Math in fifth grade is a time to master the concepts acquired
to this point. Students also learn to apply these concepts and
mechanics to more complex numbers. They study and learn the language
of math as well as the actual computations. They learn to actively
use these concepts and their math vocabulary in solving real world
problems. They use strategies to decide which steps to take and
in what order, deciding how to best use the tools they now have.
Numbers in fifth grade math go from very large to very small. Students take
fractions and decimals down to the thousandths and integers up
to a billion. Students are taught to order these numbers and in
doing so, learn to convert decimals and fractions. Negative numbers
are introduced situations where negative numbers may occur are
discussed. Geographical locations below sea level and temperatures
below freezing are negative numbers the students will be able
to relate to.
Students in fifth grade refine their rounding and estimation
skills. New estimation strategies are introduced to compare answers
and to ensure a reasonable solution. These estimation skills also
help to give the student reassurance that an answer to a difficult
problem is correct.
In this grade, students learn to find factors of numbers and
also to determine if a number is prime or composite. They build
on the properties of multiplication they have already learned.
They learn to multiply fractions and decimals. Word problems are
increasingly complex with multiple steps required to solve them.
They learn that when 2 numbers less than zero are multiplied,
the answer is a number smaller than either of the 2 original numbers.
Other operations include an introduction to algebraic equations
using letters or symbols to represent numbers in equations. Fifth
grade students also learn how to extrapolate information from
a chart or graph.
In geometry, students learn to measure circumference. Problems
needing real world solutions are addressed using perimeter, area
and volume equations. Students learn more about spatial relations
by studying the characteristics and relationships among points,
lines, rays, shapes and planes. New tools such as protractors
and compasses are introduced.
Children learn to measure accurately and creatively. They can
measure items that are out of reach by measuring a similar item
they can reach or by measuring the part they can reach and multiplying
to get a result. They learn to make a determination as to whether
an estimated result or accurate solution needs to be reached.
Time is measured in increments both smaller, seconds, and larger,
centuries. Students can use calendars, schedules and planners
to solve real time problems. Temperature can be converted from
Fahrenheit to Celsius.
Fifth graders use graphs and charts to provide information they
can interpret and compare. They are also creating graphs and charts.
They create a grid with 4 sections and plot points with ordered
pairs of whole numbers on the horizontal x-axis and vertical y-axis.
Predicting possible outcomes and graphing probabilities are tasks
a fifth grader complete in the course of the school year. The
students may work on projects that generate survey questions and
interpret the data to identify the mode, median, mean and range.
By the end of the school year, the fifth graders have learned
that the principles of math they have been accumulating since
first grade or even kindergarten will be useful in every aspect
of their lives. They have learned to analyze a problem and use
their skills and learned strategies to break it into smaller divisions
to make solving it easier. After achieving a solution, they can
defend their answers and support them with evidence.