Tes Maths ROTW: Mean visualiser

Heather Charles
04th June 2018

Clarify calculating the mean from frequency tables using this interactive resource, from edgore

What is it?

One of the issues I have encountered is that students do not see the mean as a single concept. Rather, they learn a process for calculating it for a set of data, another one for when it is presented in a frequency table, and another when grouped frequency is involved. Rarely are the links between these three processes connected securely in students’ minds.

Fortunately, this resource could help. It provides a clear, intuitive way to bridge the gap between the mean from a list of data and the mean from a frequency table.

How can it be used?

This spreadsheet is ideal for introducing how to calculate the mean from a frequency table as part of a whole class discussion. The four tabs take us through the four key stages and each contains a list of questions to ask students.

Because this is built in Excel, the calculations have already been done. So having presented pupils with a question, asked them to reflect and discuss, we can then immediately see the answer. Better still, we can see the answers to any other questions, theories and lines of inquiry they may have. All presented in a clear and colourful way that focuses students’ attention on the things that really matter.

 

Craig Barton was speaking to Heather Charles. He is a secondary maths teacher in the north of England.

 

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