RCPS Math Curriculum - Grade 5

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Fifth Grade Math Teaching Strategies

5th Grade Essential Diet for Math


  • 5-10 minutes-check homework
  • 10 minutes-review concepts previously taught or give "problem of the day"(Stress mental math activities)
  • 35-40 minutes-teach new concept or re-teach concepts or extension activities; guided or independent practice; summary of lesson NOTE: Guided practice should include more time than independent practice. Independent practice can take the form of homework.
  • 5 minutes-assign homework according to policy and spot check for understanding NOTE: Homework should not be assigned unless teacher feels concept taught has been mastered in guided practice. Homework can also be a review of concepts previous taught. Extension activities for homework helps to challenge those that have mastered concepts taught.


  • Mental math or math facts (review)
  • Problem solving strategies or SOL Practice (teach-guided practice-independent practice)
  • Re-teach concepts or extension activities (teach-guided practice-independent practice)
  • Hands-on activities (teach-guided practice-independent practice)
  • Cumulative review (review)
  • Cooperative groups (guided practice)
  • Quiz/test/SOL Practice (independent)
  • SkillsTutor (independent practice)
  • Paper/pencil activities (guided-independent activities)
  • Games-whole class, independently or in groups (review)

General Suggestions

  • There should be a place-value chart at each grade level for teacher use. A student chart should be given to each student for notebooks and class work/homework use.
  • A math notebook should be kept to hold student instructional materials. This should be a binder with three rings and papers, hole punched.
  • Make study guides for each chapter which include vocabulary being introduced and used in the chapter. Vocabulary used on the SOL test should be given to each student and used on word walls and and on tests.
  • Introduce problem solving strategies and the steps to problem solving early in the year. Stress clue words to problem solving such as: sum, differences, in all, total, etc. and review these terms often.
  • Each teacher should have a poster describing problem solving strategies for classroom use. Available at Teacher's Aide.
  • Use "Daily Math" ( by the same publisher as Daily Oral Language) regularly as part of mental math or warm up activities.
  • Give frequent short quizzes(either oral or written on overhead or board) to assess understanding of concepts. Weekly quizzes are a good idea also.
  • Use "I Have, Who Has?" game from AIMS or "Zip Around" (same game) for drill. This may help to keep the classroom active.
  • Daily Math Practice, published by Evan Moor is excellent for drill and practice. ISBN-1-555799-7454
  • Also use one minute timed drills (or three minute) weekly on the times tables.
  • When fractions are introduced, they should be shown vertically, especially at lower grade levels. Writing fractions vertically is necessary in 4th and 5th grades.
  • The textbook is excellent as are the supplementary materials. The steps to rounding on page 10 of the textbook are a good way to teach the children to round. Remember to use reteaching work sheets as needed.
  • Teacher should use and refer to both fourth and fifth grade curriculum frameworks for planning and teaching.
  • Teachers should use a multiplication chart which shows zero at the origin to make it easier to connect with the coordinate plane and graphing.
  • Use "Hands-on Equations" to practice and reinforce algebra concepts such as balancing an equation and variables.
  • Write math vocabulary on classroom word walls and review often.
  • Use the SOL Practice book, which comes with the text, throughout the year. If you save it until the end, it is too much for adequate review.



Suggestions by Chapter

Chapter 1

  • See "Teacher Notes" in " Mathematics Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework". There are excellent suggestions found for teaching rounding.
  • Children are always confused on greater than and less than symbols. Remember the alligator mouth always eats the larger number or the open end of the symbol points to the larger number.


Chapter 2


Chapter 3

  • Leave out the section titled "Graphs that Look Different". This is not necessary and confusing.
  • Have children bring graphs from home and use them to answer questions and write predictions in summary form.
  • Children can make up and write stories about line graphs which change over time.
  • Stress the following graph concepts
    • Line graphs show change over time
    • Bar graphs compare several things
    • Circle graphs show the relationship of a part to a whole.
  • Give frequent practice, either individually or as groups, in surveying,making, titling, summarizing and making predictions with graphs.
  • Writing about graphs is a very important skill.


Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 8 - Multiplication and Division

  • Teach multiplication and division of decimals at the same time as you teach multiplication and division of whole numbers. It is less confusing and helps in reviewing place value.
  • Steps to division: Divide, Multiply. Subtract, Compare, Bring down It is fun and easy to remember if you make an acronym. Example: Dirty Monkeys Smell Constantly Bad.


Chapter 7 - Geometry

  • To allow additional time for fraction practice, it is suggested that theBenchmarks be changed to allow the teaching of Geometry to be placed after Fractions.
  • A study guide, placed in their math notebooks, summarizing all the concepts would be helpful for children and parents when teaching this chapter. Use the "R" (Reteaching) sheets for each concept from the textbook.
  • Use 4th grade edition of Mathematics by Silver Burdett Ginn to review/reteach some of the concepts in Geometry

Chapters 9 and 10 - Fraction Concepts

  • Write fractions vertically -not horizontally, even though the textbook shows it horizontally at times.
  • As suggested in the textbook, use manipulatives and draw arrays to help children understand the concept.


Chapter 11 - Ratio, Proportion, Percent

  • This chapter involves topics not covered on the 2009 SOL. It may be omitted.


Chapter 12 - Ratio, Percent and Probability

  • Introduce and use probability throughout the year, especially in Chapter 3 when you are analyzing charts, graphs and statistics.