Maths - A prize for being average

18th May 2012 at 01:00

What the lesson is about

Jokerad has shared a worksheet to engage students with the concept of averages. It is a grid displaying the overall exam results of five young people. In groups, pupils must choose who should win a prize by analysing the results to find their mean, median, mode and range. Each group then has to campaign for its choice by arguing from the mathematical evidence.

One area of maths where many pupils seem to struggle is averages. It's not just a case of how we work out the mean, median and mode, but why we do it. When is the median better to use than the mean? How does the range come into things? This worksheet's reward context will interest pupils, encourage discussions about the merits of the various measures so that their understanding of averages should increase significantly.

Get students foraging for averages with a mean, mode and median treasure hunt from laura.reeshughes.

Analyse data with an Olympic theme and find out the average performance level of Team GB in the Games over the past 60 years with Chris1988's topical lesson.

What else?

Making maths entertaining, Brady Haran (aka TES content partner Numberphile) has created a selection of videos exploring obscure number problems for the University of Nottingham. For example:

- Perfect numbers - introducing perfect numbers using 8,128 as an example. This video raises a series of questions, such as how many of these numbers really exist.

- 17 and sudoku clues - Dr James Grim explores how mathematicians proved that 17 is the minimum number of clues required to give a unique sudoku solution.

Use the videos to kickstart your lessons. They take pupils on a journey through the mathematical wonders of the world.

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