lang="en-GB"lang="en-GB"UTF-8 How to create custom Trig grids in Desmos - Butterfly Classrooms class="post-template-default single single-post postid-3235 single-format-standard"csstransition cmsms_responsive cmsms_liquid fixed_header enable_logo_side 100

How to create custom Trig grids in Desmos

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April 5, 2019

A few maths teachers have asked me for custom Trig grids to use in their trigonometry worksheets and exams. The easiest way, of course, is to just Google it and copy something from the internet. But often you want something a bit more specific. And that is where Desmos comes in.

Since there is nothing that wastes as much time as recreating the wheel, I have a collection of the grids I use most often, that I am willing to share with you. All you have to do is click here and make a copy for yourself. Or you can just click on the specific grid you are looking for and save a copy of it on your computer.

If there is a specific grid that you think lots of teachers would use, just put the details in the comments and I would add it with pleasure.

What software do you use to create custom grids?

But we all know that the best solution is for you to learn how to create Trig grids yourself. There are a number of options when it comes to maths software. Personally, I have used Autograph, Geogebra and Desmos to create Trig (and other) grids at different times in my career. While I was lucky enough to have my school pay for an Autograph licence I used that most of the time. Autograph might be the hardest one to get familiar with, but it is also the software with the most options that allow you to customise your graphs.

Geogebra and Desmos are both free and could be used without even downloading something, which makes it much easier. Desmos might have fewer settings than Geogebra, but I find that because it doesn’t have so many options it is much easier to use. These days I seldom use anything but Desmos.

How to create Trig grids on Desmos

When you open you immediately click on the red square that says “START GRAPHING” this will take you to the graphic calculator.

Since you want to create Trig grids, you need to change the default settings. You access Settings by clicking on the spanner in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

There are a few things that you can/must change:-

  • Most importantly, if you are a South African teacher, change from RADIANS to DEGREES at the bottom.
  • The domain of your graph. Remember to set the steps/intervals you want Desmos to use as well.
  • The range of the graph.
  • whether you want only the major gridlines or also some minor gridlines.

Once you have created the Trig grid you are looking for, find Snipping Tool on your computer (or just take a screenshot) and paste it into your worksheet or exam paper.

(If you are a perfectionist you might want to paste it in Powerpoint first to add some lines, arrows and other details.)

If this sounds like Greek to you, don’t worry, just watch the video where I explain everything step-by-step.

Renate is a resource developer, blogger and technology integration specialists for schools. Starting her career as a maths teacher in 2006, she quickly became interested in the opportunities technology can bring to the learning process. For four years Renate was in charge of managing the introduction of 1-to-1 devices at Rhenish Girls’ High School in Stellenbosch before she decided to venture out on her own and offer her experience to other schools. Renate now provides professional development and consult on planning and implementing digital learning on a freelance basis. Read more…


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