- Whenever possible, connect percents to visual models such as a 10 by 10 square grid or a meter stick.
- Be sure your students understand that a percent is a ratio. That is 35% = .
- Constantly remind your students that the word percent is a synonym for hundredths. For example, 36% can be written as the fraction or as the decimal 0.36.
- Make sure your students remember some familiar conversions of percents to fractions or decimals; for example, 10% = 1/10, 25% = 1/4, 50% = 1/2, 75% = 3/4, 33 1/3% = 1/3, and 66 2/3% = 2/3.
- Try to get students to estimate the answers to problems as a way of checking the reasonableness of their answers. For example, if they want to find 24% of $82, they can estimate that 24% is close to 25%, 25% is equal to 1/4, 1/4 of $80 = $20, so 24% of $82 is about $20.
- Remind your students that when you divide by 100, you simply move the decimal point two places to the left. For example, 35% is 0.35 when written as a decimal.
- Encourage students to use mental math when calculating with percents. For example, to find 15% of a number, find 10% first then take half of that and add it on. So, 15% of $120 = 10% of $120 or $12, plus 1/2 of $12 or $6, which equals $18.