Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers
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Mean as the Balance Point

In this 3 minute video, Dedra Wright demonstrates how to teach students about the mean as a balance point. She models this concept using a number line and blocks which are manipulated throughout the activity. In the video, two data sets are shown as models and then connected to the written algorithm. A companion video, Introduction to the Concept of the Mean: Mean as Fair Share, is cataloged separately as a related resource.
Contributed by: Dedra L. Wright - Author, Virginia Department of Education - Publisher
Math TopicNumber Sense, Basic Operations, Number Concepts, Mathematical Practices, Mathematical Processes, Data and Statistics
Grade Level4, 5, 6+
Resource TypeActivity, Instructional Strategy, Video

  • Additional Information
    • AudienceEducator
    • LanguageEnglish (USA)
    • Education TopicTeaching strategies
    • Interdisciplinary Connection
    • Professional DevelopmentYes
    • ContributorDedra L. Wright - Author, Virginia Department of Education - Publisher
    • Publication Date2010
    • RightsCopyright (c) 2010 Virginia Department of Education
    • AccessFree access
  • Standards
    • Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

      Select a standards document:

  • Related Resources
  • User Comments
    • 4.25
      Great idea
      By bethb on 06/13/2012 - 14:09
    • I had always heard of mean as fair share, but I had not heard of it being used as the "balance point" before. I like that this activity gives students another opportunity to build the conceptual framework for Mean.
    • 4.25
      Good technique but not connected
      By Uncle Bob on 11/13/2012 - 13:29
    • ... not connected to the formula for mean. By adjusting a pair of entries (blocks) down one and up one, the sum of the set is preserved. Students need to see the moves as math justified and not as a trick. Once that is established the blocks can be moved down and up 2 or 3.
    • 4.25
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