Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Graphing Sine and Cosine Functions (Day 2 of 2) - Section 4: Closure


With a skill like graphing a sine function, some of my students want to be given a process to follow so they will not make a mistake. I have learned that giving students the process, without asking them to consider how to work the problem, does not allow them to develop a connected understanding of relevant concepts. The process often makes the connections implicitly.

I am opposed to writing out steps, I prefer letting my students struggle with an informal process, then having them write their own process, discuss the process with others, and adjust it if necessary. When students do the creative thinking and writing this requires, they remember the process better and they can explain the process to others in better detail.

Of course, I am prepared for students to create and use inefficient process, and, sometimes buggy processes. Every person thinks differently and may see one approach a lot easier than another approach. Giving students the freedom to use different methods also helps students understand concepts at a deeper level, which is where we are headed. 

  Why not give students the process?
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Why not give students the process?
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Graphing Sine and Cosine Functions (Day 2 of 2)

Unit 8: Graphing Trigonometric Functions
Lesson 6 of 13

Objective: SWBAT graph by hand sine and cosine graphs with transformations

Big Idea: By using the parameters students will identify and use key features to graph sine and cosine equations.

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