In the second trimester of the school year, fifth grade students will work on the following skills:

• Writing expressions and equations from a given context or word problems
• Solving equations including those with a letter as a variable
• Analyzing the pattern of numbers in a table and being able to extend the table
• Understanding and applying the order of operations
• Adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers Multiplying fractions
• Dividing a whole number by a fraction, and dividing a fraction by a whole number
• Understanding and finding the volume of a cube, rectangular prism, as well as a 3-D solid comprised of rectangular prisms

You can help your child at home by having them practice these skills.  Students should know their basic math facts from memory by now or have efficient strategies that make problem solving easy.

While working with fractions and volume of 3-D solids, students benefit from drawing a visual representation of the problem.  For many students they struggle with multiplication or division of fractions because they have a misconception that when you multiply the products is always larger than the two factors, and that when you divide the quotient is always smaller than the dividend.  This is not always the case when working with fractions and mixed numbers.

For fractions, students can represent the multiplication and division of fractions using the area model they have used in multiplication and division of whole numbers and decimals.  This Khan Academy video shows an example of this.  https://www.khanacademy.org/math/arithmetic/fraction-arithmetic/arith-review-multiply-fractions/v/visualizing-fraction-products

Students can gain understanding when you present a problem that relates to a real world situation such as “there is half of a cake/pie/pizza left over.  Tonight I’m going to eat ¼ of what is left.  How much cake/pie/pizza did I eat?” which is a representation of ¼ of ½ or ¼ x ½.

Division can be thought of the same way.  For example a real world situation could be thought of as “One serving of mac and cheese is ½ of a cup.  If the box makes 2 cups, how many servings are in the box?”  This can be represented by 2 ÷ ½ or how many halves are in 2?

For volume, you could have students measure the length, width and height of an empty box and have them calculate the volume.  Understanding that we use the label cubic units for volume because it is a 3-D shape with length, width and height is another thing to talk about with your student.

Here are some other resources:

Up Next: Measurement conversions, geometry and data