Saturday, January 14, 2012

Percent Estimation {Math Lab Game}

This is something NEW I tried this year and it was a big hit with my students. I usually don't teach % estimation through a math lab, but this year I decided to incorporate the lab into my instruction since we changed text books and it fell on a Friday in the middle of a chapter they were strong in.

To teach students to evaluate percent of a number by using estimation.

  • 10 index cards for each group
  • 2 spinners with 0 - 9 on them. One marked "Ones" and the other "Tens"
  • Math Lab Booklet

Before class starts: Gather two spinners for each group and label one "Ones" and the other "Tens". If your school doesn't have spinners, they are easily googled for pre-made templates. These will make the PERCENT the students will be using. Have the math lab booklets run off and the index cards made. I used random numbers like "28", "33", "78", etc. These will be the NUMBERS the students will be rounding.

During class: I spent a quick 15 minutes reinforcing this concept. We had already covered it with fractions, and my 6th graders take 7th grade level math, so it's not new to them. Explain the game by playing a practice round with one of your students. Then split students up into teams of two or four, depending on class size. If you have an odd number, then you can choose to play with that student, or create a group of three.

Game Play:
Each student will take a turn spinning EACH spinner. This will make the percent. Let's say you spin a "24". Then the player draws a card. Let's say, "62". The other player writes down "24% of 62". Then both work to find a good estimation. The correct answer would be "25% of 60". The player that spun then computes 25% of 60 and the answer is that persons score for the round. So in our example, this player would have scored "15" for their turn. Players take turns until every card has been used. (You can create more or less cards depending on time). At the end of the game, students add up their scores and the player with the highest score is the winner!!!

**I also turn this into a "Class Competition" by seeing who got the highest score out of the class. That person gets a "small, but fabulous prize" from the prize box ;)

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I hope you enjoy this game with your class!!!


  1. I love this idea. I really enjoy any kind of activity where the numbers "generate" themselves. Thanks for sharing! Adrianne at

  2. Hey Jaime Ann-I want to grab your button, but the html code isn't working on my blog. I've tried twice, but no luck. Help! :)

    1. Thanks, I forgot to change it when I switched from to just .net! Hope your kids like this activity!

  3. Can't wait to try this for homeschool this year! Thanks!