(Lesson Plan) Mean as Fair Share and Balance Point

In this lesson the students will be learning about new ways to interpret the mean: as a “balance point” and as a “fair share” mechanism. Students will learn about these concepts through the use of both worksheets and counting blocks, making this lesson about equal parts teacher-provided material and student-driven work. In this way, students can see multiple representations of the same theory in practice.

I would rate this lesson a 4 in terms of its alignment with the GAISE Report recommendations and CCSSM Standards. To match up with the GAISE Report requirements for Level A inquiry, students will be formulating a question when the teacher asks them what the mean of the data set is, collecting data to answer a question when they calculate the mean of the data set, analyzing the results when they make sense of what the mean indicates in the context of the data set, and interpreting the results when they discuss how that mean acts as a balance point and as a fair share mechanism. This lesson only matches up with one CCSSM Standard, however: 6.SP.3, “Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number,” as students will need to see the mean as a measure of center before they go forth learning the Balance Point and Fair Share mechanisms.

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