# Rock, Paper, Triggers

I played a quick, but fun and mathematically rich game in precalculus the other day that I thought I’d share. Let’s call it Rock, Paper, Triggers for now, (it’s kinda like Rock, Paper, Scissors but with Trig functions) but if you have a better name, let me know.

Each person secretly picks a trig function (SINE, COSINE or TANGENT) for themselves, and an angle to send to the other person. Then, once ready, both reveal and each person thinks about…
TheirFunctionOf(theAngleSentToThem)

Whoever’s value is higher wins.  No need for exact values, just figure out which one is bigger (and DNE automatically loses). So for example:

PERSON 1:
sin()
269°

PERSON 2:
cos()
190°

Person 1 has sin(190°) and person 2 has cos(269°). Well, both are negative, but 269° is so close to 270° that cos(269°) is a little less negative. So person 2 wins!

This was really good for number sense (no calculators), for thinking about what values of the different functions are possible, and where those values are on the unit circle.

Posted on November 1, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

• ### Comments 4

1. Love so much, since we played a three person version of Rock, Paper, Scissors so that if all Match person A gets a point, if 2 match (i know, I know–but they don’t) B gets a point, and if no one matches, person C gets a point.

PS Are you still overseas?

• Thanks! Sounds like fun. No, I live in the US now, in Delaware. But the blog title is here to stay!

2. Brent A

Bowman- I taught Calculus BC the past two years and discovered your website at the start of this year. I loved the stuff you had on here, and I think my students really appreciated having some of it incorporated into AB review. I was impressed with the creativity, but also not surprised once I realized you were Donny’s brother. I lived two doors down from him freshman year. He always had nothing but good things to say about you. Thanks for taking the time to share all the great ideas!

• Wow, just noticing this (my blog lies fallow sometimes). Small world!! Thanks for saying hi!