Teaching the Concept of Average
Date: 06/20/2003 at 06:21:02 From: Ridya Subject: Average How can I use objects to teach averages to students?
Date: 06/20/2003 at 14:18:57 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Average Hi, Ridya. For a discussion of what averages are, see our archives: What Does Average Mean? http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/52809.html As I explain there, the essential idea of averaging is "smoothing numbers out." You might introduce the idea by giving each student a different number of, say, blocks or balls or cards, and asking how many each of them has. Write those numbers down, and point out how they vary. Then have them work together to find a way to share them equally. (You may or may not have chosen the total number of objects such that they CAN be shared exactly.) Eventually they should all have about the same number of objects, and you can discuss with them how they could have decided ahead of time how many each of them should have. The answer, of course, is to find the total number of objects and divide by the number of students. The resulting number - the number that each has if they share equally - is called the average. You can also do this as a smaller-scale demonstration. Make piles of blocks of different heights, like H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H ------------------------- Then move blocks from the higher piles to the lower ones to make all the piles equal: H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H ------------------------- You have just found the average: on the average, each pile had 4 blocks in it. And how can you find that number if you just have the numbers 5, 6, 3, 2, and 4 from the original piles? You add and then divide. So, yes, division is central to finding an average. But addition is the other half of the work. Does this help clarify the relationship? - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Date: 06/23/2003 at 06:55:13 From: ridya Subject: Thank you (average) Good Day, Dr.Math! Thanks for your explanation as it really helps me out to solve my problems regarding average.I will use your ideas to introduce this topic to my students.Thanks again. Ridya
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