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Scale Factor Websites

Here are some good web sites that I found helpful dealing with Scale Factor, some offer an overview of the topic, while others contain activities that will help students gain a better understanding.  The criteria that I used to evaluate these websites is found on the Pre-Algebra Web Resources page.  The web resources page also contains links to other web pages similar to this one that focus on different topics from the Utah Secondary Mathematics Core Curriculum. 

Vocabulary Stretching and Shrinking
    This is a great document that gives a brief overview of scale factors from Michigan State University.  It can be helpful for teachers or for students when trying to understand and explain scale factors and it also gives some great examples that teachers can use.
    It is from a credible source and it is up-to-date and it is searchable.  It is a document that is very easy to understand and is based upon sound mathematics.   

Giant Spiders
    This an interesting website that gives an overview of scale factors and puts it into context with the idea of the giant spiders that used to be used in older films. 
    It well organized and the creators used color coding to make it easier to follow the changes that occur as the scale factor changes. 

Comparing and Scaling
    This website is from Michigan State University that gives some insight into the discussion of scale factors.  Towards the end in the second example there is a type of worksheet that gives a great review of scale factors.  It also shows some student's work and their understanding of scale factors.
    Once again the MSU website is credible, it has a search function.  It is an .edu site and has no pop-ups or advertisements.  Since the research is continuing on this site, it remains up-to-date.


Lesson Plans

Scaling Away
    This is from the Illuminations website created by NCTM, this activity has the students measure the dimensions of a rectangular prism or cylinder, and determine the dimensions of an enlarged model using a scale factor.  This website provides worksheets, overheads, possible questions for students, and assessment options for teachers.
    It is a very organized website and it is from reliable source.  There are links to optional interactive features and it is free.

Baseball Lesson Plan
    This is a lesson plan dealing with scale factors, proportion, and baseball.  There is a student worksheet that is provided as well as the lesson plan.  It is a great task for students that will get them involved in the mathematics of the class.
    It is easy to follow and provides the student and teacher with everything that they need to complete the assignment.  There are a few parts that don't apply to everyone.  For example, the Sunshine State Standards, wouldn't apply to every class.  It is from a .edu, so it is reliable. 


Scale Factor Activity
    This is also from Illuminations, but this is an activity that allows the students to explore the relationship between two shapes as the scale factor changes.  The student is able to control the measurement the rectangle as well as the scale factor.  This activity provides an opportunity for the students to gain an understanding of scale factor while exploring this applet.
    This activity is interactive and focuses on the math that the student needs to explore, it is also from a reliable source.  It runs with Java, so it is needed to use this activity.

Statue of Liberty
    This is a fun activity dealing with scale factors and the statue of liberty.  It allows students to get involved and show what they know about scale factors in a very fun and interesting way.  It asks students the question of is the statue of liberty's nose too long?  Then it provides the information necessary for students to reach a conclusion. 
    It is a fun activity, that helps students explore math and the purpose is clearly defined.  There isn't any pop up material and it is free.

Life Sized Drawing
    This is an activity asking students to draw an object, in this case a submarine, using scale factors to make the object reasonable to draw.  It helps that students understand the relationship between a scale drawing and a full-scale version.      
    It is from a .org website, it is reliable and free.  It is helpful for teachers, because students are able to show their understanding of scale factors through this activity. 

Scaling the Pyramids
    Here is another activity that allows students to apply knowledge of scale factors to real world things.  This activity asks students to scale down the pyramids, clicking on the links at the bottom of the page gives further instruction and the measurements to complete this activity.
    It is from PBS so it is reliable, it is based on sound mathematics.  There are no pop-ups, little advertisement, and it is student and teacher friendly.

Planets and meta page on model solar system
    This is an activity that allows students to use scale factors to create a model of the solar system.  This website provides all the necessary information needed for students to complete this task.  This website also provides questions that students can be asked to show their understanding of the topic.  The meta page provides a list of other websites that deal with this same type of activity.
    It is a .gov, so it is reliable and free and no extra software is needed.  It provides credible information.  Information on the meta page is harder to find things, because there is no search function and it is just a list of websites with little explanation. 


Scale Factor Presentation
    This is a presentation is from a website where people are able to publish their work.  This presentation accompanies the "Scale Factors" lesson in Middle School Math.
    There is some advertisement, but it is limited and does not interfere with the presentation.  The source of this presentation is unknown, but viewers are invited to comment on the presentation.  It is a very teacher friendly presentation.

Promethean Planet Presentation
    This is a presentation from a website where teachers are able to publish presentations that they have created to use with Smart Boards.  It can save time for teachers and teachers can learn from one another.  This particular flipchart is on Scale Factoring and using it real world word problems.
    It is very easy to search and find additional lesson plans, it is free and easy to download.  These lesson plans are made by teachers for teachers.