Percentages

Students learn how to convert between fractions, decimals and percentages and how to write one number as a percentage of another.  They use this knowledge to calculate a percentage of an amount, percentage change and reverse percentages.

This unit takes place in Term 2 of Year 10 and follows on from working with fractions and mixed numbers.


Percentages Lessons


Prerequisite Knowledge

  • Multiply and divide by powers of ten
  • Recognise the per cent symbol (%)
  • Understand that per cent relates to ‘number of parts per hundred’
  • Write one number as a fraction of another
  • Calculate equivalent fractions

Success Criteria

  • Define percentage as ‘number of parts per hundred
  • Interpret fractions and percentages as operators
  • Interpret percentages as a fraction or a decimal
  • Interpret percentages changes as a fraction or a decimal
  • Interpret percentage changes multiplicatively
  • Express one quantity as a percentage of another
  • Compare two quantities using percentages
  • Work with percentages greater than 100%;
  • Solve problems involving percentage change
  • Solve problems involving percentage increase/decrease
  • Solve problems involving original value problems
  • Solve problems involving simple interest including in financial mathematics


Key Concepts

  • Use the place value table to illustrate the equivalence between fractions, decimals and percentages.
  • To calculate a percentage of an amount without calculator students need to be able to calculate 10% of any number by dividing by 10.
  • To calculate a percentage of an amount with a calculator students should be able to convert percentages to decimals mentally and use the percentage function.
  • Equivalent ratios are useful for calculating the original amount after a percentage change.
  • To calculate the multiplier for a percentage change students need to understand 100% as the original amount. E.g., 10% decrease represents 10% less than 100% = 0.9.

Common Misconceptions

  • Students often consider percentages to limited to 100%. A key learning point is to understand how percentages can exceed 100%.
  • Students sometimes confuse 70% with a magnitude of 70 rather than 0.7.
  • Students can confuse 65% with 1/65rather than 65/100.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mr Mathematics Blog

Practical Tips for Using Mini-Whiteboards in a Mathematics Lesson

In this blog I will share some practical tips for using mini-whiteboards in a mathematics lesson.  I use mini-whiteboards nearly every lesson because they help the students show me the progress they are making.  When I understand what the misconceptions are I am able to address them in subsequent examples as part of my feedback.  […]

Showing Progress during a Mathematics Lesson

Demonstrating student progression during a mathematics lesson is about understanding the learning objective and breaking that down into explicit success criteria. Using Success Criteria Take, for example, a lesson on calculating the area of compound rectilinear shapes. The intended learning objective was written on the main whiteboard. Success criteria were used to break down the individual […]

Plotting and Interpreting Conversion Graphs

Plotting and interpreting conversion graphs requires linking together several mathematical techniques.  Recent U.K. examiner reports indicate there are several common misconceptions when plotting and interpreting conversion graphs.  These include: drawing non-linear scales on the x or y axis, using the incorrect units when converting between imperial and metric measurements, taking inaccurate readings from either axis not […]