Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Transforming Trig Graphs One Step at a Time - Section 2: Explore and Share

Radians are a difficult concept because they are very abstract. When working on the graph for the equation in slide 3 of the PowerPoint, a student correctly realized that the horizontal shift was 3 to the left, but was unsure how to graph it. He asked me if he should convert 3 into radians. After questioning him further, I realized that he thought that 3 was in degrees because an angle would only be measured in radians if it has pi in it. I drew him this diagram to remind him what an angle measure of 3 radians looks like.

Similarly, another student had all of the transformations correctly identified, but became stuck once she started sketching the graph. Because she labeled the x-axis in multiples of pi radians, she was confused about how to add a horizontal shift of 3 radians left and a period of 8 radians. Again, this misconception stemmed from the fact that she also thought the x-axis must be in terms of pi and couldn't be multiples of 1 radian.

Grappling with Complexity: Problems with Radians

Transforming Trig Graphs One Step at a Time

Unit 4: Trigonometric Functions
Lesson 4 of 14

Big Idea: Add one transformation at a time until students can graph any sine or cosine function.

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55 minutes

Tim Marley

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