Word Problems with Hints

In our second unit of trig, we were doing right triangle trig which of course includes word problems. As predicted, the hardest part for them was converting  the word problems to diagrams. Second hardest was knowing where to put the variable.

We did notes in our INB over them, did a worksheet of 10 more problems as a class, and then I thought of this idea.

I found word problem worksheets that already had diagrams. I copied the words into powerpoint.

I printed out each one and placed it in a page protector. Then I made index card 'hints'.

The first was a picture. I cut out the diagrams from the original worksheet and taped them to index cards. Next hint was which trig ratio to use. I just wrote sin, cos, or tan on each card, nothing more. The third index card was the answer.

I put all the index cards into an envelope and put the envelope in the back of the page protector.

I stood them up along the white board and let students pick. Students were separated into pairs and I gave them a sheet to show their work.

My idea was that students could have ownership- they decided if or when they needed hints, how many hints they needed, and if they needed my help or not.

And of course every teacher's favorite- self-checking!

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