## Percents: Tips and Tricks

• Whenever possible, connect percents to visual models such as a 10 x 10 square grid or a meterstick.
• Be sure your students understand that a percent is a ratio; for example 35% = .
• Frequently 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% = , 25% = , 50% = , 75% = , 33 % = , and 66 % = .
• Suggest that students 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%. Since 25% is equal to , and of \$80 = \$20, 24% of \$82 is about \$20.
• Remind 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 and 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 added together equals \$18.