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Connie S.

Costa
MIAA 350 Parker
Reflection #1
March 2014

Sixth Grade Activity Using Percent Tables

Math has never, in my opinion, been my strong suit. As an educator, I have
always felt inadequate and very much dependent upon the teachers edition when it
comes to lesson planning. Thank God, the teachers manual came with a background
knowledge section for every unit, otherwise I would have been completely lost in some
areas.
Before I started teaching, nine years ago, I never really understood the strong
connection between fractions, decimals, and percent. I also never understood the
importance of learning to use benchmarks when working with percentages. Using the
percent table to teach my sixth grade students how to find the percent of a number really
helped me solidify my understanding and my students understanding of how to find a
percent of a number.
I had already taught my students how to find a percent of a number by converting
the percent to its decimal form and multiplying that by the original number. I reminded
them that of translates to multiplication. I showed them the algorithm and we did
multiple examples of this and most of my students found success. However, after
learning to use a percent table in your class, I realized how beneficial this could be to my
students, not just as students, but also as adults. It is something they could create mentally
and use in real world situations without being bogged down by remembering the
mechanics of the algorithm.

Costa 2
I started the lesson off as morning bell work. I asked them to find 15% of 340. Id
say 95% of my class began by using the algorithm I had taught them to solve this
question. The other 5% just sat there, staring off into space because they couldnt
remember how to solve the problem. Once the students got their answers, I showed them
how to use a percent table to solve the problem. I modeled it using the same problem I
had given them. Of course I came up with the same answer. Many students thought it was
great, while others felt it was too cumbersome.
Next, I presented them with the question of finding 17% of 340, and they had to
create a percent table. I was amazed at how many of my students had trouble telling me
what 100% of 340 is equal to! At that point, I did a mini-lesson to refresh their memories.
I still had some kids that wanted to immediately go to the algorithm to solve the problem.
I had to keep prodding them along to use the percent table. We started with 100% of 340.
Next, I asked them to find 50% of 340. After that, I asked them to find 10%, 5%, and 1%,
mentally, without using paper and pencil and standard multiplication calculations. They
were allowed to work with a partner. Once they were able to find these benchmarks,
finding 17% of 340 was quite simple.
As I walked around the room checking for understanding, I found that most
students took the 10% and the 5% and added them together and then added 1% twice to
that answer. However, I had a handful of students who didnt make that connection and
they took the 10% and added 1% to it seven times. I should note, that once students found
the benchmarks, I did allow them to use paper and pencil for their multiplication and
adding.
Costa 3
We worked out a couple more problems using the percent table concept. The
more we practiced, the more confident my students became at mentally finding the
benchmarks and then solving the problem.
One interesting thing I did find while teaching the percent table, in addition to
some of my students not knowing what 100% of a number is, was that some of them had
trouble distinguishing between the percent and actual value of the percent when it came
to adding up the needed benchmarks. I had to work on this with a couple of students.
I have continued to weave the use of percent tables into my weekly math lessons.
The students have bought into because, in my opinion, it is meaningful to them and is
something that they will be able to use for the rest of their school careers and in their
adult lives.