Percent of a Number Math Wheel

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Teaching Percent of  Number in Middle School Math

Blog post about teaching percent of a number, with a free percent of a number Math Wheel.

What method do you use for teaching percent of a number concepts in middle school math?

When I teach students to find the percent of a number (or the part or whole), I introduce two different ways to find the missing number – using proportions and using equations. Since different math students often prefer different methods, I teach both, have students practice both, and then let them choose the method they like better. I’ve given an example of each method below.

The Percent of a Number Wheel shown here includes both methods. Each section of the wheel includes an equation and two examples, with room to solve using both methods. There’s also a little room on the wheel (or around it) to add extra notes or your own examples, if you’d like. Around the wheel are a few practice problems that can be completed together or individually.


Method 1: Proportion
1) Substitute the given values into the %/100 = IS/OF proportion. Use a variable for the missing number.
2) Solve the proportion to find the missing value.

​Example: What is 15% of 70?

Picture

Percent of a number math wheelClick to download free percent of a number math wheel.

Method 2: Equation
1) When given the percent, change it to a decimal.
2) Substitute the given values into the equation. Use a variable for the missing number.
3) Solve the equation.
* If finding the percent, be sure the  answer is in percent form (multiply the decimal answer by 100).
Example: What is 15% of 70?
part = % ∙ whole
x = 0.15 ∙ 70
x = 10.5  

When we work with the equations, I do manipulate the equations to show students how they are all versions of the same basic equation.
For example, if we start with part = % ∙ whole and we’re looking for the whole (say the part is 35 and the percent is 25), we end up with
35 = 0.25 ∙ x. From solving algebraic equations, students know that to
find x, both sides will be divided by 0.25, which gives them
         x = 35/0.25
(whole = part/%)

If you decide to use the wheel, I hope you and your students like it!

If you’re looking for more percent of a number resources, check out the Percent of  a Number Center Resources on TPT.

Ellie

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Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!

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