Appropriate Number Line or Axis Scaling

One of the things my students this year are struggling with is appropriate scaling of graphs or number lines.  One activity that has led to great discussions is this:

Blank Number Line

Label the Number Line so that you can accurately graph the following numbers:

Random Numbers

This has lead to some great discussions about how they can fit all of these on such a small number line.  Typically I do not start out with decimals, but Integers.  As students get more comfortable with using scales and justifying why they placed a point at a certain location on the number line, I get into tenths, hundredths and even thousandths (for those groups who really want the challenge!)  I generate my numbers using the tool from Meridian Outpost.

To check how accurate they are, I will have the numbers graphed on a larger number line, I’ll throw up a student graph on the SmartBoard, and “shrink” my line using the stretch/skew options.  We then compare how close the two are.  Students are very critical of each others work, and typically I sit back and allow student discussion to drive proper scaling and placement.

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