Interpreting Measures of Center - What does the mean, mean?

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Students will be able to interpret the measures of center.

Big Idea

I can find the measures of center – but what do they mean?! Students will gain insight into why different measures of center are often used in marketing/advertising.


10 minutes


40 minutes

Notes: The instructional portion of the lesson will begin with a recap of mean, median, mode, and range.  It is my hope that this will be student run, as the students have just completed a brain dump on the topic.  Even though measures of center are a concept that is not foreign to the students, I find it valuable to spend a few minutes going back over what they are and how to find them – this usually saves me lots of questions later on!

After the recap of terms, we will complete a few problems as a class.  I will give table groups a few minutes to read through and discuss the problems, and then take volunteer tables to come up and "teach" the class how to do the problem.  The problems used in this particular lesson bring in real world concepts of the measures of center and their application and usefulness in everyday life. Thus, mathematical practies 2 and 4 come to life during this lesson.  It is really cool for kids to see how advertisers sometimes choose one measure of center over another in an effort to mold public perspective.

Table Challenge:  After the notes and practice, I will conduct a short table challenge on the white boards.  For this formative assessment piece students will persevere with the problems, mathematical practice 1, without any assistance from me.

Summarize + Homework

10 minutes

Summary:  To summarize this lesson, I will recap on some of the problems that I note during the table challenge.  If there are no problems, I will go ahead and pass out and let students begin on the Homework.  If there are issues to reconcile, I may give further instruction and perhaps an exit ticket - but this will be done on the fly and will vary based on individual classes.