# IPod Touch--Middle School Math and Using Percent Problems

Updated on July 3, 2012

Janine is a published author in Only Trollops Shave Above the Knees, and appears on The Huffington Post and at Confessions of A Mommyaholic.

## Apple's IPod Touch

In Middle School Math, another topic that needs to be learned is percent problems. Most pre-teens nowadays have heard of the company Apple for many products that they make. One of the products most have or want is the IPod Touch. My classroom came equipped with a SmartBoard and Wifi internet. So I would first put up the Apple Website for the iPod Touch: http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch on the SmartBoard. Then, we would begin to talk about all the features and look at the pricing as well.

Now, let's look at pricing and this depends on how much storage you would like. The 8GB black/white is \$199.00, the 32GB black/white is \$299.00 and the 64GB black/white is \$399.00.

So, as a class we will vote on which IPod Touch, we are going to purchase for the classroom. The vote here turns out that we feel we would like the 32GB \$299.99 Black IPod Touch (for the sake of this article). Now I explain to the class that as an educator, I get a 10% discount for purchasing it and would like to know how much we will be paying after the discount.

## Calculating a 10% Educator's Discount: Percent Problem #1

As a class, we have to figure out what 10% of \$299.00 is. But how do we do this? We have to set up an is/of percent problem. To do this, here is the equation we set up: 10/100 = x/299. We will cross multiply to get 100x = 299(10), which is 100x = 2990. Next we have to get x by itself and will do the opposite of multiplication, so we divide 2990 by 100, which is \$29.90. So 10% of \$299.00 is \$29.90. Therefore, the sales price is \$299.00-29.90 = \$269.10.

## Calculating NY State Sales Tax: Percent Problem #2

However, when you go shopping in NY State, we get charged sales tax, so will we be paying only \$269.10? The answer is no of course!! How do we find sales tax? We must use another percent problem. The sales tax in NY is 8.625% for NY State + Nassau County tax. So here is the percent problem to be set up: 8.625/100 = x/269.10. Next we cross multiply to get 100x = 8.625(269.10), which is 100x = 2320.9875. Now again do the opposite of multiplication to solve for x and divide 2320.9875 by 100 to get 23.209875 and now we round because this is money. How do we round here? Well 23.209 should round to \$23.21, because the 9 after the 0 tells us to round up. The sales tax is therefore \$23.21.

## How Much Does The IPod Touch Really Cost?

How much will we pay for the 32GB IPod Touch for our classroom? Well, let's review. We were charged how much for just the iPod with the 10% off discount? We were being charged \$269.10. And how much was the sales tax? It was \$23.21. Now, the question is how do we find the final price? Do we add or subtract the sales tax to the cost of the iPod? The students should realize that sales tax makes us pay more, so we must add the sales tax to the cost of the iPod. So, then \$269.10 (the cost of the iPod) + \$23.21 (the sales tax) = \$292.31.

## Summing it Up

Final question. With sales tax, did we pay more or less than the original price before the 10% discount? The answer here for our students is we paid less by (\$299.00-292.31) \$6.69. So, the 10% discount more or less paid for the sales tax, but still saved us.

I love this lesson, because it is another hands-on lesson using an item that most middle school students are not only aware of, but if not own, would love to own. Now, if they do purchase one for themselves in the future they have a better idea and concept of money and how much they may need to spend before going to the Apple Store to purchase this. So not only are they learning about percent problems (which is of course a required math topic for middle school math), but they are coming away with a valuable lesson about the value of a dollar (which is a priceless lesson for young adults) and most educators and parents as well would agree this is a very good lesson indeed.

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