# Mean, Median Mode Y5

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by tayla, Feb 22, 2011.

1. ### tayla

Hi
I am new to Y5. Can anyone advise which term Y5 are introduced to mean, median, mode and which numeracy block. Thanks

2. ### chocolate_cupcake

I am a Y5 teacher who teaches high ability maths. Due to the kids being high ability (some of them very high!) I covered mean, median, mode and range in the Autumn term. However, last year I taught low ability and we took it much more slowly. It's block C - data handling. I don't rigidly adhere to year 5 objectives as some of them are just too easy for my class, so I will occasionally dip into year 6 objectives. It really depends on your class how and when you want to teach the concepts.

3. ### AnonymousNew commenter

This post kind of sums up what's wrong with primary teaching - which block, unit etc? How tightly controlled have we become? What's happened to having objectives taken from the curriculum and introducing them when you think they are ready? It reminds me of the heydays of the NLS when we had a whole range of termly objectives for text, sentence and word level work with a big tick list.
Introduce them when you want to and see if they get the idea - mean and median are hard enough anyway even for children in secondary school.

4. ### cashmygold

A little rhyme I remember from school:

Hey diddle diddle the median's the middle
You add and divide for the mean
The mode is the one you see the most
and the range is the difference between.

5. ### DMNew commenter

And this is what the children will remember ...

Hey diddle diddle the mode's the middle
You times and subtract for the mean
The range is the one you see the most
and the median is the difference between.

6. ### weebecka

I think this is better:
Hey diddle diddle the median's the middle
You add and divide for the mean
The fashionable mode is the one you see the most
and the range is the difference between.

To get them to remember it right I suspect you're going to have to get them to sing it.

Ha ha ha,
Hee hee hee,
The circumferance of a circle equals pi times d.
It's a little be it harder
but don't be scared,
The area of a circle equals pi times radius squared.

My students remember that because I look a blooming idiot singing it and I can't sing. For some reason this seems to help.

7. ### Colleen_YoungOccasional commenter

Surely
'The mode is the one you see the most'
fits the tune better than
'The fashionable mode is the one you see the most'
When I say 'mean median and mode at school, they all sing the first line of this!

8. ### AnonymousNew commenter

One of the great things about primary is the ease with which you can do cross curricular work easily. Investigate shoe sizes - which is the "average"? - mean and median. Why might the mode be more useful?
To be honest - I can't see the point in doing median at primary - at least the concept of "average " (as in the mean) is reasonably easy to get. Some are above average, some below (unless you are the Secretary of State when everyone must be above average). What does that mean for spelling tests? Running speeds, temperature? Lots of potential cross curricular stuff there.
Personally it gets a lot more interesting with cumulative frequency which I think is much more useful. I'm above average - well CF tells you exactly how much above average and where you lie in comparison to everyone else.
I teach mode as in "a la mode" - but then people just don't seem to get that when I say it. Maybe we should just replace "mean" with "average" and "median" with "the middle one". Or would that be dumbing down?

9. ### DMNew commenter

Surely median is much easier for a primary school child to understand than mean?
"Come on children organise yourself in a straight line smallest to tallest. Pair off from the ends. Jessica is the last person left in the line. Her height is the median of the whole class. I'm going to write her height down and we can do this again later in the year and see whether or not the median height has changed."

10. ### NazardNew commenter

But if you do this please stress the part I have emboldened. It is hugely frustrating when kids chorus: "Jessica is the median"!

12. ### Colleen_YoungOccasional commenter

Mine all like that one September - I linked to it back in post 8.

The same company have a couple of other songs as well, including one on the laws of indices.

13. ### Dejana

I've got middle ability Year 5, and we already covered mode and range in the autumn term. We'll have another look at it and extend it a bit further in the week after half term.
Don't get too hung up on the objectives in the different units. Look at what your group needs. Sometimes, that means you have to adapt objectives, or choose them from different areas.
I tend to choose the objectives for each block that go together and then we focus on a certain area for several lessons. Often, what they need depends on their target level (I've got kids with 4b/a targets for the end of the year, so I can't just stick to the Y5 stuff). It does depend on how they get on, though. If they get it quickly, we move on...if they don't get it, we take a step back and look at the issue again.
However, I do try and stick to the blocks in terms of timings. Several of the objectives are covered more than once throughout the year, which is what my group needs.
Sometimes they need a break when a topic is "really hard", then we do something easier in between and get back to the "hard stuff" after a few lessons. By then, their confidence is usually back up again, and it suddenly doesn't feel so tricky anymore...because they are quite clever, really (they just take a bit longer, sometimes).

14. ### brookes

How come you're teaching averages in year 5 and my year 7s arrive not knowing these terms?

15. ### AnonymousNew commenter

How come I tutor year 11 and they can't remember which term is which?

16. ### KYPNew commenter

... and when they re-sit post 16, they still haven't a clue!

17. ### valed

To the tune of Frere Jacques...

"Median' middle, median's middle
Mode is most, mode is most
Mean is average, mean is average
Range high - low, range high - low"

At first, I thought the mean bit was weak but all our kids think of mean [in fact, any average] as "adding them up and dividing by how many"

Even my Year 11 set 5 sing this at me!!

18. ### strawbsEstablished commenter

That's reminded me of an alternative version (still to Frere Jacques)
Mode is most, mode is most
Median's in the middle, median's in the middle
Range high - low, range high - low"

19. ### weary willy

The potential difficulty with most of these is that you can interchange the maths words in the rhyme and remember the wrong answer.
I tend to favour the (unoriginal) idea that MOde is the MOst common, MEDian is in the MIDdle annd Mean is mean because it requires the most work (Or " 'av a rage" working it out).
Children seem to get "Range" more readily - though it is used differently in science ( for example, "from 4m to 12m" - rather than the value - 8m)

20. ### valed

What an absolute spanner I am !!!!
Gave it incorrectly
Should be .....
"Mean is average, mean is average
Mode is most, mode is most
Median in the middle, median in the middle
Range high - low, range high - low"

How embarrassing - just as well I'm finishing
30 days