Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
“Average students” - Application of the statistics (average, modus, medián) - repeated topic, students team work
Name of the teacher
Jana Čiripová
Country where it took place
School typology
High Secondary School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
The aim of this lesson was to rehearse the subject matter of statistics while concentrating primarily on practicing a calculation of the average value. Students in the class were given the task of sketching a human figure on a poster size paper. The size of the figure was set as the average value of measurements taken of them all. They were supposed to determine average values of these terms - body height, length and width of their heads, necks, arms, torsos, legs and also their breasts and hips. Since it was a small class, students could choose whether to work in small groups or all together. They agreed that they will work together. The tools that were available were a measuring tape, rulers, markers, large paper, sticking tape and scissors. Although students have welcomed this type of activity and tasks, there occurred a problem as soon as they began: no one wanted to start first and took on the role of the person who will take down the measurements. After the promise that I will also involve myself in the activity, the students’ shyness waned and they identified from among themselves a "leader" who then measured them. Some were also measured by each other. One of the students was determined as the measured data recorder. He wrote down the taken values on board. Students communicated spontaneously during the activity. They shared the tasks, set who will do what and worked together as a team. After all values of each student were measured off, jointly they calculated the average values. Then the sketch of the “average figure” was drawn. This part received the greatest expectations of the students. After it was finished the paper with illustration was stuck to the wall with a tape and there was a spontaneous debate among students. They compared themselves with the sketched person and tried to guess to whom in the class resembles most closely. Using the data on the board, we went again through the concepts of mode and median, and we identified some of their values, for example, height of the students. Students evaluate the activity as a positive one. They would like to have more of such relaxed lessons. I also evaluate the activity positively. Students had the opportunity to work together, get to know each other better, communicate with each other, to practice the acquired knowledge and also take a little break from the usual math counting of examples.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.10.24

Posted by Petru Raducanu (Romania)

I really liked the experience because it was devised having in mind the needs and potential of this particular class (but it can be adapted to anu class as well. It was based on the relationships between students and teacher and learning happened within this very solid framework. Cooperation and good communication within the group stimulated all students' motivation and desire to contribute to the success of the tasks. Well done! I'll also use it. Good food for thoughts!

Date: 2014.10.01

Posted by Anna Luise (Italy)

I find this experience very interesting because it is shaped on a class group. I do not think an experience like this, o other similar, is enough to explain students’ low motivation on studying scientific subjects. However to establish a connection between real life and scientific formulas allows to catch the attention of the students in a different way. Every year, with the high school freshmen, I try to deal with some mathematic operations both with the rational numbers and with the signed ones. I do this referring to the time system or to money management.

Date: 2014.09.16

Posted by Veronica Del Bene (Italy)

In my opinion this experience is extremely relevant because it shows the importance and effectiveness of a collaborative teaching method centered on student who takes a challenge, plays an active role during the lesson and consequently is the author of his own learning.
Surely, this kind of experience could stimulate and help the student develop a better understanding of mathematical concepts (e.g. variability in statistics) that usually seem only abstract and theoretical ones.
Three years ago I had a similar experience with my class. I asked my students to do a statistical analysis on data collected by students within the school, asking their schoolmates about the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs in the adolescents. All of the students, also those which were usually demotivated and incompetent, carried out the required work with interest and diligence. They were very satisfied for the achieved results, that were then presented to the other classes in the School Auditorium.

Date: 2014.09.15

Posted by Mariangela Larini (Italy)

I think this experience is relevant because it builds a concept, the average value, with a nice activity that improves positive relationships among the students and makes them conscious of the real meaning of the statistical index “under investigation”.
In my experience the average value is apparently simple for students, but then they aren’t always able to explain which information the average value gives us in studying a physical or statistical fact.
I think this experience offer a possible solution for the issue of lack of motivation, since the students have experienced “ a math in real life” they will not forget. I want to do this activity in my class next time I’ll have to do statistics.


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.