Learning 5th Grade Math: Outcomes and Teaching Strategies

Most states have adopted the Common Core State Standards for math and English. The 5th grade math standards are the outcomes presented here. However, as common as the standards may be, teachers are generally free to determine their own teaching strategies. Some of the possibilities are shown here.

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5th Grade Math Instruction


Outcomes for 5th grade math are divided into six logical areas in the Common Core State Standards, with two or more outcomes listed for each area. An outcome may be defined as a student's measurable knowledge or skill in a given subject. Here are the areas, along with some desired outcomes:

Algebra - Logic and Procedures

1. Use parentheses and brackets in algebraic sentences and know how to solve problems that have these marks.
2. When given two rules, write an algebraic sentence, noticing patterns and comparisons and explaining them.

Base Ten Procedures

1. Use and explain the system of place values.
2. Multiply whole numbers with multiple digits, divide 4-digit dividends by 2-digit divisors and work with decimals in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.


1. Add and subtract fractions with different denominators by using equivalent fractions.
2. Multiply and divide fractions and relate that to multiplication and division of whole numbers.

Measurements and Interpretation of Data

1. Convert measurements within a single system to measurement, such as inches to yards.
2. Use given fractional measurements to make a line plot. Conversely, solve problems using a line plot and its information.
3. Understand what volume is and how to figure the volume of cubes and right rectangular prisms using addition and multiplication.


1. Solve problems by graphing points on a coordinate plane.
2. Categorize 2-dimensional figures based on their number of sides and types of angles.

Math Skills and Problem-Solving Practices

1. Develop capacity for logical, critical, abstract and quantitative thinking.
2. Learn perseverance and precision in solving problems.
3. Know how to model what is learned, strategically using suitable tools.
4. Watch for structure in problems, and be able to use it, along with regular procedures, in problem solving and mathematical reasoning.

Teaching Strategies

When teaching math in any grade, it can be beneficial to provide frequent review to give students a chance to internalize the material. In addition, consider balancing individual work with cooperative group work to build a learning environment in the classroom. Lecture, discussions, flash cards and worksheets may be enhanced by the additional use of the following:

  • Manipulative objects (such as pattern blocks or tiles)
  • Pictures and videos
  • Stories and poems
  • Songs and chants
  • Games

When it comes to games, as the teacher you can use games that are played either by individual students, groups of students or the whole class. These games can include paper and pencil games such as puzzles, board games, interactive computer games or physically active math games that involve students using math skills along with gross motor skills such as kicking, running and throwing.

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