Friday, May 6, 2011

Shift Happens

A funny thing happened in my algebra class this week. We were learning about Sine, Cosine and Tangent and talking about how to use the correct calculator keys for finding the ratio of the sides vs. finding the measure of a missing angle. I was using my document camera to demonstrate to the students the correct calculator keys to use. Not all of my students use the same type of calculator and I referred to the 2nd key as the "shift" key. Students struggled with the lesson all day. It was difficult for them to understand when they needed to use their shift key, when one of them said, "You mean the 2nd key?"  I told them that I would call it the 2nd key if that would help, and just a couple of problems later caught myself referring to the shift key again- stopped myself mid-sentence- and you can guess what came out of my mouth. I apologized and we all had a good laugh about the whole situation. I ended with the comment "sometimes shift happens"! Before I knew it they were all chiming in with funny comments like, "Ms Roitz, you need to get your shift together!" After a few minutes of this things settled down, but together we came up with a real easy way to remember when to use the shift key and when not to. When you are looking for the ratio of the sides of a right triangle just hit the sine, cosine or tangent key, When you need to find the measure of an angle of a right triangle using Sine, Cosine and Tangent, that's when Shift happens!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I can so relate. I teach 8th grade algebra and so many times I have said something that really did apply to what we were talking about and the students (8th grade mentality) twist it around to something inappropriate. Also, a student one time said that "he had something on his thingy" and that time I couldn't help it but turn around and laugh. So many times I am mature and respectful and don't do things like that, but that was too easy and to out there not take advantage of.

    I like what you have here. I wish I would have found this sooner. Thank you!

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