MA.6.DP.1.2

Given a numerical data set within a real-world context, find and interpret mean, median, mode and range.

Examples

The data set {15,0,32,24,0,17,42,0,29,120,0,20}, collected based on minutes spent on homework, has a mode of 0.

Clarifications

Clarification 1: Numerical data is limited to positive rational numbers.
General Information
Subject Area: Mathematics (B.E.S.T.)
Grade: 6
Strand: Data Analysis and Probability
Status: State Board Approved

Benchmark Instructional Guide

Connecting Benchmarks/Horizontal Alignment

 

Terms from the K-12 Glossary

  • Data
  • Mean
  • Median
  • Mode
  • Range

 

Vertical Alignment

Previous Benchmarks

Next Benchmarks

 

Purpose and Instructional Strategies

In grade 5, students interpreted numerical data, with whole-number values, represented with tables or line plots by determining the mean, median, mode and range. In grade 6, students find and interpret mean, median, mode and range given numerical data set with positive rational numbers. In grade 7, students continue building their knowledge while using measures of center and measures of variability to compare two populations. 
  • Instruction includes developing statistical questions that generate numerical data.
  • Instruction includes the understanding that data sets can contain many numerical values that can be summarized by one number such as mean, median, mode or range.
  • Instruction includes data sets that have more than one mode. Students should understand that a mode may not be descriptive of the data set.
  • Instruction includes not only how to calculate the mean, but also what the mean represents (MTR.4.1).
  • Instruction focuses on statistical thinking that allows for meaningful discussion of interpreting data (MTR.4.1). Students should be asked:
    • What do the numbers tell us about the data set?
    • What kinds of variability might need to be considered in interpreting this data?
    • What happens when you do not know all the measures in your data set?
    • Can you find missing data elements?
  • Instruction includes student understanding of the difference between measures of center and measures of variability.
  • Instruction includes students knowing when a number represents the spread, or variability, of the data, or when the number describes the center of the data.
  • The data set can be represented in tables, lists, sets and graphical representations. Graphical representations can be represented both horizontally and vertically, and focus on box plots, histograms, stem-and-leaf plots and line plots.

 

Common Misconceptions or Errors

  • Students may incorrectly believe that “average” only represents the mean of a data set. Average may be any of the following: average as mode, average as something reasonable, average as the mean and average as the median.
  • Students may confuse mean and median.
  • Students may neglect to order the numbers in the data set from least to greatest when finding the median or range.

 

Strategies to Support Tiered Instruction

  • Teacher discusses with students how the use of the word average in daily life may show a different meaning of the word each time, just as other mathematical words have different meanings in everyday life. This will help students to understand that “average” does not only represent the mean of a data set.
  • Teacher provides instruction focused on measures of center, co-creating anchor chart or graphic organizer.
  • Teacher provides examples visually that show the clear middle of a data set, but where the average is not the same. This visual will help students understand that the middle of a data set does not mean that amount is the average.
    • For example, the figure below shows a data set with mean of 7 and median of 4.
      A data set with mean of 7 and median of 4.

 

Instructional Tasks

Instructional Task 1 (MTR.4.1, MTR.5.1)
Salena has 15 students in her class. The mean shoe size is 8.5. She records the shoe sizes below, with one missing: 
7.5, 10, 15, 6.5, 7, 9, 9.5, 6, 11, 8.5, 7, 12, 6, 6.5, ___
What shoe size is missing? Explain how she can find the missing shoe size.

Instructional Task 2 (MTR.5.1)
Brandi is in the Girl Scouts and they are selling cookies. There are 11 girls in her troop. The median number of boxes of cookies sold by a girl scout is 26, and the range of the number of boxes sold is 30 boxes.
  • Part A. What is a possible set of boxes of cookies sold?
  • Part B. If the mean number of boxes of cookies sold is 22, describe some possible characteristics of the data set.

 

Instructional Items

Instructional Item 1
Jonathan works for a sporting goods store, and he is asked to report his sales, in dollars, of running shoes for the week. His numbers are given below.
{150.25, 122.85, 171.01, 118.48, 108.52, 130.15, 154.36}
  • Part A. What is the mean?
  • Part B. What is the median?
  • Part C. If you were Jonathan, which measure would you report and why?

 

*The strategies, tasks and items included in the B1G-M are examples and should not be considered comprehensive.

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
1200400: Foundational Skills in Mathematics 9-12 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1205010: M/J Grade 6 Mathematics (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1205020: M/J Accelerated Mathematics Grade 6 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020, 2020 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1204000: M/J Foundational Skills in Mathematics 6-8 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7812015: Access M/J Grade 6 Mathematics (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
MA.6.DP.1.AP.2a: Use tools to identify and calculate the mean, median, mode and range represented in a set of data with no more than five elements.
MA.6.DP.1.AP.2b: Identify and explain what the mean and mode represent in a set of data with no more than five elements.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Formative Assessment

Explain Measures of Center:

Students are asked to list measures of center and explain what they indicate about a set of data.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lesson Plans

Measurement Data Error:

In this interdisciplinary lesson, students will practice the skill of data collection with a variety of tools and by statistically analyzing the class data sets will begin to understand that error is inherent in all data.

