Question Detail

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

Dec 17, 2015 4:03pm

  • Math
  • 6-8
  • Differentiation


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    • Dec 19, 2015 8:11am

      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:

      Good luck!

      • Jan 2, 2016 1:05pm

        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.

        • Jan 2, 2016 1:10pm

          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.

          • Jan 6, 2016 6:33am

            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.