Map Scales

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SWBAT use proportions to determine unknown values (distances) involving map scale.

Big Idea

students work with neighbors, independently, and on whiteboard to apply map scale to find actual distances and lengths on a map

Do Now

10 minutes

Students enter silently according to the Daily Entrance Routine. The instructions on the board read:

Complete the front of your Do Now sheet in 5 minutes. There is helpful information on the back. Raise your hand after you complete the front of the sheet.

Data from past exit tickets and homework assignments show that students need more practice with problems about the constant of proportionality with tables and graphs. This is a good opportunity to review “the context of the situation” so that students keep this complex skill sharp.  I will coach two students to complete the work on the board during this time. This is a great opportunity to select a student who doesn’t usually shine in class and provide a moment to glow. I will usually guide the student through the more complex topics, such as writing an equation in the form y = kx, but will leave calculations up to the student (i.e. calculating the Unit Rate and/or other equivalent values in the table). At the end of 5 minutes I should have work on the board for most of the Do Now.

We will take the last 5 minute of this section reviewing the answers with the work shown on the board. I will be reviewing the answers alongside the students who displayed the work. I will have prepped this student beforehand with the questions I will be asking, and thus we will have reviewed the answers they will give. This will hopefully inspire the student to continue persevering to learn and solve difficult problems.  

Guided Practice

10 minutes

I distribute the class work packet. Though not announced at the beginning of this section, I do not expect students to be able to finish this packet during class and will be assigning the remaining part for homework. White boards have been distributed to each student along with dry erase markers. Students are NOT to use their boards unless instructed to do so. I have one student read the key idea at the top of the paper. I explain that maps keep everything in proportion. Then I ask a student to explain what this statement means.

Next, I write the following statement on the board:

Tinseltown and Sparkleville are 15 inches apart on a map.

I stop writing here and ask students the following question:

I want to know how far apart these two town are in reality, so that I can plan a trip. What other information do I need?

Students raise their hand to participate different answers. One may say that we need a scale, correctly identifying the vocabulary term. If no one states it, some scaffolding will need to be used to get a student to pull that word from the key information at the top of their class work packet.

I continue the problem by including the scale:

Tinseltown and Sparkleville are 15 inches apart on a map. The scale of the map is 2 inches = 15 miles.

And I say,

Now, show me on your white boards how you would use the scale to find the distance, in miles, of the two towns.

White boards a rea great tool to constantly check for understanding, and the kids really like being able to use them, to erase freely, it’s almost as if mistakes aren’t as big of a deal. I look around making sure students are using proportions to solve or helping students who get stuck. This is also a good opportunity to use neighbors to help out, for example, telling a students who is finished and shows understanding of the process, to help a student who is struggling. Once all students have shown some progress toward understanding how to use proportions, I ask all to cap their markers and display a timer with 10 minutes on the board.


20 minutes

Students will have 10 minutes to work with neighbors on as many problems as they can complete. At the end of those 10 minutes, students will be asked to work independently and silently. This is a good time to announce that any class work that is not finished must be completed for homework. I will be collecting these packets the next day to check over them, and return them to students with feedback before the next quiz so that they have study material.

White boards should remain at desks in case I notice groups of students or individuals struggling. The first ten minutes of this section, group work time, is a good opportunity to flag these students and ask them to work with me and the white boards in a booth. After copying down the correct work on the white boards, they can transfer it to their packets. This is how I get some students to complete problems twice, hopefully enabling better understanding of the work and process to solve. Students struggling with the process of using proportions and map scales may be struggling to utilize MP7. By understanding the structure of a proportion, more so, the structure of a ratio in terms of the locations of the units being compared in relation to the equivalent ratio, I can hope to push students closer to mastery of this skill.


10 minutes

In the last 10 minutes of class, I will be asking students to show me their answers only on white boards, starting with #1. We’ll play E-Races in between each problem. E-races are about the speed at which content is erased from the white boards and I usually add extra fun to each round. Here’s what one round might look like:

Each row will get one eraser, you must pass it down to the next person, you may not erase without this eraser! The last person must stand up and shout “I’m a star” as they leap into the hair, arms and legs out like a star! Then everyone in the row must slant. The first row to do this wins a point.

 At the end of the class work check, the row with the most points at the end receives two achievement points per student.

When we are NOT playing E-Race, I am looking at all students answers and reviewing those where the answers are all different, thus showing that most individuals struggled with that question. If a student did not get to complete the question, they are to leave it blank. Once we’ve reached a point where most students did not complete the last 3-5 questions, I know we can stop the game, tally the points and give out the achievement points. Students will again be reminded that the remainder of their class work should be completed for homework and that it will be collected the next day. Then they are all dismissed.