# Interpreting percentage inputs for middle school math

I am confident this has been discussed, but I’m having a really hard time finding an answer.

Desmos math-mode inputs expect the % sign to be used as a function, so when I type 80%, it automatically turns it into 80% of which is technically `80\%\operatorname{of}`

Middle school students are learning how to write portions as decimals, fractions, and percents, and when they are asked to write 8/10 or 0.8 as a percent, they expect to simply type 80% and they get confused when it turns into 80% of

I have for a while used text input mode instead to deal with this, and then check for many literal inputs like “80%” or “80 %” or “80 percent” or “80 Percent” but every once in a while a student will drop an unexpected space somewhere, or for some reason they’ll type “80.000 percnt” which I could never expect. I want to find a workaround short of asking my math department to train the students to type 80% of 1 or 80% of 100 while in math mode, or teaching them to follow a strict format without spaces for text mode inputs.

I have also tried doing the following:

func1 = simpleFunction(`\${this.cellContent(1,1)} 100`,“x”).evaluateAt(1)
ans1 =
when
func1=35 or
this.cellNumericValue(1,1) = 35 or
this.cellContent(1,1) = `35\%\operatorname{of}1` 1
otherwise 0

Where cell(1,1) is in a column that takes math input. This allows students to write 35, or 35% of, or 35% of 1, or 35% of 100. What it doesn’t fix is the confused feeling the students have when they see “% of” pop up when they don’t think of percents that way at their level of math.

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to use text mode input and evaluate it numerically, and somehow get it to ignore the percent sign while properly recognizing the number in front of it, but I always end up getting “undefined” in my code.

Has anybody solved this puzzle? Thanks in advance for the help.