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Elementary Mathematics

5th Grade Math

In Seattle Public Schools, we believe all students have mathematical brilliance. Your child’s teacher seeks to cultivate that brilliance to develop your child into a mathematical thinker and problem solver.  Your child will see who sees the value of math in their life.

Your child will learn and develop mathematical ways of thinking through (mathematical practices). Some examples of math practices are using math to model authentic situations, persevering in solving problems, constructing and critiquing mathematical justifications, and representing mathematical ideas visually.

Read more about the Standards for Mathematical Practices

Effective math instruction begins by building a strong conceptual understanding of how numbers work (number sense). This is the foundation that leads students towards procedural fluency (using flexible, efficient, and accurate strategies). Effective math instruction includes opportunities for students to apply their understanding and fluency to real-world mathematical problems.

In 5th grade math, students will build on their 4th grade understanding of the four operations, unit fractions, decimal fractions, and measurement in order to:

  • Understand the place value system in terms of powers of 10
  • Read, write, and compare decimals to the thousandths place
  • Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers and with decimals to hundredths
  • Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators, including mixed numbers
  • Multiply fractions Interpret products as scaling (i.e., resizing)
  • Divide unit fractions (i.e., 1/3, 1/4, 1/8) by whole numbers and whole numbers by unit fractions
  • Solve word problems involving fraction addition, subtraction, and multiplication
  • Understand volume and its relationship with multiplication and addition

When your child goes to middle school this knowledge will serve as the foundation for the concepts of scale, ratio, and proportion. Their understanding of operations will be a solid foundation as they begin work with algebraic expressions and solving equations.

At home, utilize math games to make math fun (with dice and cards), notice math in the world (such as travel, distances, nature, and cooking), and ask questions to prompt deeper thinking (“ Tell me more about how you solved this? Is there another way to solve this problem?”).

At home, you can support your child by:

  • Playing games that make math fun and engaging using materials such as dice and cards
  • Noticing math in the world, such as in nature and while cooking
  • Asking questions about their thinking such as, “What were you thinking when you solved this?”

For more ideas about supporting your child at home see the SPS Supporting Your Student-Math webpage.

Learning Standards are for all of us: students, principals, community partners, teachers, families, and the public. They provide an equitable benchmark of what is important for students to learn as they progress through school. Introduction to the Common Core Math Standards: Achieve the Core