Have been tackling % word problems and these are some of the issues that surface :
- Like to think for whatever number given in the question 100%
They are not really thinking about the question. Have tried to get them to use the 5Rs they had learning in the workshop (Read, Reflect, Recreate, Reduce, Revise) . Need to emphasize this over and over again. The next thing I am going to do is to get them to repeatedly always ask themselves : What represent 100%?
2. Solving for 1%
100% –> 200
1% —> 100/200
Trying to get them to see it by asking them : How you get to 1% (Divide by 100)? So, you have to do the similar operation with 200.
3. Inaccurate results
At the intermediate steps, they give their answer to 2 decimal place and use this answer to derive the final answer. The final answer may be inaccurate due to loss of accuracy in the intermediate steps. Remind them to always leave the answer as fraction in the intermediate steps
The progress has been slow but I do see some improvement in the students’ work. Through % problems, I am trying to get them in the habit of think more about the problem. Such habit is important as the students would generally just “whack any numbers they like”. To me, this is one of their most “potent” weakness which causes them to perform badly in Maths.