No Memorization – Just Understanding!

December 5, 2013

Math Department Chair Kathryn Gniadek recently uploaded to the final version of her twenty-level e-book series entitled Fab Five for Trigonometry, a method she developed more than ten years ago as a way to foster student understanding of trigonometry. The wellspring of her project was Mrs. Gniadek’s eagerness to promote student comprehension of the course material, rather than subject students to memorization that is easily forgotten. The twenty level series, titles, and descriptions can be found on the website at

The first three levels encapsulate the Fab Five method for understanding trigonometry and are referenced in the subsequent seventeen levels. Students have found that once they master the Fab Five method they never forget it. In fact, Sacred Heart alumnae have reported using the method in advanced college level math classes and successfully sharing it with their college friends. “The Fab Five method imbues students with a lifetime understanding of trigonometry,” expressed a 2009 alumna.

“Three years ago, I started writing the twenty level Fab Five for Trigonometry series for my math students, past, present, and future and basically I have dedicated every day for the past three summers, and any spare time during the school year and on weekends, to the completion of this project. I purposely published twenty separate levels so math students need only purchase the levels necessary…for example, if a student is only having difficulty solving trigonometric word problems, they need only purchase Level Seven,” offered Mrs. Gniadek.

Kathryn Gniadek joined the faculty at Sacred Heart in 2002 and was named head of the mathematics department in 2005.  She earned a BS from Fairfield University, a MS from UConn, and a CAS from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. She serves as the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) site representative and as moderator of  Mu Alpha Theta, the National Math Honor Society.

All twenty levels for Kindle are available on the Amazon website ( Level descriptions are explained on the Fab Five website ( for all twenty level titles where a direct link to and a link for downloading a computer application to access the e-books on a personal computer can be found.

Kathy Gniadek - Fab Five 2

This post is in: Academics, Alumnae, Featured Articles, Parents, Students, Uncategorized

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