Percentage of Mark Up and Mark Down with prices

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In this blog I break down finding percentage of Mark Ups and Mark Downs. The following is a short excerpt from my book the Ultimate Percentage Guide.

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Get the Ultimate Guide to Percentages!!

 

This book is all about percentages (No shock there). It is divided into two parts: Percentage Guide and 30 Printable Percentage Puzzles/Games/Activities. The Guide portion of the book has notes and examples of different situations involving percentages (such as the modeling section above). There is a premium on using an algebraic approach to solving problems in this guide, but different methods are also used.

The following are the sections of this guide: Percentage History Percentage, Fraction, & Decimal Conversion Modeling Percentages Percentages as Ratios Finding the Percentage, Part or Whole amounts Comparing amounts Percentage of Change Percentage of Markup Percentages with Tax and Tips Percentage of Error Simple and Compound Interest Commissions

The Games/Activities/Puzzles section of the book is a combination of 30 different printable puzzles, games and activities. These are all puzzles that I have used with my classes. They are great for station work or just to supplement a percentage lesson

Percentages: How to find the Percent, Part and Whole Amount

Percentages: How to find the Percent, Part and Whole Amount

When solving these percentage problems, we will solve as a one step equation. The nice thing about this method is that you just memorize one thing instead of three. As students do these problems they will begin to notice short cuts they can use to solve problems quicker.

We want the students to discover these short cuts on their own. By doing this, students will have a much greater chance of retaining this information.

This will be hardest for parents (and even teachers) because we become so used to using the quicker short cuts. In the long term it will benefit the students with a greater depth of understanding of percentages

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How I'm starting the school Year.

How I'm starting the school Year.

I used to open up the school year with some nice get to know you activities. For example, I might randomly partner students together and have them interview each other. After the students asked each other a few questions, they would introduce their partner to the rest of the class. This was always a nice way to ease into the school year and get to learn a bit about the kids.

As much as I (and the kids) enjoyed these opening day activities I always felt something was lacking. There seemed to be this disconnect with these activities and math. (Also, it seemed like every teacher in the building was doing some variation of this. So the students were doing this all day long. The novelty was lost by the time many got to me.)

Last year I tweaked how opened the school year. 

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Making 3D Shapes and Similar Objects using Scale Drawing

Making 3D Shapes and Similar Objects using Scale Drawing

Creating 3 Dimensional Drawings

One of my favorite activities each year is using scale factor to create three dimensional drawings. We do this activity when we are studying Unit Rates. There are a variety of reasons why this is one of my go to lessons.

Hands On

This activity gives students the chance to create something. The act of drawing, measuring, & designing is a nice change of pace from the usual worksheet avalanche. The actual act of creating this object allows students to see the relationship of sides all changing proportionally.

Creativity

This lesson gives students the opportunity to showcase their creative/artistic side. We have some basic guidelines, but in general students are free to design what appeals to them.

Visual

Many students are visual learners. For some students it easy to see difference between an object drawn to scale and an object that does not have a constant proportionality.

Connections with other classes

Art, Social studies (maps), industrial tech, and computer science classes are some of the classes that we are able to show a connection with.  For example, our art classes use one point perspective drawings which share a ton of similarities with our scale drawings.

Differentiate

The activity allows you to increase (or decrease) the difficulty. For example, if you have a student that is struggling you can use a very simple shape such as the letter "L" or use a very easy scale factor such as 2.  If you want to increase the intensity you can have students measure everything in inches (not centimeters) or require a very unusual scale factor such as 3/8 or 1.75.

THE PROCESS

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Creating a Successful Math Newsletter

One of the things we try to do each year is to create a math newsletter to share with parents, students and administration.  The main reason is to help develop better communication with parents.  The development of our newsletter is an ever evolving process, but we feel like we have hit on some key things that make our newsletter very effective.

     At the start of the year we focus on gathering the email addresses of different parents, students and any one else that might want the newsletter.  We have been able to get around 90% of our student's families to sign up.  When we send out the newsletter we just email a PDF to the different people on our email list.  We mail copies to families that did not sign up for email.  We also make extra copies and leave in the classroom for students that might not see the email version. In the past we sent out newsletters each month.  This year we are attempting to send out one a quarter.

    Above is a sample of one of our newsletters. The rest of this article will focus on the content, features and structure of the newsletter.


#1 Headline: The first thing we do on our newsletter is state what it is and for what time period.  In this case we call the newsletter the "7th grade math newsletter" (yes we know, verrrrry creative).  If we had newsletters for each individual teacher we might have use something like Mr. Mitchell's Math Class (also very boring) or perhaps something slightly more interesting such as Math Mania.

#2 Contact Information: This part of our newsletter includes information such as Names, email address, school phone, planning period times, website, etc.

#3 Quote: We like to have a quote about dealing with one of two topics: 1) Importance of math and/or 2) Motivational. 

#4 Greeting: We address this to the parents despite the fact that many of the readers of the newsletter are our students.

#5 Dates to Know: Just like it sounds. We focus on big events such as early releases, no school, end of grading period, parent - teacher conferences, etc.

#6 Classroom Activity:  In this section of the newsletter we highlight an activity that takes place in the classroom. For example, this newsletter mentions our "Fab 5" which is a basic skills review at the start of each class.  In this section we might mention a math program we are using, special projects, or discuss our invention program.

#7 Upcoming Topics:  In this section we list what we are currently working on in class and what parents can expect in the next few weeks.

#8 Math Careers: One of our goals is to let parents and students know about the many career options available in mathematics.  It seems obvious to us, but many students have no idea about the math needed in different careers.  A couple of weeks ago a student told me how he wanted to be an architect but was stunned to find out math was required math.

#9 Get to Know a Mathematician: Here we are Highlighting a person that has a career that uses math.  We like to focus on interesting jobs/people that are unique. In this newsletter we focused on Tinker Hatfield the person that worked on designing Air Jordan shoes.  We make a conscious effort to have an equal amount of men and women.

#10 Websites of the Month/Quarter:  We feature two or three sites that we feel could be helpful and sometimes interesting. In theory parents and students can use these sites for extra practice or assistance.

#11 Past Websites of the Month/Quarter: Instead of deleting our  past website selections we keep them as a running list.  As the school year progresses this turns into a nice collection of resources for the student, parent and even teacher.


#12 Math Programs: Our school is located just 30 minutes outside of Columbus, Ohio and just 45 minutes from The Ohio State University.  This location allows us to have access to a variety of math programs.  

    In each newsletter we try to promote local Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs.  This is information that most parents are not aware of.  By listing these programs many of our families are able to find items that interest their kids.

#13 Tips on Being successful:  Finally we include some words of wisdom from top business leaders.  The theme of this section usually focuses on work ethic, goals, and perseverance.

Todd Hawk is a middle school math teacher and the Founder of the Land of Math LLC (www.landofmath.com). You can reach him at landofmath2@gmail.com or follow him on twitter: @landofmath2.