As students get started in trigonometry, one of the first topics they will encounter is the sine function. With the Sine Function Gizmo, students are guided to an understanding of the sine function using the unit circle. By dragging a point around the unit circle, students will see how the sine function is related to the angle and y-coordinate of the point. Students can plot the curve that results from rotating the point all the way around the circle, and understand the sine of key angles such as 30 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees.
Once students have a thorough understanding of the sine function, you can move on to the similar Cosine Function Gizmo, which uses the same scenario to teach the basics of cosines and the relationship between sine and cosine.
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