I'm really liking the math wheel idea, so I created a new wheel for fraction, decimal, percent conversions:)
How to use this resource (this information is also in the free download): Around the outside of the wheel are the different conversion headings – you can use the wheel to introduce the conversions, filling in just the ones you are covering each day. Or, you can use it to review all the conversions at once. In either case, the wheel can be kept in students’ notebooks as a reference/study tool. 1) I like to begin with decimal to percent and percent to decimal. In the arrows in these sections, you’ll see x 100 and ÷ 100. It think it’s important that students understand that these are the operations being used for these conversions before giving them a shortcut, so I let them use calculators to complete the examples. Once the examples are complete, I ask the students to look for the pattern – what happens to the decimal point in each of these cases? We decide on the “shortcut” rules together and then write them at the bottom of those sections. 2) The fraction to percent and fraction to decimal sections have the rules written already, so the examples just need to be completed. I always relate fraction to percent to students grades. By the time we get to this topic during the year, students have been figuring out their grades for months (I never write their percentages on their assessments – they need to calculate them). They know how to find their percentage if their quiz grade was 6/8 or their test was 48/52. However, sometimes they need a reminder that this official fraction to percent “rule” is the same thing they’ve been doing for months! I have them write a little reminder in that section  “just like test grades!” 3) For percent to fraction, students need to remember that percent means “out of 100,” so the percent number will always go over 100. Then they must reduce. 4) I find that decimal to fraction is sometimes tricky for students. When they have trouble, I ask them to read the decimal number according to place value (“How do you say this number, using tenths, hundredths, or thousandths, etc.?”). Once they speak it, they know how to write the fraction – 0.27 is 27 hundredths, which is 27/100. After completing the examples, we discuss the idea that the denominator will be whatever the last decimal place is (10, 100, 1000, etc.) and the numerator will be the digits in the decimal number. We write this rule as simply as possible. 5) Students then complete the 10 problems around the page. Above each number is the conversion to complete (F to P, P to D, etc.) They can then color the rest of the wheel background. I had a great time coloring my answer key! These could make a fun decoration as well:) I hope you can use it!!
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Do your middle school math students have difficulty with their fraction, decimal, percent conversions? Mine often do, but I have a few ways to help them try to keep the concepts straight.
Tools for Teaching Fraction, Decimal, Percent Conversions: We started our Percent Unit last week and began the unit with converting between fractions and percents and decimals. I had already made the fraction, decimal, percent number line (a free resource in me store) for them with the most common fractions, percents, and decimals, but I figured there was a need for a "foldable" to keep all of the "rules" for converting in one place. We have already worked on converting decimals to fractions and fractions to decimals, but somehow, as we add new concepts, the students forget how to do these things! It's funny  my team teachers and I never write percents on students' papers any more, but always write their grades as fractions, like 18/23. From the first week of school, we teach the students how to change these fractions into their percentages, and every time they get a graded paper back, they are to find their percentages. So, when we say "Figure out your grade," they can do it. BUT, in math class, if I ask them to change 18/23 to a percent, they just look at me. When I give them the hint, "Pretend it's your grade," they look at me, understanding dawning on their faces! Why do they need that cue? Hmmm.....always a question.
Anyway, to keep the conversion rules all in one place, we made this "fold it up." The Fraction, Decimal, Percent tabs (triangles) each get cut in half, and have a different rule and example under each half.
I'm so glad we made these last week, because our schedule has been screwy for the past few school days! Thursday and Friday we had early dismissal due to parentteacher conferences, so all math classes didn't meet both days; and today, we had a two hour delay, so all classes were short. The "fold it up" was superhandy as we had to work pretty quickly today! And hopefully, they've used it to help them with their homework tonight...
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