Kelley has been teaching middle school for six years and has a master's degree in educational administration.
Favorite Ice Cream Flavors
Finn, Duke, and Peggy have been asked to use their math powers to solve a problem for their school. Finn finds fractions fun, Duke is devoted to decimals, and Peggy has a passion for percentages. Let's see how they use their powers to solve the problem! Finn's, Duke's and Peggy's school is doing a survey to see what flavor of ice cream is the favorite.
Here are the results:
- Mint chocolate chip received 48% of the votes
- Strawberry received ¼ of the votes
- Cookie dough received 0.27 of the votes
In order to better understand the results of the survey, Finn, Duke, and Peggy need to convert - that is, they need to change - each of the numbers into the same form so that they can compare them.
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Converting Fractions to Percents
Peggy wants to know the percentage of votes that each flavor of ice cream got. She already knows that mint chocolate chip received 48% of the votes, so she can leave that alone. That one is easy!
Strawberry received ¼ of the votes. To convert a fraction to a percent, Finn can make an equivalent, or equal, fraction with a denominator of 100, since percents are always out of a total of 100.
How can he multiply 4 to get 100? 4 times 25 equals 100. Now do the same thing with the numerator. 1 times 25 equals 25.
Because percents are out of 100, we can just look at the numerator, the top number of the fraction, to get our percentage: 25% of the votes were for strawberry ice cream.
Converting Decimals to Percents
Now let's look at cookie dough, which had 0.27 of the votes. To convert a decimal to a percent, Duke will multiply by 100. Want an easy way to do this? Simply move the decimal point two spaces to the right.
27% of the votes were for cookie dough.
Time to Compare
Now that they have all the flavors of ice cream in percent form, they can easily compare them to figure out which flavor was the favorite. Percentages are compared just like whole numbers. We can put them in order from least to greatest.
Here are the flavors of ice cream in order from least favorite to most favorite:
- 25% of students liked strawberry ice cream
- 27% of students liked cookie dough ice cream
- 48% of students liked mint chocolate chip ice cream
Mint chocolate chip was the favorite flavor of ice cream at the school.
Hmm, maybe you don't really need superpowers to solve this problem after all! Let's take a look at more practice problems.
The students at Sun Elementary School were surveyed on their favorite subject. One-fifth (1/5) prefer math, 0.35 prefer science, and 45% prefer reading. Can you order the subjects from least favorite to most favorite?
Remember that to convert a fraction to a percent we need a denominator of 100. So, 5 times what number gives us 100? 5 times 20 equals 100.
Therefore, 20% of students like math.
Now let's look at science, which was preferred by 0.35 of students. Do you remember the trick for converting decimals to percents? Multiply by 100, which you can easily do by moving the decimal point two spaces to the right.
35% of students prefer science.
Put the percentages in order from least to greatest to show which subjects students preferred:
- 20% preferred math
- 35% preferred science
- 45% preferred reading
Fractions, decimals, and percentages can be compared when we convert, or change, them to the same form. Usually, we convert to percentages because they're the easiest to compare. We can compare percentages just like whole numbers.
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Comparing & Ordering Fractions, Decimals & Percents
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