Type: Lesson Plan

What's My Grade?:

"What's My Grade" is a lesson that will focus on a sample student's grades to demonstrate how a final grade is calculated as well as explore possible future grades. Students will create the distributions of each grade category using histograms. They will also analyze grades using mean and standard deviation. Students will use statistics to determine data distribution while comparing the center and spread of two or more different data sets.

Type: Lesson Plan

Plane Statistics:

This lesson starts with an activity to gather data using paper airplanes then progresses to using appropriate statistics to compare the center and spread of the data. Box plots are used in this application lesson of concepts and skills previously acquired.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Distance a Coin Will Travel:

This lesson is a hands-on activity that will allow students to collect and display data about how far different coins will travel. The data collected is then used to construct double dot plots and double box plots. This activity helps to facilitate the statistical implications of data collection and the application of central tendency and variability in data collection.

Type: Lesson Plan

Which is Better? Using Data to Make Choices:

Students use technology to analyze measures of center and variability in data. Data displays such as box plots, line plots, and histograms are used. The effects of outliers are taken into consideration when drawing conclusions. Students will cite evidence from the data to support their conclusions.

Type: Lesson Plan

How long did you study?:

Students will create and analyze histograms based on student study time when preparing for the Algebra EOC. Students will be given a set of data and guided notes

Type: Lesson Plan

How many licks does it take to get to the center?:

Students will create different displays, line plots, histograms, and box plots from data collected about types of lollipops. The data will be analyzed and compared. Students will determine "Which lollipop takes the fewest number of licks to get to the center: a Tootsie Pop, a Blow Pop, or a Dum Dum?"

Type: Lesson Plan

Outliers in the Outfield – Dealing With Extreme Data Points:

Students will explore the effects outliers have on the mean and median values using the Major League Baseball (MLB) salary statistics. They will create and compare box plots and analyze measures of center and variability. They will also be given a set of three box plots and asked to identify and compare their measures of center and variablity.

Type: Lesson Plan

Marshmallow Madness:

This lesson allows students to have a hands-on experience collecting real-world data, creating graphical representations, and analyzing their data. Students will make predictions as to the outcome of the data and compare their predictions to the actual outcome. Students will create and analyze line plots, histograms, and box plots.

Type: Lesson Plan

Digging the Plots:

Students construct box plots and use the measure(s) of center and variability to make comparisons, interpret results, and draw conclusions about two populations.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Walk Down the Lane:

Students will collect data, and create box plots. Students will make predictions about which measurement best describes the spread and center of the data. Students will use this information to make predictions.

Type: Lesson Plan

How Old are the Players?:

For this lesson, students will research the ages of players on two basketball teams. They will find the five-number summary, the mean, and determine if there are outliers in the data set. Two box plots will be created and the measures of center and variation analyzed.

Type: Lesson Plan

Centers, Spreads, and Outliers:

The students will compare the effects of outliers on measures of center and spread within dot plots and box plots.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Penny Lab:

Students will design an investigation to collect and analyze data, determine results, write a justification and make a presentation using U.S. pennies.

Paired student teams will determine the mass of 50 U.S. pennies. Students will also collect other data from each penny such as minted year and observable appearance. Students will be expected to organize/represent their data into tables, histograms and other informational structures appropriate for reporting all data for each penny. Students will be expected to consider the data, determine trends, and research information in order to make a claim that explains trends in data from minted U.S. pennies.

Hopefully, student data reports will support the knowledge that the metallic composition of the penny has changed over the years. Different compositions can have significantly different masses. A sufficiently random selection of hundreds of pennies across the class should allow the students to discover trends in the data to suggest the years in which the composition changed.

Type: Lesson Plan

Homework or Play?:

Students will be given data and then plot the data using a graphical method of choice (dot plot, bar graph, box plot, etc.) The students will work in groups and then analyze and summarize the data.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sweet Statistics - A Candy Journey:

Students will sort pieces of candy by color and then calculate statistical information such as mean, median, mode, interquartile range, and standard deviation. They will also create an Excel spreadsheet with the candy data to generate pie charts and column charts. Finally, they will compare experimental data to theoretical data and explain the differences between the two. This is intended to be an exercise for an Algebra 1 class. Students will need at least 2 class periods to sort their candy, make the statistical calculations, and create the charts in Excel.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring Box plots:

This lesson involves real-world data situations. Students will use the data to create, explore, and compare the key components of a box plot.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Debate: Who is a Better Baller?:

In this activity the students will use NBA statistics on Lebron James and Tim Duncan who were key players in the 2014 NBA Finals, to calculate, compare, and discuss mean, median, interquartile range, variance, and standard deviation. They will also construct and discuss box plots.

Type: Lesson Plan

Is It a Guess or Statistics?:

This lesson teaches random sampling which leads to making inferences about a larger group or population. Students will determine the best measure of center to use for a data set. Students will collect data, select a data display and then analyze the data.

