5th Grade Math Exercises for Struggling Students

In 5th grade, you will be learning to take the fundamental skills you learned in past years, like adding, subtracting and multiplying, and apply them in new ways. Some of this new math, like fractions, decimals and percents, can get a bit tricky. Here are some tips for mastering 5th grade math.

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5th Grade Math Practice

Review Fractions

Before you dive into adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying fractions, it might be helpful to review what a fraction is and how it works. A fraction represents a part of a whole. Sometimes people say, 'My coat was a fraction of the cost.' This expression means that the coat cost only part of its usual amount. If the coat was normally $100, and you bought it for $75, then you paid 3/4 of the original price.

Adding Fractions

In 5th grade, you will see problems with unlike denominators, like 1/3 + 4/6. To solve these kinds of problems, you need to first find a common denominator. In the fraction 1/3, three is the denominator. Since three is half of six, you can find a common denominator for this problem by multiplying the numerator and the denominator of the fraction by two, like this: (1 x 2)/(3 x 2) = 2/6. Your new addition problems is 2/6 + 4/6. Now, you just add the numerators, and keep the denominator the same. The answer is 6/6, which is equal to one.

Practice Problems

  1. 1/5 + 3/5
  2. 10/12 + 1/3
  3. 1/3 + 2/5


1. The denominators in this problem are already the same, so all you have to do is add the numerators. The answer is 4/5.

2. Because 3 x 4 = 12, you can multiply the numerator and the denominator in the second fraction (1/3) by four to get the same denominator. Now solve: 10/12 + 4/12 = 14/12. Remember to simplify when you can, so 14/12 = 7/6.

3. For this problem, you'll have to multiply both fractions to get a similar denominator. Multiply the first fraction (1/3) by five and the second fraction (2/5) by three. Remember to multiply both the numerator and the denominator. Your problem should look like this: 5/15 + 6/15 = 11/15.

Practice Ordering Numbers

In 5th grade, you will likely have to compare two decimals to the thousandth place using the greater than (>), less than (<) and equal to (=) symbols. Let's say you have to compare 1.865 and 0.867. Begin by looking at the number in the ones column. In this case, you can determine right away that 1.865 is greater because 1 > 0.

A harder comparison might be 0.923 and 0.921. Work from left to right. The numbers in the ones place are the same (zero), so move on the next place. The numbers in the tenths place are also the same (nine). The numbers in the hundredths place are still the same (two).

Finally, the numbers in the thousandths place are different. We have 0.923 and 0.921. Because 3 > 1, you can determine that 0.923 > 0.921.

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