Sunday, December 20, 2009

Measures of Central Tendency

It is easy for many middle school students to get Mean, Median, and Mode mixed up. Since it is a tested indicator for 8th graders in Kansas, my teaching partner and I wanted to come up with something that kids would remember come testing time. She came up with these three little cheers and I love them as do our students. They are short and easy to remember. Here you go-

Mean, Median, and Mode
Mean (Say in really mean voice and face throughout!)
Add all the numbers (Have hand go from waist to neck in increments.)
And Divide! (Have same hand slice across the neck!)

Median …Middle
Order numbers least to greatest (motion hand left to right)
Find the middle. (move both hands to middle and clap)

When I say mode you say Most
Mode is the number that appears most often
Mode…Most often
Mode…Most often!

Students love it when I get really "mean" with them...the meaner the better! I have found that they remember to put their numbers in order to find the median on a regular basis now...a step that many students left out previously. Believe me, they will remember the differences between the measures of central tendency for tests with these cheers running through their heads.

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