Students took a quiz today on the first few sections of percents and their applications. We have just begun to find percent of a number and tomorrow we will continue with percent proportions. We use the “is/of = %/100” way of solving, but many students are finding the “shortcuts” to figuring out percent scenarios.

When we first focused on estimating, we used benchmarks like 1%, 10%, 50%, etc. to estimate the percent of number. Many have continued to use this method to find the exact percent of number, which is definitely more practical in the real world…as in when TIPPING! I told my students that I see people MY AGE who still use a calculator to determine the tip….. NOT GOOD!

I am determined that they will learn to find basic percents in their head and **never** rely on a “tip calculator” or any other sort of calculator to figure out the tip! So far, I am pleased with what I see.

## About Gretchen Simmerson

Middle School math teacher living in Austin, Texas.