Teaching the Concept of "Average"
Date: 03/30/97 at 19:00:06 From: Bob and Wendy Bucci Subject: Explanation of Average Dear Dr. Math, How do I explain what an "average" is to a group of 4th graders? I have taught them how to find an average, but I can't figure out how to explain what one is.
Date: 03/31/97 at 18:16:34 From: Doctor Jodi Subject: Re: Explanation of Average Hi there! I think taking examples from their own experience would probably be helpful. What about measuring each one of them and making some charts and graphs about their heights? Then you could apply the formula for the average to find the average height of all the students in the class. You might also find the average height with yours included. Usually (unless you're short like I am) this will skew the results to be give a larger height than you'd expect. Discussing how to get around this problem would be a good lead-in to talking about median (the middle number), mode (the number that appears the most often in the set), frequency (how many times each height appears), and other statistical terms as ways to figure out how tall the "average" person in the class is. Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes. -Doctor Jodi, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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