Measures of Center and Variability Fluency Practice

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Students will be able to calculate measures of center and variability and use them to solve problems.

Big Idea

Do they really understand? This lesson is a review game on measures of center and variability – a way to gauge if they are ready for the test.


10 minutes

Opener: As students enter the room, they will immediately begin working on the opener.  The opener is a mixture of previously learned questions, and students should work individually, and then as table groups to discuss the methods for solving the questions.  After approximately 5 minutes, I will call on students to go to the board and solve the opener questions.  As with all openers, I will take volunteers to go to the board – the volunteer is expected to explain their reasoning, and other students are expected to follow along with the work and ask questions/make suggestions as necessary.  By having a student explain their reasoning while others listen and provide feedback, mathematical practice 3 – construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others – becomes a natural part of class.

Learning Target: After completion of the opener, I will address the day’s learning targets to the students.  In today’s lesson, the intended target is, “I can measures of center and variability to solve problems.” Students will jot the learning targets down in their agendas (our version of a student planner, there is a place to write the learning target for every day). 


40 minutes

For today's activity, students will take part in a table challenge, Instructional Strategy - How do table challenges work?.  Students will work together to answer questions regarding applications of mean, median, mode, range, mean absolute deviation, and the comparison of populations using center, shape, and spread.  For this review, the pressure is on the groups to come up with an answer - they will need to work together to arrive at an answer without my assistance, mathematical practice 1.  As the facilitator of the activity, I will pay close attention to groups that are missing problems, so that I can be sure to join their group for a small time to help clear up misconceptions.  The day before a test I do not want students leaving my room unsure!  

Since this is a game, attention to precision, mathematical practice 6, is going to be extremely important. Groups that hold up incorrect answers - even if they are just slightly wrong, will not get a point for the problem!  Even though it seems mean, by doing this it helps the students to be sure they are checking over their work and every little detail - they don't want to miss a problem because they didn't round to the nearest tenth correctly!  

The nature of these problems connect mathematics to the real world - both asking students to develop models, as well as looking at verbal and graphical representations and abstracting information from them, mathematical practices 2, 4.  The focus of these problems is purely conceptual, so the use of the calculator will be permitted to aid students in calculations, mathematical practice 5.


10 minutes

To summarize the lesson, I will remind students that they have a test during the following class period, and take any questions that they may have.