5th Grade

Academic Growth Chart

Benchmarks

5th Grade Academic




What You Can Do To Help Your Student

  • Math:

    Math Tips

    Highlight Real-World Uses of Math

    As the math they’re learning becomes more complicated and less obviously connected with their everyday experience, some children start to develop math anxiety. It’s important to keep your child engaged with math and to help her understand the real-life applications of the concepts she’s learning in school. Coming up with a budget for back-to-school supplies or for her monthly allowance is one way for her to practice addition and subtraction. Asking her to help you with cooking or baking shows her how fractions work. Helping you calculate prices when you’re grocery shopping is also good practice.

    Help Prepare for Math Class

    Help your child reduce stress over math by familiarizing her with the concepts she will be covering in class. Ask her teacher for a syllabus and refer to this to preview each evening the material that will be covered in the following day’s math class. Skim over these pages with your child. No need to spend time working out the meaning of concepts or trying sample problems, although you can consult the glossary for definitions of unfamiliar words. Even this slight increase in familiarity with the terms that will come up the next day will help your child approach math with more confidence.

    Read Problems Out Loud

    If your child is struggling with math problems, have her read each problem out loud slowly and carefully so she can hear the problem and think about what is being asked. This helps her break down the problem and come up with problem-solving strategies.

    Keep Math Positive

    Speak positively about math and reward effort rather than grades or ability. Think about how important reading is and how we are told to model this behavior for our children. We need to place math in the same category. Don’t discount the importance of math by saying, “I’m not a math person, I was never good at math.” Help your child read books that incorporate math, such as Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag, or On Beyond a Million: An Amazing Math Journey, by David Schwartz.

    Consult Online Resources

    Familiarize yourself with the range of online resources that can help your child practice and review the math concepts she is learning. See our Additional Resources section for some links.

    Practice Calculations Using Decimals

    Connect the work with decimals that your child is doing in class to the real world by encouraging her to shop for bargains. Have her divide the cost of bulk-packaged items by the number of single items to find the cost per item. So how much are you paying per roll of paper towel or per can of soda when you buy in bulk? Or ask her to calculate how much of a savings you’ll make per item with sale prices offering volume discounts.

    Practice Using Fractions

    Help your child familiarize herself with fractions by asking her to scale recipes for your family. Have her start by halving or doubling a recipe. When she feels comfortable doing this, ask her to convert it by 112, allowing a recipe that is supposed to feed a family of 4 to work for a family of 6.

    Set Up A Bank Account

    Set up a bank account for your child. Before you do this, discuss with her the basic concepts of banking – interest, checking and saving accounts, credit and debit cards, etc. The experience will help get your child excited about saving and increasing her money.

    Highlight Math in Sports

    Sports provide a fun and engaging way of exploring a host of mathematical concepts, starting with basic addition. Any hard-core baseball fan knows that the game can’t truly be appreciated without an understanding of some essential statistics, like a player’s batting average and runs batted in. If your child is passionate about a sport, encourage her to explore it through math.

    Play Games That Use Math

    Play family games that help foster math skills. These include card games like Go Fish, which requires counting and sorting cards into sets, or board games like Monopoly.

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    TEASER Your 5th grader continues to become a stronger reader and writer and is also developing crucial analytical and critical thinking skills that will become ever more important as he progresses. His math abilities are following a similar trajectory, as he builds on the knowledge he has already mastered and incorporates more advanced skills that will form the basis for math in later grades.
    TITLE 5th Grade Growth Chart
    TWEETTEXT Parent Toolkit: 5th Grade: http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=50312900-2131-11E3-9EC10050569A5318
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  • English Language Arts:

    English Language Arts Tips

    Save Favorite Books

    Don’t be too quick to store away or discard books that your child enjoyed when she was younger. Plenty of older kids love to revisit their early favorites.

    Visit the Library

    Visit the library often with your child. Help her sign up for a library card and encourage her to borrow books regularly. Set a target for the number of books she will read in a year and reward her with a special treat if she reaches her goal.

    Encourage Reading A Range of Materials

    Provide books that match your child’s interests and encourage her to read in a variety of formats, including comics and magazines, and online books. Ask your child’s teacher about her reading level and seek out corresponding material. Reading level is often indicated on the back of paperback books, although several formats are used. RL5 means reading level 5, while 5.2 is a bit more specific, meaning a level equivalent to 5th grade, second month. Some publishers also use age guidelines, with 009-0011 meaning a book is appropriate for ages 9 to 11. You can always ask your librarian for guidance.

    Read Aloud

    You should continue reading aloud to your child as long as you both still enjoy the experience and you have the time. By this point, reading aloud should be a much more collaborative experience than it was when she was younger. You could take turns reading pages or have her do most of the reading. Reading aloud has been shown to build reading comprehension and a strong vocabulary, so try to continue providing this experience for your child, even if it’s through books on tape that you listen to together in the car.

    Discuss Reading

    Talk to your child about what she is reading. Ask her to tell you what a book is about and who the main characters are. Ask her what she’s enjoying about the book. Having her talk about what she’s reading prompts her to analyze the text as she’s learning to do in school and to ask the kinds of questions that are being discussed in class.

    Discuss Different Points of View

    Your child’s classroom discussion of reading is starting to focus on how different points of view can influence and shape perceptions. You can help develop her understanding of this concept with your conversations at home, whether you’re talking about what happened that day at school or about stories that are on the news. Ask her to tell you not just what happened, but why she thinks someone acted in the way they did.

    Discuss Familiar Stories Through Different Points of View

    Make a game out of exploring different points of view in familiar stories. Follow the example of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, by John Scieszka, a popular book that tells the well-known tale of the destruction of the pigs’ houses from the viewpoint of the wolf. According to this book, it turns out the wolf just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up being blamed for poorly timed sneezes. See how inventive your child can be at coming up with alternate versions of other children’s favorites. This is a fun way to pass time in the car.

    Look Up Answers

    When family conversation leads to questions that require looking up an answer, challenge each person to use a different print or digital resource to quickly find an answer to the question.

    Spot Metaphors and Similes

    As your child learns about new concepts like metaphors (He has a heart of gold) and similes (She’s busy as a bee) make a game out of identifying examples in everyday conversation, on television or in print.

    Find Writing Projects

    Keep an eye out for fun projects that involve writing. If your child put together a family tree when she was younger, she can update it with a companion piece of writing in which she provides short biographical entries about each person. She can make these as simple or as lengthy and involved as she likes.

    Use Social Media to Practice Writing

    If your family uses social networking sites, such as Facebook, ask your child to become a regular contributor to status updates. Writing short summaries of important family events or weekly activities will help her practice her writing skills and develop good social networking skills. Make sure to check her posts and to discuss concerns about content or language that you have with her.

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    TEASER Your 5th grader continues to become a stronger reader and writer and is also developing crucial analytical and critical thinking skills that will become ever more important as he progresses. His math abilities are following a similar trajectory, as he builds on the knowledge he has already mastered and incorporates more advanced skills that will form the basis for math in later grades.
    TITLE 5th Grade Growth Chart
    TWEETTEXT Parent Toolkit: 5th Grade: http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=50312900-2131-11E3-9EC10050569A5318
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There are many more additional resources that parents can consult when seeking support and guidance. Included here are some links that may be helpful.

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Elementary school is when parents are most likely to attend conferences, and these meetings will lay the foundation for your attitude and form your impression of conferences in the future. 

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Other 5th Grade Growth Charts

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