## Friday, March 13, 2009

### Mean, Median, Mode and Range - Math Class

We are spending some time in math learning ways to collect and analyze data, and have experienced finding the MEAN, MEDIAN, MODE and RANGE of a set of numbers. Students are really finding this challenging and exciting. Here is a fun way to help your child practice at home. Simple take 5 dice (or roll one die 5 times) and write all five numbers on a piece of paper. Remind your child to then line up the numbers from smallest to largest.

Using these five numbers, work together to find the mean (add the numbers together, then divide by 5), the median (the number that appears in the middle), the mode (the number that shows up most often) and the range (biggest number subtract smallest number).

Another easy game is one we did yesterday in math class. Take a deck of cards (Ace through 9) and take turns lining up 7 cards face up in front of each player. Arrange cards in sequential order. Each of the players determines his/her median card and gets points equal to the value of the card. Continue playing and calculating totals until the winner hits a predetermined goal. (We played to 50 points). Then play again, only this time using mode to determine points. If there is no mode, take the value of the highest card. Then play again, using the range as the determiner.

One of the most interesting classroom projects we did is another you can try at home. Each child got two books, one beginner reader and one slightly more advanced "Arthur" picture book. We looked at the first 11 words of each book, noting the number of letters in each of those words. Then we found the mean, median, mode and range of those words for each book. Not surprisingly, the Arthur books used, on average, longer words. I think this would be fun to expand upon at home - for instance, does the information change the more data you collect? What if we took the first 21 words? What about using different types of books?