The new school year is around the corner and Spark Math by Spark Education wants to make sure kids are ready! Returning after an exciting summer vacation can be a struggle for some students who deal with summer learning loss. Summer learning loss, or the “Summer slide”, refers to students’ loss of some of their educational concepts due to lack of practice during a long vacation. In this new blog series, Spark Math goes over some of the most important math concepts kids should know before returning to school. Here are the “Math kids should know before 5th Grade.”
5th Grade and Math
5th grade is where students use everything they’ve learned throughout their elementary school career in new and exciting ways. Equations and word problems will use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division at once. Students will not only continue using all math skills they’ve mastered so far, they will also advance in their problem-solving abilities as they move on to working with whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and more complex word problems. Here’s what students should know to be prepared for the complex math skills needed for 5th grade.
1. Fractions and Decimals
4th grade math is about using skills students have learned throughout their education and transferring that knowledge to new math situations. This means going from working with whole numbers to fractions and decimals. 5th grade students should be prepared to compare fractions. Students should be able to compare fractions as greater than or less than each with or without a number line.
In 5th grade, students should be able to use unlike fractions in equations. Unlike fractions are fractions that have different denominators. Students should be prepared to add, subtract, multiply, and divide unlike fractions..
Understanding how to work with fractions leads directly to working with decimals. Students should be able to change fractions with a denominator that’s a multiple of 10 into a decimal. Working with decimals means that students understand the tenth and hundredth places, and the knowledge will equip kids to work with more complex equations, including working with percentages and money in 5th grade.
Ways to use Fractions and Decimals:
- Find ways to create fractions
Example: Use dominos to represent fractions and work with them in problems. Create fractions out of everyday food items (sliced breaks, pizza, pie, etc.)
- Decimals and money
Example: Use money as a great way to work with decimals to the hundredth place. Keep track of change and what coins are needed to create a whole dollar.
2. Equations and Word Problems
The 4 major math operations (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division), should be well understood or mastered, as students enter
the 5th grade. Kids should be able to not only use all these operations but know when to use them. A core understanding of mathematical operations is needed to transfer these skills into new concepts. New concepts, which include large whole numbers, fractions, and decimals are key in working with large whole numbers, fractions, and decimals.
Using these operations is for more than just written equations. Use multilevel and multistep word problems to test students on knowing what skills to apply and when to apply them. Word problems help students transfer concepts to real-life situations.
It’s important to know what word problems are asking and the order of operation to answer them. great way to remember the order of operations is to use a strategy commonly known as PEMDAS. The acronym, which stands for “Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication & Division, Addition & Subtraction,” is an effective method for kids to memorize the correct order of math operations and find the correct answer to complex word problems..
Ways to use Equations and Word Problems :
- Practice with different types of math problems.
Example: Use worksheets and online math games to change up the types of equations you solve.
3. Measurement and Geometry
5th grade is the time to have measurement mastered. Students should be able to explain size in all ways of measurement, including height, weight, length, and cooking measurements. These are excellent skills to master in math classes and broader STEM applications.
Math skills learned in early education are key to developing new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subject skills in middle and high school. With this in mind, students should be prepared to measure different aspects of the world around them and convert and compare different types of measurements.
Geometry in 5th grade expects students to have a good understanding of polygons and use a protractor to prepare for geometry and pre-algebra. Students should understand polygon names all the way to 10-sided shapes (from triangles to decagons).
Ways to use Measurement and Graphs:
- Measure the same objects in different ways
Example: Measure height and length in different ways, comparing inches, feet, yards, and miles.
- Compare shapes on more aspects
Example: Compare 2-dimensional shapes based on equal or odd angles and sides. Use a protractor to find angles in shapes.
Be ready for the new school year with Spark Math
Spark Education’s comprehensive math program, Spark Math, includes all the essential math knowledge students need for starting 5th grade. Our curriculum is aligned with Common Core Standards to ensure a smooth transition to classroom mathematics. Our 4th grade course covers all the concepts here, plus more. Spark Math will have students mastering the essentials of math and getting ahead of their peers in no time.
Getting over Summer Slide can be tough for kids as they enter a new year in school. Spark Math is an education program perfect for helping kids use the skill they learned all year in fun and engaging ways. Available for students from Pre-k to 6th grade, Spark Math’s online program features online classes, gamified lessons, and a real experienced teacher. Try it for yourself by signing up to try a free demo class today!
Want to find out what your student should know before enter the new school year? Check out our Spark Math blog for great news and activities the whole family can enjoy. Check out our Pinterest Page for more fun activities!