This is a series of lessons and activities to help students understand mean. I implemented these lessons in my own classroom with 5th graders with great success. In previous years (as a sixth grade teacher and in 5th grade), I found students struggled with the concept and worse, would confuse mean, median, and mode.
In these lessons, students begin by working with tiles to understand mean and then develop the algorithm for themselves. Once they've developed the algorithm and have a concrete understanding, they begin to abstract the concept and integrate it with their knowledge of median and mode. Not only do they understand the concept, but they are able to perform the algorithm fluently, something that is sometimes lost in "discovery" based lessons.
It should be noted, the planned sequence assumes students have already learned median and mode. The first half of the lessons though, focus exclusively on mean, so one can implement these in a unit which concurrently teaches mean, median, and mode.
A multiple-choice quiz and an authentic assessment is included.