Lesson Plan - Get It!
Are averages in math a mean topic? Well, in a short answer, yes!
The "average" that we typically think of has a special name in math, called the "mean."
However, this doesn't mean that averages aren't nice! This lesson explores the idea of means (or averages) as well as two other m's: "median" and "mode." You can think of them as the three big M words that go together in math!
Let's start with what each of these M words stands for:
Mean The "average" we typically use is where you add all the numbers up and divide by how many total numbers you have.
This number is used very often in the real world. A couple examples of where you find it are batting averages in baseball, and grades in high school or college. Can you think of some other places that the mean (or average) is used? Discuss this with a teacher or parent; then, when done, move on to the next M.
Median The "middle" number when you put all numbers in order from least to greatest. When there are two middle numbers, you add them together and divide by 2.
Mode The number that occurs most frequently in a list of data.
Watch this Statistics - Mean, Median, Mode video by Mathmeeting.com for examples on how to find each:
What did you take from the video? How would you explain the words "mean," "median," and "mode." Discuss your answers with a parent or teacher.
Let's add to the information from the video. There are two more terms you will often hear around mean, median, and mode: "range" and "outlier."
Range This is the distance between the highest and lowest number in a set of data. You can find it simply by subtracting the biggest number from the smallest number.
In the last example from the video, this would be 600 - 100. So the range would be 500.
Outlier Sometimes you have a number in your data that is VERY different from everything else. This is what is called an outlier.
Any guess as to what number was the outlier in the last example in the video? If you guessed 600, you are right. This number was very far away from the other data of 100s.
Let's watch one more example from Central Tendency | Mean Median Mode Range | MathHelp.com. If you think you can find the mean, median, mode, or range on your own, hit "Pause" and try the examples from the video on a sheet of paper. When you are ready, press Play and check your work:
Once you have watched the video, whether trying the example on your own or just following along throughout, head to the Got It? section to try one on your own.