I just recently started learning maya now and I was trying to do a bouncing ball exercise just now, when i noticed something in the channel box. When I create a polygon shape (mesh?object? what is the proper term?) and drag along the grid, the scale of the object stays 1, 1, 1, and only the translate x and y properties change. It's really confusing and I'm unsure if this a preference I can turn off and on. How do I change it so that when I create stuff it will update the scale information? Please help!! Thanks in advance!
My guess is that you may be using an orthographic view, meaning you're seeing a flattened workspace with a flat grid in the background. A view like this only allows you to move in two directions which may be why you only see two translate values changing when you move your model around. If you hit the space bar, that should reveal a workspace with 3D depth in which you can move in X, Y and Z.
If you want to change the scale of your object, you need to hit the 'R' key. This will switch your manipulator tool from arrows to squares. If you drag on the squares, you should see the scale values changing but not the translate values.
I hope I understood your question correctly and that this is helpful for you!