Hi, I’m Ben Owens, Math educator. I’m here for About.com to show you how to teach averages. The best way to teach any type of math topic is to give visual examples and engage the students.To teach averages, you could make piles of small blocks, like this. Five piles of blocks, all of different heights. Then, to make all the piles equal, you move blocks from the higher piles to the lower ones. Now, we have five piles of four blocks each. And you’ve just found the average, on average each pile has four blocks. To make the topic more interactive, you can give each student a different number of playing cards. Ask each student how many cards they have, and write it down on a board. Then, have the students work together to find a way to share them equally. Once they all have the same number of cards, you can explain to them how they could have calculated ahead of time how many cards each should have: by finding the average. You can involve younger students by asking each student about how many pets they have. Make drawings on the board of each pet and tally along. Then, let the students discuss how to find the average amount of pets each person has. Teach them the concept of adding first, and then dividing. First, you add all the pets, and then you divide that by the number of students. That’s how you find the average. And then, send your students home with some fun homework. Let them play with online games that teach the fundamentals of averages, such as this game, called “Plop it” which lets students average out blocks in a graph. Pretty easy, but great learning tool! As long as you keep the students involved, teaching averages doesn’t have to be hard! For more education tips, visit education.about.com. Thanks for watching!

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