Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Percentages Teaching Activities & Strategies

January has been one hectic month in school and with my Masters, so apologies for the lack of blogging!

In this post I would like to share some fun activities which will help the children understand percentages.  For me, the children's ability to easily see the links between fractions, decimals and percentages is hugely important.

Here I have compiled some activities I used to help the children become comfortable with conversion between fractions, decimals and percentages.

With every new topic I work on in maths, we always begin with a brainstorm!
The children simply jot down ANY ideas or thoughts which come to mind when a certain word is mentioned.  I welcome ALL contributions, sometimes asking the children to elaborate on their connection a little further if at first it is a little vague.  I jot all ideas on the board and the class are encouraged to keep building on what has already been found.  This leads to great conversation and activation of prior knowledge! It sometimes amazes me what the children already know!

Fractions, Percentages & Decimals Number Line
Here the children work in pairs.  I gave them a decimal and challenged them represent the decimal in as many ways as possible.  This could also include pictorial representations, words, numbers, etc.

After children completed this activity we hung them on a number line and ordered them from the smallest to the largest.

Percentage Dominos
This is brilliant!  A great game to get the children on the floor and get them matching fractions, decimals and percentages.  The exact one I used seems to have been removed - it had visual images of fractions which needed to be matched with percentages.  However, while this isn't link isn't the same, its another great game along similar lines.


Online Shopping!
What child in sixth class doesn't like shopping!
We pretended that there was an online sale in River Island with a 30% discount (http://www.riverisland.com).  The children were then allowed €80 to purchase as many items on sale as they could to create an outfit! (Jack Wills is another popular website with the boys especially - http://www.jackwills.com)
If you don't have access to an iPad or laptop, take a screen shot of some of the clothes and photocopy it.  This works equally well!
There are a number of questions here which could be asked for further extension work :
- How much was the original outfit?
- How much money did you save?
- How much money had you left over?

Children can go further with this creating a word document showing all their outfit and purchases for €80.  A definite winner and excellent opportunity for maths vocabulary!

Who said working with percentages had to be tedious? Percentages are all around us, therefore its important to make the children aware of just how relevant in our day to day lives they really are.
For example, after any tests which we now do, I ask the children to calculate their percentage mark.

The class really enjoyed this activity and almost forgot that it was maths.
There are so many simple things we can do as teachers to promote a love of maths often right in front of us!

If you have any more ideas for fun or practical ideas for teaching percentages, I would be delighted to   add them to this list!

Yvonne :)

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