Percentages are fractions with a denominator of 100. Finding 1% is the same as dividing by 100.

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Percentages are some of the most useful mathematical ideas used in everyday life. It is sensible, therefore, to spend time making sure that students understand them.

Calculating 1% of a quantity will come after finding larger simple percentage amounts, such as 50%, 25% and 10%. Once students understand that “percent” means “per hundred”, they should see that calculating 1% is the same as dividing by 100, which can be done by moving each digit by two places to the right.

As always, the aim is to help students to understand the meaning “behind the numerals”, rather than helping them to merely move digits around without understanding why.

Finding half of one percent is easily done by dividing by 100, then halving the result, rather than trying to somehow divide by 200 in one step.

Extending These Activities:

Other percentage amounts can be calculated, based on understanding the value of 1%, such as 2%, 3%, 5%, etc.