mean, median, and mode, oh my!
Oh my is right. These are tricky concepts for elementary students. I found that when teaching mean, median, mode, and range, this is not something that can just be taught in a quick lesson and students get it. It takes practice and practice and practice.
One of the hardest things for students to remember is to put the numbers in order. How many times do you have students choose the median by just choosing the middle number of the set without putting them in order? One trick that I found when practicing is to have students actually cut out and manipulate the numbers. Physically move them around with their hands to put them in order. This seemed to help.
The thing is, none of these involve anything too complicated. Just basic addition, subtraction, and division. It’s just a matter of remembering what each one means. To really cement these, spiral review, spiral review, spiral review! Find ways to practice with a new set of numbers each week. Start easy, with three numbers, and build on it. The routine and repetition will really help students grasp the terms.
Here is a winter practice set you can use for whole group, small group, partner work, or math centers. Download it FREE by clicking the image: