Q&A #326

Teaching mean, median, and mode (8th grade and below)

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From: Suzanne (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Mar 12, 1998 at 17:33:42
Subject: Re: Teaching mean, median, and mode

Caron, Junior High students really like working with anything dealing with food. There are many ways to use individual packs of M&Ms, Skittles, or raisins. With the candy each student can estimate the number in his or her own individual pack. Students can then open the packs, count each piece, and sort by color. The full class data can be collected and each student can then find the mean of each color, the mean number of pieces per bag, and a number of other statistics. If more than one class is participating in this activity, classes could compare data. After compiling the data the students can actually create a class graph by gluing the empty wrappers onto a poster board in columns labeled according to the numbers in the packs. The mini raisin packs work very well, also. Again, they can get class data and find the range, mode, median, and mean number of raisins per box. The raisin boxes make a great graph when glued to a poster board. Besides these activities there are many others that can be created using such things as the nutritional chart on cereal boxes. Statistical data can be collected as to the average number of calories or the sugar content. Besides the mode, median, and mode, it would be great to extend the study to include line plots, stem and leaf displays, and box and whisker plots. Again, the food items could be used. Good luck! Suzanne

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