Percent Intro

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SWBAT convert fractions to decimals, decimals to percent and percent to fractions and decimals.

Big Idea

Students will work independently and with neighbors to practice converting fractions, decimals, and percents in order to compare and visualize them

Do Now

10 minutes

Students enter silently according to the Daily Entrance Routine. The timer set on the board reads 5 minutes and students are asked to show as much as they know about the percent questions on the sheet. I’m walking around during this time to see students’ work and choose those I’ll be calling on for the answers.

At the end of 5 minutes I will call on students for the answers and discussing any student questions. By this point students should answering each other’s questions during the review. I make sure all students have shown number lines to support their answers to #2, 4, 6, 8. The questions on this sheet are meant to push students’ thinking about complex fraction operations, or complex statements about fractions. This is done in order to prepare them for the following day’s lesson where they will encounter complex statements like: 25 is 30% of what number?

Class Notes

15 minutes

Students are asked to put away their Do Now and receive class notes. We begin by defining percent as a part of 100. I give students a couple of examples on the board with the percent sign written and I show them that reading something like 25% can help us write it as a fraction where the fraction bar is read as “per” and the number 100 in the denominator as “cent”. This strategy helps us convert fractions to percents and percents to fractions.

Next, we shade in the hundredths grid to visualize three different fractions: 30/100, 3/100, and 1/3/100. I take most of my time reviewing the last example, the complex fraction. It is evident that students are still struggling to understand what a third percent looks like, and how small that fraction is. Furthermore, if we were to take a third percent of any other whole number, students need to understand how small that piece is. To push this understanding, I have students visualize the piece with various strategies:

Next in the class notes I show students one strategy for turning percents into fractions and decimals. I let them know that they will be working with neighbors to complete the rest of the conversations. They may use the strategies I’ve taught them, or they may use any other strategy they know about. It is important to walk around during this section to ensure students are using accurate methods. Some students may need more individual attention as they struggle to recall prior knowledge to make these conversions. I will be calling a small group of students into a booth along with a student helper. This way I can spend some time with the small group, but continue to walk around and leave them with a helper.

Once there are 3 – 4 minutes left in this section we will review the answers and share out one other strategy I noticed while walking around. I’ll be looking for the strategy of moving the decimal place, but will need a student to explain the strategy and why it works. Big essential questions include:

  • How many times do you move the decimal? Why?
  • How do you know which direction to move it, left or right?

Students have used MP8, the expression of repeated reasoning when multiplying or dividing by powers of 10, to make this decimal-movement discovery possible. 


20 minutes

Next, students receive their “Task” assignment. It includes more conversions, involving more rational numbers, as well as an ordering question. I like the ordering question because it requires conversions and it will show me which students also have an understanding of percents on the number line. All students will be asked to draw a number line for this problem.

Something students this year have been struggling with is neatness and organization of work. For example, the table that needs to be filled out on the back of the Task requires a lot of work which should not be scrunched into the table. I make sure to model some of the conversions from the small table in the space provided on the front. I also have lined paper available for students who need more space to show their work. By taking a moment to discuss neatness and not let it get in the way of accuracy, we are practicing MP6.

Students work with partners for the first 5 minutes of this section and must work independently and silently for the remaining 15 minutes. Less time is given to work with partners today because I need students to focus on showing me what they can do on their own. Many of the conversion skills we’re covering today are 6th grade skills (6.RP.3c), so it is important for me to see how much individual students recall in terms of prior knowledge. 


5 minutes

At the end of class students will turn in their Task assignment and receive a half sheet of paper. On this paper, they must answer the following question using one of the examples given or their own:

What skill from today do you feel you need to practice more? Why?

Here are some examples:

  • Changing fractions to decimals
  • Changing fractions to percents
  • Changing percents to fractions
  • Changing percents to decimals
  • Ordering fractions, decimals, and percents
  • Fraction percents (example: ½% = 0.005)

I will be checking Tasks by the end of the day, recording names of students I will need to meet with during remediation and study hall periods to complete this work or provide extra help. All students should get this assignment back by the end of the day. If they have not completed it, it should be completed for Homework.