# Question Detail

# What concrete models can I use to help special needs students solve percent problems?

Dec 17, 2015 6:03pm

- Math
- 6-8
- Differentiation

Dec 17, 2015 6:03pm

- Math
- 6-8
- Differentiation

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Relating percents to fractions allows for lots of good models that can be used (like pizza, pies, groups of students, questions on a test, etc). For example: talking about how many students in the class out of the total number have pets, like apples or anything that can be counted. M&M's are a good (and fun!) tool too because of all the different colors, there are a lot of questions that you can ask about what percent each color are in a giant bag of M&M's.

Not sure what level your students are at, but this video is a good example too:

https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/teach-fractions-with-manipulatives

Good luck!

Hi Lauren,

Happy New Year. Thank you for the video you have sent. My students levels vary from 1st-3rd and they are special need students. I have to teach them how to find a percent of a number, find the whole given its quantity and percent, find the percent represented by the quantity, and finding the whole given the quantity and percent word problems.

Hi Kristin, Happy New Year

Thanks for the tip and I will use that as an introduction to percent. I have to teach my students how to find the percent of a number, find the whole given its quantity and and percent, find the whole given its quantity and percent word problems, and find the percent represented by the quantity. I teach special need students whose levels vary from 1st-3rd.

This might not be a concrete way because sometimes these manipulatives may cause more confusion. Have you tried giving them a template as in a math sentence? I think Kristin alluded to this idea so as a general, it's "part" (of a whole) over the "base/whole" is equal to the "percent" out of "100". Then it becomes a matter of knowing which quantity goes with which except that 100 is always 100 in this proportional sentence. If it's for grades 1 through 3, they may not be as developmentally ready unless they know what a fraction is. What I like about Kristin's idea is that it helps build up benchmark numbers that can be committed to memory. By Grades 5, 6 or 7, students should realize that they multiply with percents to get the part by cross multiplying. Sorry, I've never taught grade school.