Using Percents and Dealing with Credit

February 13, 2017

Darin Exstrom

            We use percents and deal with things like credit every day in our lives and most of the time we don’t realize it.  It is no wonder that many students wonder why mathematics is important – we don’t even realize it is all around us at times.  In my various co-taught math classes in pre-algebra and algebra we often discuss how to convert fractions to percentages and how percentages apply to the real world.  We talked about how you can use percentages in almost anything to help better understand a situation.  For example, a business’ sales might go up from $1,500.00 in one day to $2,000.00 another day.  What is the percent of change for that difference and what does that look like?  Students created drawings, made a trail mix recipe, and figured some numbers to better understand what it means to apply percentages.  One of the things we also discussed is interest rates and how our credit scores impact our eligibility for loans in the future.  Students seemed to be interested in this topic and were asking many questions about it. 

Math is used after high school life – no doubt.  Students might use math in the future for business, accounting, construction, computer design, and simply keeping track of sales, their own wallets, and anything else they are interested in!  In school, we are constantly using percentages to measure the academic performance of students and compare them to try and learn more about our students.  We can then use that data to see where students could improve and where we could adapt to help students learn more.  I have seen the teachers, administration, paraprofessionals, and other employees at LHS I work with change their plans to supplement learning, almost on a daily basis, as we discuss how to help individual students and different classrooms of students.