Can your students solve this problem?
There are 20% more girls than boys in the senior class.
What percent of the seniors are girls?
This is from a discussion of the semantics of percent problems and why students have trouble with them, going on over at MathNotations. (Follow-up post here.)
Our pre-algebra class just finished a chapter on percents, so I thought Chickenfoot might have a chance at this one. Nope! He leapt without thought to the conclusion that 60% of the class must be girls.
After I explained the significance of the word “than”, he solved the follow-up problem just fine.