In fifth grade, children learn many math concepts, such as percentages, difficult fractions and decimals, basic geometry and algebra, word problems, problem-solving and shortcuts to multiplication and division. Learning these concepts can be difficult. Hands-on math practice offers an effective way for children to use math concepts in a way that reinforces learning.
Use a deck of cards for children to practice percentages. Turn over a card and have the children compute percentages based on the card's value. For example, 50 percent of a 6 card is 3. Use 11 for a jack, 12 for a queen, 13 for a king and 14 for an ace. Start with easy percentages, then move to more difficult ones.
Give each child a catalog. Give each child an imaginary budget to spend in the catalog. The children should not go over budget and should calculate the tax and shipping using details included in the catalog. Discuss with the children which math principles they must use to keep on budget while shopping. This shows children that math is useful in the real world.
Have the children estimate the weight of family members before class one day. Have the children add up their estimations to find the estimated average weight of their families. After all children estimate the weights, have the children find the actual weights of family members, if they choose to participate. Have the children compare their estimations to the real weights, and find the average weight of both. You can also use this project for weighing lighter objects, such as cans of food or other classroom objects as an in-class project.
Instruct the children to use graph paper to try to make three-dimensional cubes in as many ways as possible. Allow the children to use rulers and whatever other tools they want to draw the shapes. Allow the children to cut out the shapes and try to form them into cubes using tape to hold the sides together. Identify the designs that worked and the ones that didn't. Discuss what geometry skills would help determine whether a design would be viable.
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