Converting Fractions to Decimals and Percents

The columns on a spreadsheet are useful in showing students how fractions relate to decimals and percents. They are just another way of describing the same number. This exercise illustrates how fractions are expressed as decimals and percents by having students record how they spend their time during different parts of the day. The activity will also enable students to see how a pie chart can be a useful representation of daily activities.

Math Objective

The objective of this exercise is to convert fractions to decimals and percents

Skills/Outcomes

Spreadsheet Skills

  • Using the sum function to add columns
  • Using FILL, DOWN to copy constants and formulas
  • Making a pie chart

 

What To Do

Materials

Fraction calculators

Computer lab & spreadsheet program

Pie chart pieces

Files to Use

Download Info/Instructions

Day.doc

Pie Charts (math concepts lesson)

 

Classroom Discussion and Activities

Computer Lab Activities

 

Classroom Discussion and Activities (Whole Group)

Discuss with the students how the day can be broken up into 24 hours. Furthermore, the time spent sleeping, eating, going to school, etc., can be expressed as fractional parts of the day. In this activity, 24 will be used as the denominator in all of the fractions. If the student sleeps 8 hours, then the fractional part of the day spent sleeping is 8/24.

 

In the Lab (Individual or Paired Work)

Create a spreadsheet using the students' data from their Day.doc worksheet.

Ask students some of the following questions: "Why would you not sum column C?" "Why is the sum of Column D equal to 1? " "Why is the sum of Column E equal to 100%?"

The table below shows an example of a student's completed spreadsheet.