangle ratios to solve the problems.

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