Unit Plan on Percents

I’ll write something meatier later, but here’s my unit plan for percents. Use it however you like. Comment as you need to. Tell me what you think. I’m using it as  guide for the lesson plans I’m creating day-to-day, hoping the other teachers help me create the next unit using this template. Won’t you join me?

Unit Plan on Percents

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

1. EducationCEO

Do you encourage teachers to use KWL charts? When I taught percents I incorporated basketball stats (all boys in my classes) and had them use the internet to research a player of their choice. They had to convert FTs to %, as well as 3-pointers, and points. If I remember correctly, I had them put the info into an Excel spreadsheet..just suggestions as I know time is a factor. You could also use sales ads for percents…

2. SpecialEducation

I would also encourage using KWL in the classroom, especially in math. I’m teaching percents/decimals/fractions third and fourth quarter, so it was nice to read your unit map. I work in a school that focuses on practical and “functional” skills, so my percents lessons will be very functionally based: stores, sales ads, restaurants, budgeting, etc. Good luck with this unit!

3. Jonathan

So I finally took a look. No problems, but nothing extraordinarily exciting either. Here’s what I noticed or thought about:

The New York State standards at the top, I’m assuming that’s got to be there. Because otherwise they shouldn’t. They are not really standards. They are in general lousy. And in this case they are kind of silly. Your critical questions are better. Much better.

I liked the critical questions. If I could add one, it would be something along the lines of “When is it not appropriate to use percents?”

There’s lots of room for play there. Going from 3rd grade to 4th grade, is that a 33% increase? If someone loses a finger in an accident, do we talk about a 10% decrease? I know that there are an assortment of arrangements, but would we talk about 50% of our parents being female?

There’s real discussion about whether we should pay tax per person, or as a percent of income. Let me know if you ever open that one up.

But that brings me to the end. The test will be what the test will be. But I’m liking the restaurant project. You’ve got tax and you’ve got tip. You’ve got cost per item. You’ve got generic costs for soft drinks or side dishes, individual costs for food items. A la carte vs meals. Lots of stuff. And if you want, you’ve got the people working there. Hourly pay. Tips. Lots of rates, some percents, and in case you haven’t thought about (I’m sure you have) massive discussion of fairness. Are restaurant workers getting ripped off by not having to get paid minimum?