1 ~ Make a poster of it and place it over the bathroom mirror for a few days.
2 ~ Repeat it, mantra like, for 10-20 second bursts while you do something rhythmic like walking, running, swimming, or riding a bike.
3 ~ Learn an acronym. The Greek word “akros” means “tip,” so acronyms are words or expressions usually made from the first letters (tips) of other words. For example, many people remember the colours of the rainbow … Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet … by learning the “man’s name,” ROY G BIV.
Although Sin(x) = Opp/Hyp, Cos(x) = Adj/Hyp, and Tan(x) = Opp/Adj has the acronym SOHCAHTOA, this need not stop us from creating other acronyms for the same expression:
You can search the Internet for more (there is quite a variety and something to suit all tastes), but why not make up one of your own? The more outrageous and funny it is, the easier it will be to remember.
4 ~ Of course, you could always chant SOH-CAH-TOA to music! You might try one of these songs that I found on YouTube (or make up one of your own):
The first is a rather addictive song by Jonathan Mann, the second is Gettin’ Triggy Wit It based on Will Smith’s Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It, the third uses Bruno Mars’ Nothing On You, and the fourth video will remind you of Lady GaGa’s Poker Face. They may give you some good ideas.
Having said all that, you CAN invest too much time in all the ‘learning tricks’ … while the best learning is to simply write and use it as often as possible. In other words, if you solve quite a few simple trigonometric problems you will not only remember SOHCAHTOA, but will also remember what it means and how to use it (and why).
By far the best educator I have been subject to in my schooling life. Apart from showing me with the utmost clarity the many concepts of mathematics, Graeme has inspired me to better myself in everything that I do in school and in my life. His dedication to his craft is truly admirable, and this level of dedication to helping the student achieve is something that is extremely hard to find. If you’d want anyone on your side during HSC mathematics, it’d be Graeme.
Harry B (student, 2012)
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