Radians as the first AS topic

The start of AS Maths is always tricky. This year we are trying something different and teaching radians first. At the end of last year Sharon and myself went to a course about interactive teaching in a level maths. They gave us protractors that measured in radians which we were very excited about and on the way home in between worrying about whether the college car was about to blow up we designed a scheme of work that would start with radians.

So much of Core 1 is essentially higher tier GCSE that it’s hard to get the balance right between making sure students have a secure understanding of the algebra they are going to need and feeling like you’re just going over things they already know. It can leave students feeling a bit underwhelmed by A level while often at the same time worried about gaps in their knowledge. To try and give a more interesting start to the year we wanted to begin with something that is definitely A level. Combine that with the fact that students find it really hard to get their head around working in radians after so many years of degrees and it started to seem like a good first topic.

The plan is to spend a few lessons getting to grips with radians and doing lots of work on angle facts in radians (with the written as fractions to practice some important skills there). Sharon has made us radian protractors and I’ve been working on a whole load of resources to encourage students to be comfortable with using radians. To keep this going we’ve got a radians question on our Just Maths inspired AS bread and butter starters each week. If you still haven’t heard of bread and butter go and read this now and print your starters for the year, you can thank me later.

Hopefully by the time we get to actually using radians as part of trigonometry in February students will just see them as a normal part of maths instead of this weird new thing that they don’t like.

If you’d like copies of the resources for radians or the bread and butter worksheets I’m going to be putting them up in the new sections I’ve been making here