Then start joining up the groups that meet the criteria. Take two pairs, each with half wearing glasses. Join them together as one group, and ask, "What fraction of the people in this group are wearing glasses?" The answer will be 2/4 or 1/2. An assistant can count and check, and another should make a note on the board that 2/4 = 1/2. You are showing equivalent fractions here. Ask another group to join the big one, and ask again, "What fraction of the people in this group are wearing glasses?" Assistants again count and check, and make a record of the fractions on the board. Keep joining groups until all the groups are together. Ask, "What fraction of the people in this group are wearing glasses?" When all the groups have been joined, ask everyone to sit down, and ask your assistants to review the equivalent fractions written on the board.
Other suggestions for forming groups: Ask students to get into groups where 1/3 of the people are wearing watches; where 2/3 of the people are wearing sneakers; where 1/4 of the people are wearing shorts; where 4/5 of the people are wearing pants; where 3/4 of the people are wearing some piece of black clothing; and finally, to find many equivalents for 1, ask for groups of any size where all of the people are students.
Print some of the charts starting on page 92 and cut out the notation strips that go with them, which show equivalent fraction, decimal and percent notation. You will need one chart for every three people in your class. Set the charts up around the room. To begin with, for example, set up charts showing 50%, 25%, 100%, 75%, and 10%, enough for 15 people. Shuffle the strips that go with these charts, and ask each student to take a strip and go to stand beside the chart that matches his strip. Once there, consult with the other students he finds there, to be sure they are all in the right place. For example, the three students holding 3/4, .75, and 75% should be standing beside the chart that has 75 of the small squares coloured in. When all the students are standing beside a chart, ask each group to name the equivalencies they show, and explain their thinking.
When your students are new to percent, use charts and strips that will be easy for them. Later, you can use a group of charts and their accompanying strips that show 5%, 5.5%, 50%, 55% and 55.5%, for example, and only later, when students have a good understanding, would you mix 50%, 5%, .5%, and .05%.
The final chart in the series is blank. Make a copy for each student, ask them to shade in some of the small squares, and to label the strips. Use those charts and strips to do similar activities.
Variation: Give out only two strips for each chart; for example, give only the fraction and the decimal notation of the amount shown on the chart. The two students who meet there with the equivalent strips will collaborate on writing the missing third notation (in this example, the % notation).
Variation: A single student or a small group of students can use these charts and strips at a table, and work on matching the strips to the appropriate chart.