15 May 2014

Angles Facts

I've always taught angles in parallel lines as Fs, Cs and Zs, but I recently discovered that pupils prefer to think of Fs, Us and Ns, which work in exactly the same way but may be easier to remember because they spell the word FUN.

Of course there's still the challenge of remembering the more formal descriptions that they will need to use in their GCSE exam (for example they are required to use the term 'corresponding angle' in their answers, instead of F-angle).  I suggest that they think of 'FC' (football club - as in Tottenham Hotspur FC) for F angles = corresponding angles.  I also suggest they could remember that Z angles = alternate angles by thinking of the first and last letters of the alphabet. But this doesn't work if I change Z to N!  I'll have to think of something else (or even better, get them to come up with something).

There are loads of good resources for teaching this topic. Here are a few examples:
There are loads more resources for this topic in my shape resources library

More Angle Facts
On a related note, here's some tips for teaching more basic angle facts:
  • Marie Darwin's blog suggests that we remember the sizes of acute, obtuse and reflex angles by noting that the sizes from smallest to largest are in alphabetical order.  She also points out that the A in the word Acute makes an angle less than 90 degrees (see picture).
  • For remembering that complementary angles add up to 90 degrees, you could think of a compliment as being the right thing to do.  
  • mathsisfun.com has a couple more ideas - I like their suggestion that the C of the word complementary stands for 'corner' (ie a right angle) and the S in supplementary stands for 'straight' (ie 180 degrees on a straight line).
Interestingly, the word complementary comes from Latin completum (meaning completed) because the right angle is thought of as a complete angle.