"Scale 'n Pop" Teacher Support
Scale 'n Pop Archived PoW || Student Version
Scale 'n Pop is no longer the current ESCOT Problem of the Week. The student version allows teachers to use the problem with their students without giving the students access to the archived answers. Teachers can use the link to the archived problem to get ideas of student thinking.
The Scale 'n Pop problem challenges students to find a fraction that will inflate or deflate a balloon such that it will pass through a barrier wall and get "popped" by a pair of nails. The goal is for students to investigate the effect of multiplying an integer by a fraction to scale the size of a balloon's diameter. The students are also exploring the effect of the numerator and denominator on the magnitude of a fraction.
Depending on the students' ability to understand the idea of scaling the diameter of the balloon by a ratio, it may be helpful to explore the first carnival booth as a whole group, or in small groups. The pre-activity should also be useful in helping students understand how changing the numerator or denominator affects the magnitude of a fraction.
If you have something to share with us as you use any of the links or suggestions on this page (something you tried and changed or a new idea), we would love to hear from you. Please email us.
Alignment to the NCTM Standards - Grades 6-8
- work flexibly with fractions, decimals, and percents to solve problems
- understand the meaning and effects of arithmetic operations with fractions, decimals, and integers
- develop and use strategies to estimate the results of rational-number computations, and judge the reasonableness of the results
- develop, analyze, and explain methods for solving problems involving proportions, such as scaling and finding equivalent ratios
- solve problems involving scale factors, using ratio and proportion
- solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts
- monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving
- communicate mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
- use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely
- recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics
Related Lessons Online:
- Fraction Parts and Equivalent Fractions, by Cynthia Lanius, uses pattern blocks to explore fractions.
- Edible Fractions on Fraction Plates by Joanne Caniglia
- Fraction Game by Joanne Caniglia
Lessons for Multiplication of Fractions
- Multiplication Musings MidPOW, posted May 3, 1999
- Multiplying Two Fractions by Millard Lewis and John Moore
Resources to Help Students:
Reference Materials About Fractions
Interactive Website for Practicing Multiplying Integers and Fractions
Ask Dr. Math Archives
- What is 4/5*10?
- Multiplying Fractions and a Whole Number
- Multiplying Fractions
- Definition of a fraction
- Important property of fractions
- Equality of Fractions
- Reduction of Fractions
- Multiplication of Fractions
- Multiplying Simple Fractions
Possible Geometry Extensions (suggested by Susan Socha)
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