Free 5th Grade Math Tutorial: Help with 5th Grade Mathematics

If you're struggling with 5th grade math, or if you just need additional review, you've come to the right place. Read on for help with basic 5th grade mathematics skills.

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Help with 5th Grade Math


The most important 5th grade algebra skill you'll learn is evaluating expressions with parentheses. Parentheses tell you to complete the operation inside of them first, and then complete the rest of the problem. Here's an example:

2 x (7 + 3) = 2 x 10 = 20

Without the parentheses, you'd get a different answer:

2 x 7 + 3 = 14 + 3 = 17

Place Value and Decimals

You'll also learn about place values and decimals in 5th grade. Each digit in a number is assigned a place value that tells you how many ones, tens or hundreds it has. For instance, 342 has three hundreds (3 x 100 = 300), four tens (4 x 10 = 40) and two ones (2 x 1 = 2). If you add these numbers together, you get 342 (300 + 40 + 2 = 342).

Decimals represent amounts that are less than one. For example, if you have a piece of paper that's ten and a half centimeters wide, you could say that its width is 10.5 cm. The '.5' is in the decimal's tenths place, which represents a fraction of ten. Since 5/10 = 1/2, this amount is written as 0.5 in decimal form. Similarly, 3/10 is written as 0.3, and 8/10 (which equals 4/5) is written as 0.8.

There are also hundredths and thousandths places for decimals. They are the first and second digits to the right of the tenths place, respectively. For instance, 7/100 is written as 0.07, and 7/1,000 is written as 0.007.


Adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators is another important 5th grade math skill. This is done by finding equivalent fractions. Here's how:

  1. Find a common denominator by identifying the least common multiple (LCM) of the original denominators. This is the lowest number that's divisible by both. For example, the LCM of four and five is 20.
  2. For each fraction, identify a number that will produce the common denominator when multiplied by the original denominator. For instance, if the original fractions are 1/4 and 1/5, and they have a common denominator of 20, this number will be five for 1/4 and four for 1/5.
  3. Use these numbers (four and five) to write two fractions that are equal to one. In this example, the two fractions would be 4/4 and 5/5.
  4. Multiply these fractions by the original fractions to generate two new fractions with a common denominator: 4/4 x 1/5 = 4/20 and 5/5 x 1/4 = 5/20.
  5. Perform the operation that's requested, and simplify your answer if necessary. For instance, 1/4 + 1/5 = 5/20 + 4/20 = 9/20. Simplification isn't necessary in this case.
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