Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Right Triangle Trigonometry with Clinometers

I've been going out of my way this year to make my geometry classes more applicable. At the first of the year my kids really struggled, so I've tried to re-invent the way I teach. I'm doing a lot more application and less theory. I'm not saying that's the way it should be done, just that this is what works with my particular group of students.

Today we went outside and measured the heights of some of the taller objects around campus. We used homemade clinometers to do this. Since we only had one measuring tape, my co-teacher went outside and pre-measured distances from the building to the point where kids were supposed to measure their angles of elevation. (Note: next time, we'll spray only non-permanent surfaces like gravel. That green 10 ft mark may never come off the sidewalk.)

Anyway. The kids loved it. It didn't seem like work. Each class also discovered that their measurements didn't "make sense". They were too short. They decided that they measured from eye level up, so we needed to add on their heights to determine final measurements. This went great. Even my students who usually really struggle enjoyed it.

Clinometers and Trigonometry Handout

Some Pictures...

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to try this next year with my classes! Love it! Do you maybe have a pdf or word document for the clinometer assignment?