It's pretty tough for students to grasp ratio and proportion on their own with Size Wise, so using it as a tool for extended discovery learning isn't a great idea. Coupled with good curriculum, it can offer more options for real-world proportionality exercises than old tape measure and shadows lessons, but it still needs to be somewhat teacher-directed. It could be great to start a lesson letting students play around with the app and transition to making measurements by hand on printed photos and doing calculations the old-fashioned way.
And of course, for pure creative fun, it can't hurt to let kids add props to their images during downtime or even let them make their own forced-perspective shots as an assignment, along with the relevant math. If you're looking for concrete ideas, a great starting place for lesson ideas would be NYSCI's own site, which offers a handful of well-made lessons and tips from real teachers.Continue reading Show less
Size Wise is a tool that allows students to add virtual calipers to real-world photographs, then use known measurements of those objects to determine distances between them (using ratios). The screen displays ratios of the sizes of objects measured with the calipers, along with the user-submitted actual measurements, enabling proportional calculation of distance. The app will then show its own distance calculations.
Students can also add virtual props to give their images some goofy flair or use the displayed data to make props appear much larger or much smaller than they actually are. NYSCI's website also includes PDF files of Stick Pics, which can be printed out and held in front of the camera; Size Wise will automatically provide measurement information for them. For reflection and assessment, students can create comic strips using their images and add mathematical expressions displaying the ratios at work.
The idea of using image size to object distance is a genuinely great one for making ratios and proportions immediately relevant and accessible to students, so Size Wise is right on the nose for learning. However, in testing, we found the distance calculator to be wildly inaccurate (off by anywhere from 10 to 60 inches), which limits its usefulness a bit. Still, to do these calculations by hand, students will need to have an accurate measurement of image size, and it does seem to correctly display that data.
It would be nice to include a feature where students could enter an object's distance and have the app display its height, which would open up a lot of learning opportunities. Also, the ability to rotate the calipers to measure width (or arbitrary dimensions) would be nice. Lastly, letting students add objects to images after they've been taken would enable more creative play.
Key Standards Supported
Measurement And Data
Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter.
Order three objects by length; compare the lengths of two objects indirectly by using a third object.
Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps. Limit to contexts where the object being measured is spanned by a whole number of length units with no gaps or overlaps.
Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements; describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.
Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.
Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.
Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Record measurement equivalents in a two- column table. For example, know that 1 ft is 12 times as long as 1 in. Express the length of a 4 ft snake as 48 in. Generate a conversion table for feet and inches listing the number pairs (1, 12), (2, 24), (3, 36), ...
Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Represent measurement quantities using diagrams such as number line diagrams that feature a measurement scale.
Apply the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real world and mathematical problems. For example, find the width of a rectangular room given the area of the flooring and the length, by viewing the area formula as a multiplication equation with an unknown factor.
Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.
Ratios And Proportional Relationships
Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. For example, “The ratio of wings to beaks in the bird house at the zoo was 2:1, because for every 2 wings there was 1 beak.” “For every vote candidate A received, candidate C received nearly three votes.”
Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship. For example, “This recipe has a ratio of 3 cups of flour to 4 cups of sugar, so there is 3/4 cup of flour for each cup of sugar.” “We paid $75 for 15 hamburgers, which is a rate of $5 per hamburger.”1
Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.
Compute unit rates associated with ratios of fractions, including ratios of lengths, areas and other quantities measured in like or different units. For example, if a person walks 1/2 mile in each 1/4 hour, compute the unit rate as the complex fraction 1/2/1/4 miles per hour, equivalently 2 miles per hour.
Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship, e.g., by testing for equivalent ratios in a table or graphing on a coordinate plane and observing whether the graph is a straight line through the origin.
Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) in tables, graphs, equations, diagrams, and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships.
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