Math Background

Mean, Median, and Mode: Tips and Tricks

  • Self-stick notes are useful for making bar graphs and line plots. Students record each individual data point on one note. Then they stick the notes at the appropriate places on a large graph.
  • Help students understand the power of an outlier by looking at how the mean changes as the high or low numbers in a data set move further from the mean of the other numbers in the set. (This example would be simple to program into a spreadsheet.)
  • Create a statistics bulletin board in your classroom. Have students cut out graphs from magazines and newspapers, write a summary about each graph, and post the graphs and summaries on the bulletin board. You can have one student present his or her graph each day at the start of math class.
  • On the chalkboard, draw a graph that has no labels. Have students describe a situation that the graph might represent. Here is one example:
  • Possible description: The number of students participating in after-school sports increased from September through November and decreased from November through December.
  • Ask a weather reporter from the media or a student studying meteorology to come to class to discuss how probability applies to predicting the weather.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 4