That's Some "Mean" Weather


Title: That’s Some “Mean” Weather

Grade: 7

Math Topic: Finding the mean, median, mode, and range of a set of data.

Credits: Bonnie Manning, Wrens Middle, Jefferson County
http://www.glc.k12.ga.us/BuilderV03/lptools/lpshared/lpdisplay.asp?Session_Stamp=&LPID=30983

Brief Description:
Students use weather information to calculate the mean, median, mode, and range. The lesson is to be done individually but would also work well with small groups. It could be done in conjunction with a science lesson on weather.

Technology & Materials Required:
Student computers w/ Internet access & Microsoft Excel, LCD projector (or other means to display computer screen), calculators

QCC’s Addressed:
Mathematics Problem Solving 2 Topic: Communication, Reasoning
Standard: Describes orally and in writing, using the appropriate mathematical vocabulary, mathematical concepts and procedures, such as solving a word problem or computing.

Statistics & Probability 42 Topic: Measures of Central Tendency and Spread
Standard: Uses mean, median, and mode to describe central tendencies of a data set, and uses range to describe spread of the data.

Technology Integration Basic Skills 4 Topic: Basic Skills
Standard: Operates basic technology tools and applications.

Problem solving/Decision Making 17 Topic: Problem Solving/Decision Making
Standard: Uses a variety of technology tools to solve problems.

Procedures:
Step 1:
Briefly review the meaning of mean, median, mode, and range. Lead students in calculating the mean, median, mode, and range for a set of data(attached).
Attachments for Step 1
Title: Measures of Central Tendency FileName: Step 1 practice.doc
Description: This document contains the definition of mean, median, mode, and range. It also gives data that can be used to explain how to calculate each.

Step 2:
Students access www.weather.com on the Internet. They select four cities, one at the time, and calculate the mean, median, mode, and range for the daily high and low temperatures given in the 10-Day Forecast. After calculating the central tendencies for each city, students answer questions about the most appropriate choice in a given situation.(attachment)
Web Resources for Step 2
Title: The Weather Channel
URL: http://www.weather.com
Annotation: This site gives the ten-day forecast for any city in the United States. Be sure students type a city and state in the box that tells them to enter a city or US zip code. The ten day forecast will appear in the bottom left-hand side of the screen.

Attachments for Step 2
Title: That's Some "Mean" Weather FileName: That's Some Mean Weather.doc
Description: This worksheet gives the students instructions for accessing the Internet site and locating the ten-day forecast. They are then instructed to choose four cities and calculate the mean, median, mode, and range for the high and low temperatures of each city for the ten days.

Step 3:
Informal assessment
Attachments for Step 3
Title: Informal Assessment FileName: Weather Informal Assessment.doc
Description: The teacher observes students as they work, making note of the points listed on the document and checking to be sure students have correctly accessed the Internet site.

Step 4:
A peer evaluator is assigned to each student. He checks the student's work for accuracy. Students then share the calculations for their particular cities with their classmates. This is best done on transparencies. (Scrap laminator film works great for this. It can be used and then discarded.)
Step 5:
Formal assessment.
Attachments for Step 5
Title: Assessment FileName: ASSESSMENT & RUBRIC for weather.doc
Description: This is an open-ended assignment. Students are given the task of explaining mean, median, mode, and range to a younger brother. A rubric is included.