Q&A #326

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

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From: Judy Chambers (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Mar 15, 1998 at 14:13:09
Subject: Re: Teaching mean, median, and mode

I use a lesson for teaching mean, median, and mode to my fourth graders that they love.  Start each child with one of those tiny boxes of raisins and ask each child to estimate the number of raisins in the box without looking. Once that is done, they may look at the top layer and adjust their estimate. Finally I let them count the raisins in the box and record their answers on a sticky note. Next, they line up across the room from lowest number to highest and find the range of answers. By counting in from each end at the same time, the students discover the median. Next they graph the results on the board by putting their sticky note recordings in like columns. We then find the total number of like numbers in each column. Students identify the most common count and learn that the most is the mode. Finally we add the total number of raisins in the lesson and divide by the number of students fo find out what the mean is. They enjoy then comparing their count to the mean to see if they have more than the average number of raisins.  After the lesson is complete, the students then consume the manipulatives so no one can check the work.  They love it!  This lesson came from Everyday Mathematics by UCSMP. http://www.everydaylearning.com/Pages/everyday.html

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