Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Teach Mean, Median, & Mode in a Hands-On Way

Each time that math can be taught in a visual way, I jump for joy.  I love it when a student smiles and says "Ohhhhhh" when he or she truly understands a concept.  This blog posts shows how mean(average) can be taught in a visual way. It is great if you have students that struggle with math, and seeing the colorful visuals can help students retain what they have learned.  Most local based school assessments (the IOWA, Stanford, NWEA, etc.) address mean, median, and mode in fourth and fifth grades.  This is standard 6.SP.A.3 and is introduced in sixth grade in Common Core.  It is in the Data and Statistics category. 

Median and mode are simple concepts to teach.  Mode is the number that appears the most.   The "mo" in the word mode and the "mo" in the word most is a great mnemonic to help students know that the mode is the number that appears the most.


The mode is the number 3 since it appears the most in this set of numbers.  How can median be taught in a visual way?

The term mean refers to the average.  In this case, a student was asked to determine the mean of the numbers 2,3, and 4. Different colored blocks were used to represent the amount of each number.

For additional math resources and visual task cards, access a link below.


  1. I have also done this with unifix cubes! Great post!

    The Math Maniac

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! So many kids really respond to learning concepts in a visual way. I love hands-on math.