Law of Sines: Investigation

I’ve recently gone on an Illuminations kick. NCTM provides solid resources for my Pre-Calculus kiddos and I’ve used them twice in the two weeks I’ve been at school.

Today we did this activity on investigating the law of sines.  I’m incredibly impressed with how well it went, and would recommend it. I strongly believe in inquiry in class and this was a wonderful scaffold for me and the students.

Every student in both periods was SILENTLY engaged working on finding the solutions to the second half of the packet. Students typically struggle  when proving general cases, but this scaffolding and being facilitated as a whole class for the first 6 questions was incredibly helpful.  It felt like a huge victory that students could manipulate and solve problems like these. I haven’t seen that much productive struggle in those classes in a while which was amazing.

One student asked why I had them do the activity instead of just being told the law. I explained that just writing something down won’t help her learn it or apply it correctly. I certainly have a better understanding of where the law of sines comes from after today than before.

Tomorrow we’ll be learning and practicing using our new discovery. I’m excited to see what happens. 🙂


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