Primary 5 is the bridge between primary and secondary school. Students start learning the concepts and skills needed for algebra and more complex math. Problem solving becomes less straightforward and more multilayered. Students start to face questions with multiple parts to solve before reaching a final answer. At primary 5, they are now expected to use the skills they have learnt throughout primary school to solve the question. This means that they need to know their math concepts inside out. To prepare your child for primary 5, here are the top 3 math concepts primary 5 kids should know.
1) Numeric Expressions
The perfect example of multilayered math comes in the form of numeric expressions. In primary 4, students answer word problems with multiple steps, while in primary 5 students break down word problems to create equations with multiple steps. Taking multiple-step problems and creating equations with them is called a numeric expression. For example: “Jack has 5 bags of apples. Each bag holds 20 apples. Jack wants to divide the apples equally between his 4 sisters and 6 brothers. How many apples will each sibling receive?” The more complex, multi-step word problem such as this requires students to interpret the written problem, use reasoning skills to decide which math skills to use, and execute the skills in the correct order. A helpful way to help students gain an understanding of how to use different math skills together is PEMDAS.
PEMDAS is an acronym to help remember the order to solve numeric expressions. PEMDAS can be broken down to explain the order of operations and it stands for: Parenthesis, Exponents Multiplication and Division Addition and Subtraction. In the example where Jack has 5 bags of apples needing to be divided equally among his sisters and brothers, PEMDAS can be applied like this.
Let’s think about how we can solve the word problem.
Question: Jack has 5 bags of apples. Each bag holds 20 apples. Jack wants to divide the apples equally between his 4 sisters and 6 brothers. How many apples will each sibling receive?
5 bags with 20 apples each can be represented by this equation of 5 x 20.
Since Jack wants to share the apples equally with his siblings, then we know we have to take that number and divide it. So our equation becomes “(5 x 20) ÷ “
Now, we have to divide the apples between all his sisters and brothers. So first, let us add up the total number of sisters and brothers, “(4 + 6)”. Then, to get the answer to how many apples each sibling will receive, we put the equation together “(5 x 20) ÷ (4 + 6)”.
Following the rules of PEMDAS, we solve the equations within the parenthesis first, 5 x 20 = 100 and 4 + 6 = 10. We wind up with a new simplified equation for the problem, “100 ÷ 10”.
We skip exponents, because we don’t have any, and do the division. 100 ÷ 10 = 10.
Here, we arrive at our final answer. Each of Jack’s siblings will get 10 apples. Did your child get the right answer?
Fractions have been a major aspect of math learning in the last few school years. In primary 5, students start connecting fractions with whole numbers. When given a whole number and fraction together, this is called a mixed number. Students start using like and unlike fractions with whole numbers in equations. Working with mixed numbers adds another level to solving math problems.
Problems with mixed number
Solving equations with mixed numbers is a multi-step process. In order for students to solve these questions, they learn the importance of proper and improper fractions. An improper fraction is when the numerator has a higher value than the denominator. These improper fractions can be rewritten as mixed numbers. Students learn to adjust the mixed numbers in equations to make them solvable. Adjusting mixed numbers to help solve equations incorporates addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This continues the importance of making sure students have a strong understanding of math concepts each year so they can build upon them.
3) Creating Graphs and Analysing Data
After learning about angles and lines in primary 4, students learn how to mark points on a graph, using the x-axis and y-axis in primary 5. Learning how to plot different points on a graph is important when trying to visualise data. A lot of the math children learn in their early education is about taking concrete and physical examples to explain how math concepts work. By creating graphs, students learn how to explain more abstract data in a visual way. Knowing how to visually present data helps students to understand large amounts of data, as well as relationships and trends.
In many ways, primary 5 math is about building on all the math concepts students have learnt over their school years to solve bigger and more complex problems. This is why it is critical to ensure that your child has a strong understanding of the fundamentals. Make sure to read the question properly, identify the concepts tested, and check your workings. With proper practice and support, your child will be equipped with the skills to tackle primary 5 math head on with confidence.
Want to know more about school math concepts? Check out the rest of our posts in this series:
Primary Four – Primary Five – Primary Six