Elementary Math Problems: Percents

I had a great math teacher in seventh grade.  Coach Hopkins was just one of those teachers that made math look so easy when he demonstrated problems on the chalkboard.  For some reason, he was always smiling.  Believe me, in seventh grade, a smiling teacher who made me feel like he liked his job and his students was a bright spot in my day.  I was lucky enough to have him again in college for an algebra class.  He made math seem so simple!  I learned that when you go into a department store, and the tag says 40% off of a $25.00 blouse, you don't have to figure out what 40% off is and subtract that amount from $25.00.  There is a faster, easier way.  Since the blouse is 40% off, that actually means you will pay 60% of the retail price.  So, we only have to multiply $25.00 times 60%, and we have the price of the blouse.  For instance:     $25.00 x .60 = $15.00
We will pay $15.00 for the $25.00 blouse that is 40% off today before sales tax is added!
Example 2:   Let's say we see a recliner that cost $700.00, but today, it is 30% off the original price. We take $700.00 and multiply it times 70% because that is the price we are actually paying.  Therefore, $700.00 x .70 = $490.00
In this case, we will pay $490.00 plus tax for our discounted recliner!
I hope this tip helps students who struggle with percents..  I know some adults who still struggle with these problems when shopping.  It certainly is not a new strategy, but when learning percents, it can help students to realize that they can skip two steps in these kinds of word problems.  Also, don't forget to smile and let your students know that you care about them.  One day, they may remember you as a bright spot in their day!
Have Fun Teaching!
Miss Amy
Math Tutor/Piano Tutor/Reading Tutor    
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