Let’s Play Percent Bingo (Teacher’s Guide!)


In the last post, I introduced Percent Bingo, a favorite of my former students… So, in this post I wanted to go over more of the mechanics of playing the game quickly and efficiently.

Setup and preparation again is the key. Students kept their Percent Bingo sheet in their “Class Folder”, and the class setup was very similar to how I did my Friday Mad Minute:

  • Class Folders passed out before class began
  • Percent Bingo as first item on the Agenda
  • Counting tokens used as markers on desks/tables

Students were trained so that when they came into the room they knew to look at the board. When they got to their seats, their folder was on their desk (or on the way) and they could get out their Percent Bingo Sheet and tokens/markers. Before class began the students are ready to play!

Now, the first few times the student play the game, use the time for review/teaching moments:

  • Review/remind that decimals are converted to percents by multiplying by 100, that is, moving the decimal two places to the right; it doesn’t matter if the decimal is 0.5, 0.05, or 5.
  • Review that fractions can be converted by getting the denominator to 100– (In the Percent Bingo case, all the percents are divisible by 5, so you can always multiply the denominator by a number to get 100). It also doesn’t matter if the fraction is ½ or 3/2, the process is the same.
  • Review that some of the fractions could be simplified. For example, 15/30 can be reduced to ½ first.
  • Review that mixed numbers can be converted to improper fractions first, or even better, thought as 100 % + fractional part (1 ½ = 100% + 50% = 150%).

I also reviewed as I called out the number; I did not have 10 minutes of ‘re-teaching’ and then playing the game…For example, I would call out “0.3… can anyone tell the rest of the class how to convert that to a decimal?”… or, “3/10… who knows what do with this one?”

The best part is that after only two or three times that you play the game, you will not need to review at all, and students will have started committing common fractions (3/5, 4/5, 16/20, etc.) into long term memory.

Download the Percent Bingo Board and Teacher Resources.

Most importantly, Have fun with them, and they will have fun playing the game!

Enjoy playing percent bingo! Your kids will love to play


Let’s Play Percent Bingo!


One of the most favorite games of my former students was Percent Bingo. This is a game that can be played several times (especially if your classroom routines are well established) as a warm up and activating activity. Percent Bingo is designed to build fluency and number sense between decimals, percents, and fractions. One of the primary reasons I liked using this game is that it helps the students become comfortable dealing with fractions.

The game was primarily used with seventh graders (12-13 year old), although the standards for converting between decimal-fraction-percents were in the 5th and 6th grade. However, the game is not only beneficial for fraction practice, it is also helpful in solving percentage problems (example– What is 35% of 180, or What percent is 35 out of 50?). Not only that, through repetition, students will begin to move percents such as 3/5 or 16/20 into long term memory.

The game is played as a standard bingo game, (except using a 4×4 board), with one free space. Players fill in their board with the percent values– Using the percents from 5% to 150% which are also divisible by 5. Using percents over 100% introduces improper and mixed numbers in the game (3/2 = 150% or 1 ¼ = 125%).

Download the Percent Bingo Board and Teacher Resources here.

The teacher calls out a number in fraction or decimal form, and the students convert the value into percent form. It’s perfectly fine for the students to use paper-and-pencil to do any calculations– We are not trying to get the students to memorize anything except how to convert between the different forms.

When a player has four-in-a-row, they call out “Bingo!” The teacher should pause, and ask if there are any other “Bingos”. This prevents a student changing any answers when other players read out their answers. For each player who has a Bingo, they read their percent and then tell the correct fraction/decimal that has been called.

Once my classroom routines had been well-established, the class could play 2 or 3 games in the first 10 minutes of the period. After this, the class is relaxed and their math brains have been activated. And we have practiced converting decimals and fractions to percents, reducing fractions, mixed numbers and improper forms!

Of course, always have candy ready for those who gets a bingo!

The next post will discuss more of the mechanics of using Percent Bingo in your class.