The 1% Benchmark

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SWBAT solve percent problems using the 1% benchmark

Big Idea

Finding 1% of a number is simple. If you can find 1% of a number you can find any other percent.


10 minutes

This lesson begins similarly to the lesson The 10% Benchmark.  I need to make sure students can easily divide any number by 100.  I have an anchor chart for the students to refer to.  It gives a short explanation of how to divide by 100 simply by moving the decimal point.  Some students will need to be reminded where the decimal point is on a whole number!   I will cold call students; I'll say a number and they must divide it by 10.  For example, "I'll say 450" then I'll provide a brief wait time for all students to solve it, then I'll call a name from my set of cards.  Students should respond quickly.

 We will then work through an example problem and questions that ask student to summarize how to find 1% of a number and how to use this benchmark to find any percent.


Note:  Some students may choose to find 3% of a number by adding the 1% value 3 times.  Others may choose to multiply the 1% value by 3.  Either way is fine with me.

Guided Problem Solving

15 minutes

Students now work through several problems.  I expect most students to rely on the 1% benchmark, but I will not complain if they choose to use combinations of 1% and 10%.  When we review the answers, I will make sure to show the variety of ways students solved problems:  using addition of 1% values, multiplication of 1% values, and using combination of 1% and 10%.



Independent Problem Solving

20 minutes

Students work on a set of problems independently.  The same comments that apply to the guided problem section apply to this section - students may solve these in a variety of ways.  


I have included a mad minute section.  I am going to use this after we go over the first 4 independent practice problems.  I will probably allow students 2-3 minutes to complete as many of these problems as possible.  I especially look forward to seeing how many students were able to solve #10 and #16 (0.5% and 1.5% respectively.  

Exit Ticket

5 minutes

Before we begin the exit ticket we will summarize.  How can you find 1% of any number?  How can you use 1% of a number to find any other percent of that number?

Students then solve 3 multiple choice items followed by 1 explanation problem.  Problem 4 will be worth 2 points.  4 out of 5 points will represent a successful exit ticket.  I will accept answers that use only work and little to no words as long as I can clearly see the process:

1% of $75 = $0.75 times 3 --> 3% of $75 = $2.25