Stock Market Middle School Math--Mean, Median and Range
In Middle School Math, another topic that needs to be learned is Mean, Median and Range. Students learn in math class how to draw, read and analyze data in charts and that is where these terms come into practice.
Even though I do have to define some of the technical vocabulary for this topic, the actual lesson was completely hands-on and used the Stock Market. My students learned first hand about investing this volatile commodity, as well as learned the appropriate deemed math topics for their grade level.
Table Of Contents
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Definitions for Some of the Mathematical Terminology:
So what is exactly is the mean, median or range? Let's define these words and a few more before going any further.
1. Chart- a sheet giving information in tabular form
2. Statistics- is a branch of mathematics dealing with the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of masses of numerical data.
3. Mean- is a value that is computed by dividing the sum of a set of terms by the number of terms.
4. Median- a value in an ordered set of values below and above which there is an equal number of values or which is the arithmetic mean of the two middle values if there is no one middle number.
5. Range- is the difference between the least and greatest values of an attribute or of the variable of a frequency distribution.
6. High- is something of greater degree, amount, cost, value, or content than average, usual, or expected.
7. Low- is something of lesser degree, size, or amount than average or ordinary.
8. Percent of Change- is the value of the range divided by the opening quote at the beginning of the month.
9. Calculations- is something that is determined by mathematical processes.
10. Formula- is a general fact, rule, or principle expressed in usually mathematical symbols.
The Actual Math Lesson:
For this unit I found this lesson, named the Stock Market Game and reworked it for my students. In the specific activity in the unit, the class had to use statistical data to chart the stock market to be able to utilize it in their group portfolio. The actual activity was the third section in a series of lesson plans that had my students start out by looking at stock criteria, having them then graph next, and then finish out the unit by compiling a portfolio. This final lesson has the students actually chart their stocks’ performance and help them complete their portfolios. This actual lesson took approximately 4 days of approx. 50 minute periods.
Cooperative learning group members will be assigned duties as a researcher, who will locate stock quotes on the previously made chart, analysts, who will use this chart to calculate percent of change, mean, median, range, as well highs and lows for the month, recorders, who will record the statistical data on the chart and write about changes in stock prices for the group's journal, and a presenter, who will report to class on the progress of the stocks. The five students in each group will all have access to the chart and the data compiled. The presenter will help the other four students in the group during the project, because the presenter will also need to know, as well as understand what they will present to the class.
The Lesson Outcomes were as follows:
1. To be able to calculate mean, median, range, percent of change, high and low of stocks over a one-month period.
2. To uses the Internet as a research tool.
3. To share ideas with other students.
4. To work cooperatively and develop respect for other students' opinions.
5. To understand the fact that stock prices change daily, as well as stock market’s volatility.
The Companies They Could Invest In:
These are the companies groups should pick from to invest in. (Each group should pick four and no group can pick the same four):
- AT&T Corporation
- Apple Computers, Inc.
- Dell Computer Corporation
- Compaq Computer Corp.
- Microsoft Corporation
- Ben & Jerry's Homemade
- General Mills, Inc.
- Hershey Foods Corp.
- Kellogg Company
- Starbucks Corporation
- Nordstrom, Inc.
- Nike Inc.
- The Walt Disney Company
- Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Charting the Stocks on the Internet:
The Website that we used to chart the stocks is as follows: http://money.cnn.com/data/markets/.
How was I able to assess the learning of my students?
1. During the lesson, I would walk around and listen as groups performed and discussed work pertaining to the project. As I was walking around, I would see what the groups understood and what they needed further explaining with such as concepts, procedures and such. As they were continuing the project, I’d sit with each group and see how they were progressing with the project and again see if they needed further clarification.
2. At the middle to the end of the third class day, I would previously stipulate, that I would take a look at what the groups had put together to present and make sure they were all confident and comfortable with what they had prepared for the following class session.
3. When the presentations were all completed and presented, I would then give group formal grades from a project rubric made up previously for their presentations and a formal test would be administered within the next two class meetings to see if the students were all able to do mean, median, mode, range and percentage of change.
The Stock Market Game: The Charting Activity and Presentations
1. First, I introduce the meaning of the statistical terms such as mean, median, percent of change, high, low, and range and explain the significance of using statistical analysis as tool in understanding the changes in the stock market (I used my smart board to be these definitions up). Next on the smart board, I will demonstrate previously made charts on how to find the high and low of each stock over a one month period, how to use formulas to calculate the mean, median and range and percent of change of each stock over a one month period.
2. Students, meeting in their cooperative learning groups (which were set up at beginning of stock market game unit, see lesson on Stock Criteria) and review data from their chart and journals created in previous lessons.
3. They will then determine the high and low quote for each stock on the chart and add this information on to this chart.
4. Students will determine the median quote for each stock by listing the quotes in numerical order from least to greatest. They will find the median by finding the middle number in the list. If there are two numbers in the middle of the list, those two numbers will be averaged.
5. The students will use this procedure to determine the range: They will subtract the lowest quote for each stock from the highest quote for each stock.
6. To calculate the percent of change of each stock on the spreadsheet over the month, students need to take the value of the range and divide it by the opening quote at the beginning of the month. The teacher will refer back to the example used on the overhead in step #1, as well as the worksheet that is included.
7. Statistical Information from the charts that were added in steps # 3-6 will be added to the chart and described in narrative form in the group's journal. Also graphics can be added at this time to the charts if time permits.
8. Groups will share their results for the one-month period studied. This will consist of oral presentations and presentations of the charted materials created by the groups for 5-8 minutes for each group presentation. This will include as much creativity as each group feels necessary, such as graphics and pictures added to the charts.
Summing This Lesson Up..
I love this lesson, because it is another hands-on lesson using the Stock Market, something that yet again most middle school students are not only aware of, but interested in. Now, when they here their parents or someone else speaking of the Stock Market maybe they will remember a bit about the statistical terms learned even after the topic and test are long over and behind them. And as a teacher that is truly something you hope for that the student takes away something from your lesson and doesn't just forget it once the test is long gone! Anyone who has read any of my other math teaching articles previously will know from them that I am a strong believer in using stuff that interests middle school students to help them learn many of the basic concepts that are a requirement. I truly enjoy engaging my students and showing them how we can use math in everyday life and believe this lesson is another one that does just that.
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