The Common Core State Standards, or CCSS, will reach full implementation this upcoming school year in the 43 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have adopted the initiative. Common Core sets uniform standards on what students should be learning at each grade level. 5th grade Common Core math places a particular focus on fractions, decimals, division, and volume.
One mission of CCSS is to ensure that students are fully proficient in certain concepts before they proceed to the next grade level and its subsequent concepts. This goal takes on added importance with 5th grade Common Core math. With middle school approaching and extensive algebra just a couple years away, students this age must master the necessary concepts, before the math becomes more challenging. A good foundation established with 5th grade Common Core math will go a long way come seventh and eighth grade. Here are some things your child can do, at school and at home, to succeed with 5th grade Common Core math:
Addition, subtraction, and multiplication—and even some division—of fractions receive a fair amount of attention in fifth grade. Furthermore, their relationship to decimals is also emphasized, so understanding fractions at this age is essential. Students may need or seek additional practice to become fully proficient, but the extra work will be worthwhile when they are no longer intimidated by numerators and denominators.
Master the 4 Operations
If your child is still struggling with any aspect of the four basic operations—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—fifth grade is the best time to master them once and for all. The math in future grades will require big addition, multiplication of multi-digit numbers, long division into decimals, and so on, and students who are still having trouble with some of these operations will struggle with the more advanced operations ahead.
Decimals can be tricky for some fifth-graders, but luckily, they likely have some experience with the concept every time you pay for something. Dollars and cents double as a decimal education program—there’s a point in just about every monetary figure they will encounter. Give your child more chances to deal with money—at the store, with their allowances, when making online purchases, and so on—that will give her some extra experience with decimals.
The concept of volume is introduced in 5th grade Common Core math along with other measurements. The ability to proficiently calculate measurements is only just beginning: Future geometry and other math concepts, science classes such as chemistry and physics, and a lifetime of practical application await. Thus, encouraging your child to measure things now—around the house, while helping in the garage or yard, or just about anywhere, will not only help in school, but also for years to come.
If your child is struggling with 5th grade Common Core math, don’t hesitate to seek help. First, check with his or her teacher to see what might be the problem and what you can do at home. Encourage your fifth-grader to ask for help during class if something is especially difficult. Consider outside resources, including innovative, tablet-based online tutoring programs. And finally, be patient. A fifth-grader struggling with math likely won’t turn things around overnight, but with hard work and your support, he or she can steadily improve and be ready for the next level.
How proficient is your child with 5th grade Common Core math?