Type: Lesson Plan

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dot Plots, Histograms, and Box Plots:

Students will compare the advantages and disadvantages of dot plots, histograms, and box plots. During this lesson, students will review the statistical process and learn the characteristics of a statistical question; whether it be numerical or categorical. Students will apply the information learned in a project that involves real-world issues and make an analysis based on the data collected.

Type: Lesson Plan

Box Plots:

An introduction lesson on creating and interpreting box plots.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring Central Tendency:

Students will review measures of central tendency and practice selecting the best measure with real-world categorical data. This relatable scenario about ranking the characteristics considered when purchasing a pair of sneakers, is used to finally answer the age-old question of "When will I ever use this?".

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

It Can Be a Zoo of Data!:

Discover how to calculate and interpret the mean, median, mode and range of data sets from the zoo in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Expert

Mathematically Modeling Hurricanes:

Entrepreneur and meteorologist Mark Powell discusses the need for statistics in his mathematical modeling program to help better understand hurricanes.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Using Visual Models to Determine Mode, Median and Range:

Unlock an effective teaching strategy for teaching median, mode, and range in this Teacher Perspectives Video for educators.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Teaching Ideas

A Certain Uncertainty:

Students will measure the mass of one nickel 10 times on a digital scale precise to milligrams. The results will be statistically analyzed to find the error and uncertainty of the scale.

Type: Teaching Idea

All Numbers Are Not Created Equal:

Although a sheet of paper is much thinner than the divisions of a ruler, we can make indirect measurements of the paper's thickness.

Type: Teaching Idea

Jump or Be Lunch! SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will predict how high they can jump and then compare the height of their jumps to how high a rockhopper penguin can jump out of the water. They will practice mathematical skills for determining averages.

Type: Teaching Idea

Tutorial

Statistics Introduction: Mean, Median, and Mode:

The focus of this video is to help you understand the core concepts of arithmetic mean, median, and mode.

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animation

Soybean growth rate response to touch:

A time-lapse video showing differential growth rates for touch-treated seedlings and control seedlings. This would be appropriate for lessons about plant growth responses to environmental stress and graphing growth rate. Plants were grown in a vermiculite soilless medium with calcium-enhanced water. No other minerals or nutrients were used. Plants were grown in a dark room with specially-filtered green light. The plants did not grow by cellular reproduction but only by expansion of existing cells in the hypocotyl region below the 'hook'.
Video contains three plants in total. The first two plants to emerge from the vermiculite medium are the control (right) and treatment (left) plants. A third plant emerges in front of these two but is removed at the time of treatment and is not relevant except to help indicate when treatment was applied (watch for when it disappears). When that plant disappears, the slowed growth rate of the treatment plant is apparent.
Treatment included a gentle flexing of the hypocotyl region of the treatment seedling for approximately 5 seconds. A rubber glove was used at this time to avoid an contamination of the plant tissue.
Some video players allow users to 'scrub' the playback back and forth. This would help teachers or students isolate particular times (as indicated by the watch) and particular measurements (as indicated by the cm scale). A graph could be constructed by first creating a data table and then plotting the data points from the table. Multiple measurements from the video could be taken to create an accurate graph of the plants' growth rates (treatment vs control).
Instructions for graphing usage:
The scale in the video is in centimeters (one cm increments). Students could observe the initial time on the watch in the video and use that observation to represent time (t) = 0. For that value, a mark could be made to indicate the height of the seedlings. As they advance and pause the video repeatedly, the students would mark the time (+2.5 hours for example) and mark the related seedling heights. It is not necessary to advance the video at any regular interval but is necessary to mark the time and related heights as accurately as possible. Students may use different time values and would thus have different data sets but should find that their graphs are very similar. (Good opportunity to collect data from real research and create their own data sets) It is advised that the students collect multiple data points around the time where the seedling growth slows in response to touch to more accurately collect information around that growth rate slowing event. The resulting graph should have an initial growth rate slope, a flatter slope after stress treatment, and a return to approximately the same slope as seen pre-treatment. More data points should yield a more thorough view of this. This would be a good point to discuss. Students can use some of their data points to calculate approximate pre-treatment, immediate post-treatment, and late post-treatment slopes for both the control and treatment seedlings.
This video was created by the submitter and is original content.
Full screen playback should be an option for most video players. Video quality may appear degraded with a larger image but this may aid viewing the watch and scale for data collection.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

MFAS Formative Assessments

Explain Measures of Center:

Students are asked to list measures of center and explain what they indicate about a set of data.

Original Student Tutorials Mathematics - Grades 9-12

It Can Be a Zoo of Data!:

Discover how to calculate and interpret the mean, median, mode and range of data sets from the zoo in this interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

It Can Be a Zoo of Data!:

Discover how to calculate and interpret the mean, median, mode and range of data sets from the zoo in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Tutorial

Statistics Introduction: Mean, Median, and Mode:

The focus of this video is to help you understand the core concepts of arithmetic mean, median, and mode.

Type: Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.